Underneath It All

Underneath It All presents new ideas and ambitious ways to approach the challenge of rising to the top in a field that is exciting and rewarding. Joan brings a wealth of knowledge from both sides of the desk. This book is a valuable investment.


This book could not have been updated and reissued at an earlier date. Why? Because although the answer is not complicated, the revelations are profound!

The author, Joan Burge, has been at the forefront of the administrative profession and a visionary for administrative training and development since 1990. She is considered the premier global subject matter expert in this field. She is the author of many books, including, Become An Inner Circle Assistant, Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed, Who Took My Pen, Again?, and her newest book, The Executive’s Competitive Edge.

But the Second Edition of this book, Underneath It All, is different because Joan is different. Since the first edition was published in 2002, Joan has continued to grow. She embraced the administrative profession’s exponential expansion and growth in responsibilities. Joan expanded her curriculum, offerings, workshops, video training, online and social media platforms, and her industry-leading annual conference. But there is so much more: Since the first edition, behind the scenes, Joan has bravely fought illness, suffering, disappointment, and bereavement. Joan emerged from these battles with strength, grace, and the courage to face anything life throws her way.

Joan is an indomitable force. Yes, as a successful entrepreneur, she is accustomed to being in charge. Yes, as a one-time highly appreciated Administrative professional herself, she knows how effective finely honed skills are … let me learn how to do it and I will do it. But in the process of finding coping strategies and still excelling during everything she’s faced – another dimension has been revealed to Joan.

She successfully forged new thoughts, innovative ideas, and new hope, including giving herself permission to Live A Big Life. She “sees” how her experiences and what she is learned from them relates to everything! That’s why the Second Edition of Underneath It All is a book whose time has come yet again with renewed strength and vigor. You are about to explore key points with Joan that led to success and, in doing so, may wonder who switched on the lights. Once you “see” what is underneath it all, you will become a more effective person. In short, you will not become a more effective Administrative Assistant. You will not become a more effective Parent. You will not become a more effective Life Partner. You will become a more effective Administrative Assistant, Parent, and Life Partner.

While life was happening around Joan (e.g., her own major surgeries, her beloved husband and father’s unexpected passings, and other once-in-a-lifetime personal challenges), Joan’s work continued to grow and expand. She produced years of solid research which concluded: 90% of the requirements for being a successful Administrative Assistant revolve around soft skills … 10% revolve around technology and technical skills. That is quite a revelation coming from a woman who is an eternal optimist, a dynamic motivator, and a tireless proponent of encouragement.

In this book, you will read why it’s essential to maintain your competitive advantage and how continual improvement makes it possible. You will explore key points with Joan that lead to success and will likely wonder, “Who switched on the lights?”

Underneath It All presents innovative ideas and ambitious ways to approach the challenge of rising to the top in a field that is exciting and rewarding. This book is a valuable investment in your future.


Joan Burge Is The Real Deal!

“I have met many ‘experts’ who think they have a good view of the administrative world and what it takes to be successful, however, none have actually been in the role to know the true nature of this profession. Joan Burge truly speaks from experience because she has been an Executive Assistant, a corporate trainer, and the CEO of her own company. Joan brings a wealth of knowledge from both sides of the desk.” – Debbie Gross, Chief Executive Assistant to John Chambers Chairman & CEO Cisco Systems, Inc.

Informative and Motivating
“As usual, I find all the information Joan Burge provides to Executive Assistants and Administrative Assistants at any level to be excellent information, informative and highly motivating. Joan’s writings inspire me and help me to focus with renewed passion, my chosen profession.” – Dixie L. Drake

Exciting Topics With Grounded Advice

“Joan Burge’s new book, Underneath It All, covers exciting topics such as leadership, being a cognitive being, professionalism, managing your own career, communication, forming strategic partnerships, persuasion… teamwork… the list goes on and on. The best part is that Joan offers real, workable, grounded advice and mentoring that simply leaps off the page and into your career. This is written by someone who clearly knows the role and has walked in the shoes of an administrative professional.” – Nancy C.

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