When an administrative professional comes to mind, perhaps you call forth the dated image of a secretary graciously removing your hat and coat, then furiously typing away, a loose cigarette dangling from between heavily-made-over lips (Wait, sorry, that was Mad Men. Definitely Mad Men). I almost hate to make the comparison, but recognize that this image still haunts many a boardroom or team meeting.
It’s 2020 and the admins of today’s world are more like Peggy Olson post-Don Draper — stepping alongside leadership teams with the humility, drive, and emotional intelligence required to navigate this new territory. We come equipped with modern skillsets that go beyond scheduling meetings and returning phone calls (although we do plenty of that too!). At National Life, we are valued thought-partners, event coordinators, travel agents, expense managers, designers, coaches, strategists, and do it all with one hand around the torch of culture.
Administrative assistants spend much of our time enabling and equipping our teams (all of YOU beautiful people) with answers, time and resources, often before we’ve even been asked. This requires a certain amount of mind-reading and anticipation, but with the right amount of diligence — anything is possible. We are the Steve Irwins of the office, jumping head first into a problem with gusto and great hair, arriving victorious with a solution in hand at your desk or your inbox.
Whether tackling creative projects or taming the sort of logistical nightmares that would make M. Night Shyamalan rush for his pen, our admins are plugged in to the many facets of each organization. Bill Gates once said, “being flooded with information doesn’t mean we have the right information or that we’re in touch with the right people.” I can tell you that he most definitely had a high-powered administrative assistant to help navigate some of that for him! As “gate keepers,” we are able to filter out some of this noise and distill key messages, giving our senior leaders the space to focus and drive for results. At the same time, we are connected to the heartbeat of the company, prioritizing opportunities for connection, communication, and relationship building.
Regardless of what the day has to offer, it is the people that make the job worth doing. I want to give a shout out to the wonderful administrative professionals across our country and invite you to reach out and thank one of them on April 22nd, Administrative Professionals Day!