Breaking News: Secretaries are Disappearing. Here’s Why.

May 13, 2014


A recent report from the American Society of Administration Professionals (ASAP) suggests that the role of today’s administrative professional has changed significantly in recent years. Administrative professionals remain assistants to managers and executives, handling their calendars and correspondence (both digital and hard copy,) arranging meetings and travel, preparing reports and presentations, etc. However, with the tech bubble of 2001 and the recession of 2008, many middle managers were released as organizations sought to become leaner. Administrative professionals stepped in to fulfill many administrative management tasks.

The tools and technology admins use has changed radically as well. The rapid change made admins early adopters of new technology and the go-to IT person in the office. 85% of admins spend more than half of every day using Microsoft Office applications. Administrative professionals have rapidly taken on other expanded responsibilities. They are meeting planners, project managers, team leaders, budget overseers, and more. Thus we see a plethora of new job titles: Program/Project Assistant, Management Assistant, Chief of Staff, Executive Assistant, Administrative Director, and a decline in the strictly secretarial role. The good news is that the job outlook for admins and assistants is strong.

These changes, the ASAP white paper concludes, have not only created opportunities for admins but also challenges. One significant challenge is being able to obtain the training and tools to fulfill new responsibilities and to keep up with new technology. Many, if not most, organizations have no training plan in place for administrative staff, leaving admins to tutor or teach themselves. However, in order to more effectively contribute to the organization—and further its bottom line—admins need the training that will allow them to fulfill their new responsibilities. It’s a win-win for the organization and the professional! You can download the white paper here.

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