Admin Pro Forum

Share best-practices with your administrative peers. Pose a question, offer advice, or just be a fly on the wall.

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Question: "I had an idea that I would set myself a target date for becoming the manager of my department exactly five years from now, and work to make that goal happen as hard as I can. I definitely have a few promotion levels to achieve before I get there, so do you think it's wise to set such an ambitious goal with such a specific timeline, or am I setting myself up for a possible disappointment that might be even tougher to recover from if I don't make it?" - Mel, Property Processing Clerk
Question: "My admin team is getting overly competitive since we can now log in to our system after normal work hours. I know that at least two of the people I work with put in an extra four or five unpaid hours every week at home, in order to get ahead. I can't help but feel they have an unfair advantage—they're getting more done than me because I don't want work to follow me home, yet I can't realistically tattle on them for the unauthorized hours. Is the only solution here to just let them be seen as miracle workers who are more efficient than I am?" - Betty, Financial Services
Question: "How do I ask and answer questions at an interview?" - Lydia
Question: "My boss had the good idea to start a drawer filled with doodads that he can pass out to employees whenever he wants to reward them with a little something. These people are generally admins, both male and female. I'm looking for suggestions as to what sort of $5-$10 items I can buy that will give pretty much anyone a lift." - Ray, Customer Response Specialist
Question: "We're hiring a receptionist for our new business. Originally we were looking for the sunniest, friendliest person we could find, but then someone mentioned that with the number of aggressive vendors and solicitors we might have coming in, plus unexpected visitors, that person will need to have a very firm hand and not be afraid to lay down the law, so to speak. Now I'm not quite sure what sort of personality we should be leaning toward. What works best on the front desk?" - Martin, Office Manager 
Question: "When I think about my best days at work, they always seem to have been about something unusual or fun I experienced with my co-workers instead of the actual job. I wonder how many admins this is true of?" - Jennifer, Public Works Admin
Question: "I've been at the same job for more than 25 years, and now my memory seems to be failing more and more. Lately it's gotten very noticeable by others. I'm still several years from retirement, and I'd like to know what others have tried to either improve their memory or create ways to make the natural loss of it less of a problem." - Gloria, Records Supervisor
Question: "The last few times that our company Fun Club has tried to help a charity through a canned food drive or toy collection, the response rate from our co-workers has been embarrassingly low. What's the best way to get the office interested in making these count?" - Kate, Receptionist
Question: "I think I might be wasting time when I need to learn something specific about Excel, Word, SharePoint or any other software in a hurry. I have a few websites bookmarked, but I'd like to know if there are some really great ones out there that will teach me procedures fast. Can it be that YouTube is the first place people go nowadays for quick computer training?" - Shea, Academic Transcriptionist

Question: "My desk is at the front of the building in a high traffic area, and a few employees like to talk to me as they walk by. Some keep the conversation short and light, but others tend to rattle on and on about relationship issues and inter-office gossip. One employee who covers the front desk while I'm away at lunch is the worst offender of this problem. Is there a polite way to tell this talkative teammate to cut the chitchat and let me have my desk space back so I can start working?" - Rachel, Administrative Support

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