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 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

Question: “As of January 13, I’m going to be supervising two other admins for the first time. I’ve never worked with them directly, and I want to come in that Monday and accomplish two things: First, I want to tell them I’d like to be a fun boss, but I also need to let them know that I have some very specific ideas about how we should approach the things we need to get done. Should I sit down with them as a group and lay it all out, approach them one by one, or wait and see how they react to me in the first week—or even the first month?” – Rich, Records Administrator

Question: “I am now so completely dependent on my Outlook reminders and calendar alerts that it’s almost a little scary, but with so much going on and so many people to support I really need these crutches! Has anyone but me reached the tipping point where you’re pretty much at the mercy of the computer to remind you of exactly what needs to be done, and when?” – C.J., Administrative Specialist

Question: “I think it’s completely essential for every company to have a ‘suggestion box,’ by which I mean any kind of system that delivers anonymous comments to top managers. So I’m going to propose we have one where I work, which of course means I’ll have to create the system myself! I’m wondering if anyone has any insight into the best way to go about it: paper or electronic? Old-fashioned box or some kind of website? And should the suggestions be made public or kept private?”  – Dot, Records Archivist

Question: “Ugh! It looks like if I’m ever going to get more pay, I need to be the one to bring up the issue. I think what I need when I sit down with my manager to start the dialogue is one effective, attention-getting line that will start things on the right foot. What should it be?”  – Faye, Legal Assistant
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