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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: "At my job, 25% of our day is spent on administrative tasks, and 75% is spent making outbound sales calls to customers who are almost never happy to hear from us. Because of this, the staff is always stressed out and unhappy, and people quit all the time because of it, which makes it even harder on the rest of us. Since management isn't much help with trying to boost morale, what can we do amongst ourselves to make this job more tolerable?" - Jennifer, Customer Service Representative
Question: "I think it would be interesting to attend one of the larger conferences for admins and office managers, but I'm sure it would involve some travel, missed time from work and the company footing the bill. Can anyone tell me if it's been worth it to them to dive in and make appearances at events like these?" - Thea, Legal Librarian
Question: "I tend to move on from a job every two or three years because I get bored with seeing the same building, the same people, making the same commute day in and day out ... I tend to do well and my bosses always come up with new challenges for me, but it's hard for me not to daydream about what else might be out there that's simply different. I worry that as I get older, this attitude might begin to really cost me a good career. If I feel at my core that my working life should be a constant journey of discovery, how do I keep from wanting to be anywhere but where I am?" - Millie, Event Coordinator
Question: "When I was asked to put together the company newsletter, I was sad to find out it was just a sheet of paper showing upcoming holidays, a list of sales goals, and reminders from HR about this and that. In my previous job, we would write offbeat articles, interview people about their hobbies, even have a haiku contest! Everyone looked forward to it. Shouldn't the point of a company newsletter be to tell employees something they don't already know, and create a sense of camaraderie?" - Dale, HR Documentation Assistant
Question: "I don't mind doing a lot of the repetitive and humdrum things that need to be done as an admin, but once in a while things come along—like cleaning the windows of my boss's office or running out to buy ice cream for a meeting that went on longer than it should have—that make me feel like they're really just personal favors I'm obligated to do. Does anyone else get frustrated with the truly petty tasks?" - Barb, Customer Service and Fulfillment
Question: "I need to start breaking down my time to show my boss exactly how much I spend doing the 30-40 different tasks I perform in a week. Is there a software tool that people prefer to make this easy, or is doing it by hand really the simplest way to go?" - Marion, Laboratory Professional
Question: "I have been an administrative professional for the last thirty years. Unfortunately, I was laid off three years ago and have not yet found a job. I’m quite fearful my technical skills and abilities are falling behind. What should I be up to speed on?" - Sheryl 
Question: "I have been trying to get other admins to use instant messaging for basic communication instead of phone and email. It is an easy way to contact managers and others even while they are in meetings. What are the benefits of using something like Lync instant messaging for the office?" - Mary Lou
Question: "It seems like every new hire at my company has been naturally raised with all the new technologies out there, while I have to really set aside time to concentrate on learning them (and sometimes it just doesn't happen!). Does anyone else share my fear that everyone younger than me has more general tech savvy, and that as the years go on, I just won't be able to keep up with what they know?" - Gail, Assistant to the CFO
Question: "I know only the very basics of Excel—data entry, sorting and the most basic formulas, so it's not much more to me than a calculator. If I want to take a tiny step forward in it and learn something snazzy but actually useful, what would be a good (and simple) thing to attack?" - Beth, Receptionist
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