The Skinny on Administrative Professionals Day

Administrative Professionals Week – What’s in a name?

During the week of April 20 people all across the world will be celebrating Administrative Professionals Week. Let’s not mistake this recognition-filled week for National Secretaries Week, or Those-people-at-work-who-do-stuff-for-us Week. Now, ‘those people’, AKA administration professionals of all sorts, have all-encompassing titles, which is why in 1952 a day was established to celebrate all of their hard work.

Throughout the ages, admins have taken on new, challenging and exciting tasks, expanding their job descriptions, leaving worn out titles like “secretary” or “receptionist” in the dust. The creators of this observance, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), decided in 2000 to change the holiday name. The week formerly known as National Secretaries Week adopted the new and improved name of Administrative Professionals Week to keep up with the fast paced Admins, and their ever changing responsibilities. The change was celebrated, but an Admin by any other name would still work just as hard!

The date to celebrate your Admin office mate

Administrative Professionals Week lands on the last full week of every April, and the day is the Wednesday of that week. For 2008, the week of multitask kinship runs from April 20th – 26th and the big day falls on April 23rd.

Don't ask what your Admin can do for You...

Administrative Professionals would like some gratitude, and most say it’s just as easy as thanking them for all of their hard work. Sure you could get them flowers, with a cheesy card with an equally cheesy salutation inside. Or, you could get them a super hilarious ecard for the occasion (supplied, coincidentally, by Happy Worker). Show them you recognize their contribution to the office, by consider what the office may look like on the Admin’s day off, or give a card depicting your multitasking co-worker in action.

How many Administrative Professionals are there, anyway?

In the United States alone there are more than 4.1 million Administrative Assistants, along with an additional 475,000 in Canada. That’s a lot of busy hands. (and colleague-centric brains!) The IAAP will tell you a lots more about the Administrative Arts on their website.

Administrative artists - Why they're pros

The profession has changed monumentally over the last 50 years. This evolution of titles and responsibilities has upped the status of Admins, although it's uncertain when these busy bodies will grow extra hands. Where’s office Darwin when you need him?

We’ve gone though the stages of name change: secretary, office clerk, receptionist, staff assistant, office manager…you get the idea. These somewhat stale names have morphed into administrative assistant, administrative professional, executive assistant, senior administrative assistant…and so on. AA’s and AP’s and EA’s have taken on a corporate role, cultivating more tasks from their cube farms than ever before. More than just dealing with phone calls, and message taking, admins have to make many decisions which require critical thinking, something many people have trouble wrapping their head around.

Admins are the glue that holds many offices together – bonding us all - and it is time that we start appreciating it. So send them a card, take them out to lunch, say ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’. And who knows, maybe it’ll get you coveted access to the supply closet…


Are Admin Pros also Happy Workers?

Administrative Professionals make working skiffs into happy workers - plain and simple. Without their top notch organization, facilitation, wisdom and ungodly knowledge of all things corporate, workers would be chickens lost in the cube farm. To make Administrative Professionals into happy workers, it's important to appreciate their work and celebrate all things admin.

Dani Crosby/Happy Worker
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