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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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:
Following a speaking engagement for administrative professionals, I found myself listening to familiar comments. “My supervisor is so busy I never get a chance to have more than a two-minute conversation, and she never gives me feedback, so I never know what she is thinking.” In these circumstances you need to ask for what you need to be successful.

At Progress Energy’s quarterly “compliments and concerns” meeting, senior administrative assistant Amy Finelli uses a template for minute taking. As a result, she can quickly send out notes after the meeting “because I don’t have to figure out how to organize the topics,” she says. Here are a few more of Finelli’s power tools for meetings:

The demand for highly skilled assistants has increased the past several years, as shareholders and customers demand greater access to executives. Among the most desired: assistants with tech savvy and “demonstrated longevity.” In other words, admins who have built over time a strong working relationship with their executive bosses.

Would your company’s leaders benefit from hearing more feedback and ideas from employees? If the answer is yes, here’s a strategy to suggest to them: a rewards program that doles out prizes for the best ideas offered by employees.

Feel exhausted, even on a vacation day? That’s one sign you’re being bullied at work, according to a “you know you’ve been bullied at work when ...” checklist by Workplace Bullying Institute. Other signs that you’re in the bully’s bull’s-eye:

You no doubt take sexual harassment complaints seriously and promptly try to learn the facts. But which facts should you consider when deciding whether the conduct creates a hostile work environment? Look at the totality of the circumstances. For example, comments that aren’t directly sexual can still contribute to a hostile environment if the context indicates that the comments are related to others that are sexual.

Sometimes, it seems that persuading the boss—or anyone—to let you try your great idea is more difficult than ... well, just about anything. So, we asked three successful admins for their best tips on steering the boss toward agreement. Here they are: