When it comes to just about any business, administrative professionals are often the unsung heroes of the organization. While the C-suite executives and senior leadership get all of the glory, the administrative support keeps a company running. Anyone who has worked in an administrative role knows this. Still, it’s always nice to get an extra reminder (and some praise) every year when Administrative Professionals Day rolls around.
Administrative Professionals Day is celebrated every year on the Wednesday of the whole last week of April — which is Wednesday, April 27, 2022. On that day, those working in support roles are often treated to an excellent breakfast, given cards, or may even get a gift. Like any other corporate holiday, it’s not a flashy day. Still, anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of Administrative Professionals Day knows that the small gestures mean an awful lot.
What Is Administrative Professionals Day?
On June 4, 1952, the very first Administrative Professionals Day was observed. At that time, it was National Secretaries Day. It was one day of the seven-day National Secretaries Week celebration. In 1981, the name was changed to Professional Secretaries Day/Week, and then in 2000, it was changed once again, this time to Administrative Professionals Week/Day. While the celebration initially fell in June, it changed to the whole last week of April in 1955, where it remains today.
For anyone who has ever held an administrative job, it’s easy to understand why the holiday’s name has changed so many times. At this point, the responsibilities of a secretary in the 1950s, while certainly still important, are a far cry from what most administrative professionals do today. A list of different titles falls under the umbrella of administrative professionals, including everything from a secretary to an executive assistant to an office administrator to a receptionist to a facilities manager (and beyond).
Administrative Professionals Day (and Administrative Professionals Week) offers everyone within an organization a moment to acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate the administrators they work alongside.
Why Administrative Roles are So Essential
In any organization, no matter how large or small it is, every job has its purpose. What makes administrative roles different from many others is that it is rare to find a company that doesn’t have at least one administrative professional on its payroll. Administrators are essential in keeping a business running.
Since there are so many different administrative jobs, a wide range of skills is necessary for each role. As a whole, though, some of the critical skills most successful administrators have in common include organization, effective communication (both verbal and written), planning and or scheduling, basic technology, problem-solving, flexibility, resourcefulness, professionalism, and interpersonal skills. Each of these skills plays a part in day-to-day business management, and while people across different careers may possess some of these skills, most successful administrators have them all.
Typical administrative roles and their impact on a business
While secretaries bring a lot to an organization, administrator roles stretch far beyond that title, and each one plays its part in an organization’s success. Here are some standard job titles that fall under administrative professionals and how important they are to running a successful company.
Receptionist: A person in this role is responsible for front office management, including greeting and assisting customers, scheduling/confirming/rescheduling appointments, maintaining client files and records, and answering and forwarding calls, just to name a few. Often, a receptionist keeps a company on schedule and organized, and while this role is essential across a range of industries, it’s vital to the success of any service business.
Administrative Assistant: Typically, someone in this position works to help just a few individuals within a company (sometimes, they work specifically for one person). Administrative assistants will manage schedules, screen calls, confirm meetings, reach out to clients on their boss’s behalf, and handle other administrative tasks such as taking meeting minutes. An administrative assistant’s job is to free up their boss’s time, such as practice medicine, make sales, or manage projects, to move the company’s mission forward.
Executive Assistant: Like an administrative assistant, an executive assistant handles the administrative work for an individual, but it’s usually an executive. Frequently, executive assistants are assigned to one (sometimes two) very busy executives who, without help, would be so bogged down with administrative work that they’d never leave the office (or sleep!). A high-level executive like this is vital to an organization’s success, but they wouldn’t be able to do their job half as effectively without their executive assistant.
Human Resources Professional: Human resource is a significant function within any organization. This department ensures enough employees on payroll to run the business effectively while also overseeing policies and procedures that keep employees happy (lowering retention) and ensuring the company is adhering to state and federal employment laws. Additionally, functions like payroll, benefits administration, diversity and inclusion, and recruitment fall under the umbrella of human resources, which are integral parts of a successful business.
Office Manager: Sometimes also called an operations manager or facilities manager, this person is responsible for making sure an office building is stocked with everything it needs. They run the place. They order printer paper, make sure there’s coffee in every break room, order equipment, set up offices for new employees, schedule carpet, window, and internal cleaning and building repairs, and coordinate trash and recycling pickup. The place would be a complete chaotic mess without an office manager.
Financial Controller: While payroll is responsible for making sure employees get their regular paychecks, financial professionals (which can have a variety of titles) are the ones who make sure bills are paid and that the company’s budget is balanced. If an industrial copier needs replacing, a financial administrator will move things around in the budget to find the money. If the business wants to outsource any tasks, it’s up to finance to ensure the company can afford to do it. Without a finance department, most companies would find themselves in the red more often than not.
These are just a few of the many essential administrative roles you’ll find within an organization, and each one is just as important as the next. They genuinely do keep companies running, and, frankly, one day (or one week) of celebration hardly seems like enough. Administrative professionals are some serious superstars.
Become an Administrative Professional
This Administrative Professionals Day, celebrate the many people who keep the place running (which may include yourself!). If you’re ready for your next new adventure, join The Mom Project to check out our job board full of fantastic administrative opportunities — many of which are remote!
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