For many of you that know me, you know I’m an Executive Admin for a local real estate company. When people ask me what I do, I say “I’m an Admin and a Virtual Assistant.” As an admin for the last 5 years, I’ve learned a lot (Like a lot-a lot!) and what I’m noticing is that admins don’t usually get the credit they deserve. Businesses use and abuse admins, even if it’s unintentionally. And yes, I might get a lot of hate for this. Seriously! So I’m doing this post this week because I want to recognize ALL THE ADMINS out there that work their tails off and give them the credit they truly deserve.
I’ve compiled a list of things that I’ve learned over the years and I’m sharing five things I think you need to know about the role of an admin. My intention is not to offend or hurt anyone by the opinions I’m about to share. Including my current employer. If you’re an admin, read through to the end and share your thoughts. I’d love to know how you feel about being an admin and what you think others should know about the role too.
The reality is, most offices could not function without their admin. You’re probably thinking “Sure, they definitely could!” but I challenge you to think again. The admin makes sure appointments are scheduled, meeting spaces are clean, supplies are stocked and they usually know just about everything going on, at all times.
Admins are the eyes and ears of the office and they take in as much information as they can, yet only share the important stuff. They’re like HIPAA – they share on a need to know basis.
On occasion, they’re the first one to arrive and sometimes they’re even the last one to leave for the day.
Years ago, admins were called secretaries. They were the ones who took notes during the meetings, made the phone calls and got the boss coffee. Today, admins are no longer just secretaries.
They are schedulers, communicators, product orderers, social media managers, documentation specialists, trainers, janitors and play a whole host of other roles. Each admin performs different tasks so the list of roles they hold nowadays can be lengthy.
Unfortunately, this is just the nature of the beast since the role has evolved over time. Today, they need to know a little bit about everything the company does and how to handle anything that gets thrown at them. In order to do so, their knowledge base has to be vast.
I know, I know, it’s a very bad practice. I honestly hate multitasking because I forget to do something, stop working on a task too early and make mistakes. Although it’s a bad habit, it seems to be a given in the admin role.
The problem with multitasking is that when you bounce from one thing to another, you actually spend more time refocusing your thoughts to figure out what you were doing than on actual work time.
As an admin, you could have five or more things happening at the exact same time. It’s frustrating (like REALLY frustrating). But it is possible to slow yourself down and get your work done. How? By having a written task list right by your side.
Yup, I said it. This is one of the hardest pills to swallow when it comes to admin life. In my world, it happens at least once a week. At least! It’s painful to know that you are the glue that holds things together in the office (remember reason #1?!) yet aren’t important enough to be included in important conversations. While that might not be the reason you’re not included, that’s how it feels.
The reality is, the pace of business is so fast that often times CEOs and business owners don’t always remember to share the important things – meetings that are scheduled, contacts that need to be contacted, tasks that need to be done. Because of this, I’ve learned how to work on the fly and roll with the punches. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I’m saying it is doable.
IN-EV-T-ABLE! Seriously. If you’re an admin, you know what I’m talking about. But how do you deal with that stress? You need to have a plan!
Maybe it’s a glass of wine on Friday night or maybe it’s a bubble bath every Sunday. It doesn’t matter the practice, what matters is that you have one. Having something in place to help you manage that stress is key to working as an admin.
If you don’t have a practice, find one now. Like, yesterday. If you don’t, you’re bound to get burnt out. I’ve been there. Trust me, it’s not fun.
At the time of this post I’m still an Executive Admin for the local real estate brokerage but I’m also a virtual assistant. I love the company I work for but I also love the freedom of working with clients of my choosing, when I want to do the work. I would have never learned about working independently as a virtual assistant without my work as an Executive Admin. Trust me, it has been a great learning experience but I’m not sure if I would do it again. 😂
If you’re an admin and you love doing what you do, I challenge you to think of other ways you could do what you love on the side. Whether you’re an admin or a business owner, you can learn more about what I do by visiting The Mindful Virtual Assistant.