The Future of the Administrative Profession – Surviving or Thriving?
By Joan Burge, Founder and CEO, Office Dynamics International
Changing the Lives of Administrative Professionals Since 1990
It’s important to recognize the difference between surviving and thriving, because the key to success is available to those who successfully manage to cross the bandwidth between the two.
The global economic meltdown brought sweeping changes across many continents as companies made drastic changes to many sectors of employees, including the administrative profession. So encompassing was the economic climate that no vocation was immune.
Before the crisis, the administrative profession operated differently. Training budgets were ample; opportunity for advancement sparkled like diamonds for the taking. Administrators handled many tasks, and had backups, cross training, and team-shared projects.
Post-crisis, many people lost their jobs, and took any available position, even ones they were far overqualified for. Others could no longer afford to retire. Single income households became dual income households, often due to pay cuts and shorter hours. Training budgets dissipated, opportunities dried up, and assistants had larger workloads without staffing backups. Single support executive assistants now juggled multiple managers.
We’ve come through and now, the economy is healing. Much has changed for the executive assistant and administrative professional, and in order to thrive in this new working environment, it’s up to both to operate wisely, using savvy to make the right decision regarding the right question at the right time.
It would be easy to simply throw up one’s hands and say, “It’s okay to just survive!” but we know that excellence goes far beyond the basics. Success is met when we exceed expectations; when we go the second mile, and when we work diligently to remain relevant and competitive. Thriving is where we find contentment, advancement and opportunity.