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: "What surprises did you have about your job or the administrative profession as a whole in the year 2015? Was it just another year—or did something really stand out?" - the editors of Administrative Professional Today
Question: "We're having a real problem keeping office supply costs in check. When things are supplied for people free at work, they seem to get extra careless about their use, and the number of pens, sticky notes, plastic spoons, paper towels and cups we go through is staggering and expensive. Our admin team has been trying to come up with signs to place in the supply area and the kitchen reminding people that these costs add up. What could we possibly write that would have an effect?" - Sula, Document Creation Specialist
Question: "What is the best way to tell your boss that you are looking at other job opportunities? We have a great working relationship; I'm just ready for something different." - Debbie, Executive Secretary

Question: "I’m looking for a project tracking program for my department. We handle high volumes of licensure and construction projects for many different facilities, and they are very detailed with lots of moving parts. What software do you use for tracking your projects?" - Laura, Assistant VP

Question: "We're getting concerned where I work that the overwhelming amount of documents and data that we generate every day aren't being safely stored and tracked. We have no one person whose job it is to make sure that important files, customer records, financial statements, logbooks, correspondence, social media content, even security tapes and cellphone records are properly handled and archived—it's way too much for HR when every employee is churning out so much stuff on their own. Does anyone out there actually have a system in place to get a handle on all of this, or are most companies like us, just letting everything stack up in cabinets and fill up the computer network and hoping nothing vital gets lost along the way?" — Geena, Delivery Services Coordinator

Question: "I could have many more opportunities, and higher pay, if I learned French and could reply to emails from our French customers. At 38, though, I wonder if I really have the capacity to learn a different language just by taking a class three times a week—the local community college has a program. What's the toughest thing people had to learn for their jobs long after they left school? I'm looking for inspiration!" — Erin, Imports Staffer
Question: "I take some criticism in the office because I'm a stickler for good grammar. So much of what we write to each other comes off as unprofessional that I think there does need to be one person who points out these little communication breakdowns. It's my way of trying to stop bad grammar from creeping over into the materials our clients and customers see. Am I right to keep standing up for the rules, or am I playing office politics incorrectly?" - Glenn, Film Librarian

Question: "I need to up my game with PowerPoint and Excel. Can anyone recommend online classes for this?"  - Kathleen, Assistant to VP

Question: "I wear a hearing aid, but still I often have the need to ask co-workers to repeat things. They all know about my handicap but naturally they don't always remember to speak a little louder until I ask them to. I sense that a lot of them find it very aggravating to have to repeat sentences when they talk to me, and sometimes I get a polite 'Oh, never mind, it's not that important,' which is very frustrating. I wonder why people don't have a little more patience with this disability, and what I can do to adapt and not get on their nerves." - Miranda, Digital Archivist

Question: One thing that's rarely taught when you start out as an admin is how to seamlessly flow with the executive you support on both a professional and personal level—stepping in and out of their world every day, helping without obstructing, getting your own work done while some of theirs is taken care of too. Our question this week is: Would you say that you've actually developed a real bond with your boss, and that you feel more like an ally than an underling? And if so, do you have any words of wisdom you can share on how to make this happen?  - the editors of Administrative Professional Today