The Evolution of the Secretary
When Kemetia Foley registered for an International Association of Administrative Professionals meeting in Reno, Nev., nearly six years ago, she mostly planned to make a few contacts and take some best-practice ideas back to her supervisor. Foley, a finance and customer service coordinator for the American Staffing Association who has worked as an administrative professional for 21 years, says she never expected her entire career perspective to change.
But it did. “I suddenly realized how many industries we supported and how pervasive we are in terms of keeping the CEOs and managers on track,” she says.
The event opened Foley’s eyes to the work of countless peers who are invested in improving their field as well as the varied titles they hold and distinctive tasks they complete each day. Today’s administrative professionals must understand Microsoft Office Suite backward and forward, prepare emergency readiness binders at the drop of a hat, and repair malfunctioning copiers and fax machines with ease. In many instances, the men and women of this field are the lifeblood that keeps the office pumping at full speed. And their jobs can serve as a springboard to higher-level managerial, specialist, or directorial positions.