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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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Administrative assistant Linda Bates was on her way to a ski vacation when she got a frantic phone call: “The copy machine is jammed! What should I do?” Bates says the path to creating a self-sufficient staff begins with teaching them how to use equipment as it comes into the office.

Focus on knowing where to get information quickly rather than knowing how to do everything ... Watch what you say on Face­book: More than 90% of job-screeners say they’re using social network tools to weed out applicants ... Take the lead in developing your own professional skills.
Being a stellar admin requires the skills of a mind-reader. So it was a boon recently when admins heard two executives speak candidly at the 18th Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence about the administrative profession.

One person’s everyday computer shortcut may be another person’s “Cool! I didn’t know you could do that!” David Pogue, who writes a technology column for The New York Times, recently penned a long list of “Tech Tips for the Basic Computer User.” Here are a few suited for the efficiency-minded.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. This old management adage ex­­plains why most bosses want administrative professionals to create measurable goals. But how do you measure results in a job that’s often about responding to others’ needs?

One admin wrote: “Our company just reorganized and changed our job titles from administrative assistant to ‘office assistant.’ None of the job functions changed. I feel demoted. Should we go to our manager and speak to him about our displeasure or just be quiet and not say a thing?”

What should you do when no one seems to fill you in on what’s going on in the office? Admin Sandra writes about the problem on our Admin Forum: “I constantly feel like I’m left out of the loop!” she says. She’s not alone. Other administrative pros weighed in to say how they navigate the same challenge:

The reason Taco Bell's admin team came up with its "Team of Two" training program is clear when you listen to admin Karen Walters describe managers in her building. "There were a few managers in the group who maybe weren't using admins to their greatest capabilities," explains Walters. "In their defense, they didn't have a good model." So the admin team decided to give them one...

At work, numbers speak volumes. If you can’t show, quantitatively, that something is improving, then how can you really know it’s improving? It’s not surprising, then, that more admins are being asked to set SMART goals—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals—to be evaluated against.

Office managers are constantly pressed for time and looking for time-management answers. The sad fact is, most timesaving “secrets” are the best practices you’ve been hearing about since the advent of paper clips. The trick is, you have to try them out to discover whether they match your work style. And then you have to stick with them to gain the benefits. Here are 9 timesaving tech tips recommended by office managers:

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