Although most adminstrative assistants like the traditional bouquets of flowers, boxes of candy or nice lunch for Administrative Professionals Day, there is something they would appreciate even more.
On Wednesday, it's customary to honor one's administrative assistants with bouquets of flowers, boxes of candy or even a nice lunch. And they'll appreciate seeing flowers being delivered; they'll love taking that first bite of chocolate; and delight in a relaxing lunch.
But truth be told, they don't want any of that stuff. You know what they really want? They want to be better at their jobs, and they wish the boss would help.
"We'd prefer to go to a seminar or conference, paid for by the company with no dock in pay," says Yvonne Arendt, president of the St. Paul chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). "That would mean a lot more to us than flowers or candy.
"But we still like the flowers and candy," she adds with a laugh.
"Surveys of administrative professionals have shown repeatedly that they prefer professionally oriented observances," adds Sandra P. Chandler, IAAP international president. "While candy and flowers are appreciated, an observance related to professionalism is more meaningful. And, of course, it's always wise to ask their administrative staff how they would prefer to observe Administrative Professionals Week."
This year Administrative Professionals Week is recognized the week of April 22. Administrative Professional's Day is Wednesday, April 25.
Each year the week carries a theme. This year's theme is "Shaping the Future," placing a strong emphasis on professional development.
Chandler notes some ways administrative professionals can help in "Shaping the Future" of their profession:
Lead by example. Take pride in your work and your profession.
Approach all projects with a high level of integrity and professionalism.
Build professional networks and be involved in professional associations.
Mentor and train others - work with entry-level administrative support staff and students to show them the advantages of pursuing a career as an administrative professional.
Say It With ProfessionalDevelopment
Professional development takes on many guises. It could be anything from attending a seminar, pursuing certification or simply being part of a professional organization.
A popular means of development - and one that shows an admin's dedication to the profession - is earning the Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) or Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certifications.
"Certification is a big way to improve yourself," says Arendt. "It shows that you take a lot of pride in what you do."
This week many IAAP chapters are conducting special events to mark Administrative Professionals Week. The St. Paul chapter, for instance, is performing a membership drive.