Whether you’re reading this in a country where Administrative Professionals’ Day is observed, or somewhere else, give yourself – and your counterparts – a round of applause.
From conversations and correspondence with assistants on different continents, and your contributions to my Weekend Polls, I know that assistants around the globe are adapting and managing workloads and communications during times like none we’ve encountered before. You may have been busy learning and then helping your principals and other colleagues learn how to use web conferencing and other technology.
Many of you miss being around colleagues. Some have experienced a disconcerting sense that your principals are managing pretty well without you. Other assistants are in greater demand than ever, or in positions where you’re able to positively impact colleagues’ morale through your check-ins, general communications and other contributions. Some assistants may feel you’re not accomplishing enough, and others are doing well to keep it all together – due to either isolation or a lack of isolation!
Click here to read more about Administrative Professionals’ Day from IAAP, the association that launched this annual event.
You may be missing out on intended professional development opportunities this week. During the good old pre-pandemic days, I’d committed to presenting at events here on the Pacific, and then in Toronto and the Atlantic during the latter half of April. The good news is that these events have all been rescheduled, and I’ll keep you posted on them as time goes on.
I’ve learned that some of you can’t wait to get back to your offices, while others have great appreciation for the working from home (WFH) world. You may be contemplating how to make the business case for a hybrid work week, including working from both the office and from home, as we make our way toward a semblance of normality.
Whatever your experience has been in recent weeks, these times are temporary. Work environments will evolve further once the lights are on again throughout your offices, but those lights will shine and you’ll be amongst colleagues again.
For those of you whose colleagues typically offer appreciation of your career and contributions today or during this particular week, it’ll be different this year. If the celebrations are virtual today and you’re connecting with your colleagues or other assistants on a screen instead of over lunch, have fun making the best of these gatherings.
When it comes to Administrative Professionals’ Day and this career in general, long time readers know of my interest in a shift away from well intended cards, flowers and lunches. Instead, I favour a focus on recognition of assistants’ contributions to the success of their organisations, and to ongoing professional development.
Whatever your work situation looks like right now, and wherever you work, I hope that all assistants receive meaningful recognition of the positive impacts you have on your organisation – not only today, but throughout the year.