Administrative Professionals Day
Wednesday 24th April 2013 is ‘Administrative Professionals Day’. It is held annually during the last full week in April. This year that lies from 22nd – 26th April 2013 and is dedicated to all those who come under the professional umbrella of administrative support staff.
Originally this event was termed ‘National Secretaries Week’ and was set up in 1952 by the National Secretaries Association (now known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)) and in conjunction with Harry Klemfuss (then public relations executive at Young & Rubican) and other office product manufacturers.
It started in America but has now spread worldwide reaching as far as New Zealand. The main objective is to recognize those support staff on which the loyalty, skill and efficiency the functions of a business heavily depend. In addition it also brings to attention ‘through favourable publicity the tremendous potential of the secretarial career’.
Administrative professionals cover a multitude of roles and the IAAP defines this as ‘individuals who are responsible for administrative tasks and coordination of information in support of an office related environment and who are dedicated to furthering their personal and professional growth in their chosen profession’. The original title of these individuals was ‘secretary’ but this has now expanded to so many more: administrative assistant, office coordinator, administrative specialist, office manager, personal assistant or executive assistant. Those who hold these positions are extremely valuable to any company and in actual fact are ambassadors for that particular business. These ambassadors are the forefront of any business and it can often be the starting point of a leading business woman’s career. The image of the humble secretary is very wrong. It is a role that can lead to promotion and can take you all the way up to the top of your career ladder.
Recently the term ‘secretary’ has seen a revival through something coined as the ‘Mad Men Effect’. The phrase has stemmed from the TV programme, Mad Men, that was set in New York along Madison Avenue at the heart of the advertising scene during the 1950s. The series highlighted that roles of the secretary are far more than just typing and filing. The work is much more complicated, demanding and technical as well as integral to the whole office/business. It is in fact a highly professional role that is very powerful with crucial inner knowledge of the workings of an office and with constant access to the boss.
A recent survey of more than 3,000 office PAs undertaken by the IAAP has shown that the term ‘administrative secretary’ has crept back into job titles for the first time in several years and has nearly doubled in presence over the last 2 years. The most popular titles are still Executive Assistant and Administrative Assistant.
Administrative Professionals Week/Day is celebrated in a number of ways such as the giving of flowers or chocolates in the first few years after it was set up. Nowadays reward is given (and preferred) through opportunities for learning and growth. This can entail tuition reimbursement to partake in training programmes to further their management or technology skills, membership to professional organisations and also registration for conferences or seminars. Other items may include personalised business cards, a desktop name plate or monetary bonus for exemplary performance.
At OMBS we are providing key training so that all our graduates can thrive in the modern office environment and become a valued team member for which ever organisation they choose to work for. In this manner we know that their skills will be truly be appreciated and be vital for any business. In addition the administrative profession has proven to be an economically steady career choice over the past twenty years which is extremely important in our current economic climate and will mean our graduates are extremely employable.
Don’t forget to put next year’s date in the diary – 21st – 25th April 2014! How will you celebrate it?