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Admins

For admins, the work never ends. Administrative professionals fill key office management functions every day – tasks that go unnoticed (until they’re not done).

Admins are the unsung heroes of the workplace – the glue that holds an office together. Every week should be Administrative Professionals Week!

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Base pay for administrative professionals across the United States is expected to remain consistent with 2010 levels, according to a new report. Where are the gains?
“If HR stays on the transaction side, we’ll be out of business in 10 years,” said Conrad Venter, global head of HR at Deutsche Bank. “Business leaders will say.… ‘Where’s the value?’” and choose to outsource those transactional duties."
Not everyone in the workplace needs to be innovative. Think about a movie set. For every director, there are hordes of people who must be technically proficient, patient and disciplined about their jobs. If everyone innovates, the project turns chaotic. What the workplace actually needs more of is creatonomy.

“My senior admin recently asked us what we should discuss during our monthly admin meetings,” a reader wrote. With time at a premium, this is a good point, as there’s an ever-increasing need for groups to get more real work done during regular meetings. Suggestions for making your next admin meeting more productive:

“Corporate social responsibility” has become a popular concept and buzzword, driving many companies to reach out to the communities that surround them. Admins often lead those efforts. Example: At Imperial Sugar Company’s sugar refinery, admin Charmaine Ordeneaux recently co-chaired a fundraising effort for the American Cancer Society.

How do admins bring value to their roles? We asked administrative assistant Eileen Behr, who recently won the 2010 OfficeTeam Administrative Excellence Award. Here’s how she brings a “value-added” focus to her job:
As an HR professional, you have an open door. And you’re always encouraging employees to ask questions about their benefits. But sometimes, that door needs to be shut … and so should your mouth. As a new lawsuit shows, repeating even the question asked by an employee can trigger a multi-claim lawsuit …
A former clerical worker is suing a San Francisco Bay Area-based trucking company, claiming he was harassed and subsequently fired for asking about medical benefits for his same-sex partner.

Administrative pros looking for a way to stretch their skills often turn toward certification. But do the Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) and Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) ratings help you advance your career? Or command a higher salary? Are they worth the work and cost?

Whether it’s a speedy way to create a bar chart or a trick for switching from one window to the next, keyboard shortcuts can help even power users knock out work faster. Here are a few of our readers’ faves:
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