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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At some point in their careers, most people end up in the position of being left to do the work after flaky colleagues drop the ball. Anita Bruzzese (www.45things.com), who writes about workplace issues, offers these four tips for handling co-workers who drop the ball, and how to get them to pull their weight:

What does an Oreo cookie cream filling have in common with administrative professionals? Everything! Without that cream, there’s no magic center that holds it together. You’re left with two chocolate disks sitting there waiting for something special to happen. The special ingredient: you.

It won’t surprise you that most companies plan to spend less on training this year. Rather than lament the fact that there’s less money in the budget for traditional training, consider this: Less-formal training might be more effective than formal training, and it still allows you to develop your career.

Admin Brooke Wiseman knew that administrative professionals in her company weren’t being used in the most productive ways. For example, some shared the same title but had wide variations in duties. Her goal was to bring more value to the company by turbocharging the partnerships between executives and their assistants. Here’s how she did it.

As Administrative Professionals Week (April 19-25) approached, we couldn’t help but wonder what crazy things bosses have asked admins to do. So we asked readers of our Admin Pro Forum to tell us about the most unusual or bizarre thing their boss ever asked them to do. For starters: "Open his sandwich every day to make sure no tomatoes were on it."

Carolyn Ferrara, a former office manager for Sarasota dermatologist Michael Rosin, and Ellen Murray, a former patient, received a $1 million reward from the U.S. Department of Justice for their roles in sending Rosin to prison for Medicare fraud.

Pump up your managers with useful research they don’t have time to do themselves ... Sharpen your workplace instincts by playing The Office-Politics Game ... Soothe stress by first dividing triggers into two categories ...

Demand for highly skilled administrative professionals will remain steady this year, predicts the 2009 Salary Guides from Robert Half International. While starting salaries for admins are expected to rise 2.6% on average in 2009, employees with specific skills can command even more.

Create a cheat sheet for emergencies and leave it on your desk ... Monitor spending with online tools ... Reach out to someone who has been laid off ... Be a valuable connection from the moment you invite someone into your LinkedIn network.

Try to track the details of a complex project on a whiteboard, and you may quickly run out of white space. Here are five project-tracking software tools that can come to the rescue.