As an administrative professional, or a “jack-of-all-office-trades”, a typical day on the job and the everyday duties that transpire, can be consistent, yet each day is extremely varied and ever-changing. There is the general nature of admin work that has remained unchanged, such as organizing, sorting, retrieving, and distributing information to staff and clients, but with the technological advancements many tasks have evolved and we have learned to adapt to these new roles with numerous different titles (ie: admin coordinator, executive admin, professional admin, office admin).

Upon arriving to my workplace and setting foot in my office, the first thing I do, besides turn on my computer and put my lunch in the fridge, is to review my to-do list from yesterday then create and prioritize my list for today.

I then proceed to sort through emails, not only my work email but I am responsible for our location emails. 7:30am is my most productive time of the day so I like to tackle my most demanding projects, like writing blogs, resumes or cover letters for our clients or responding to pressing emails. I believe in the adage that messages and emails should be answered within 24 hours for not only time-management proficiency but also to maintain professional business etiquette.

I have several webpages open on my computer for easy access when entering data, checking our social media pages or when a client calls requesting information on various topics, this provides me the focus I require to act quickly and swiftly to any questions (I guess this would be considered time-management). Between my list/schedule, I deal with any immediate needs from co-workers and clients as well as building/office issues that arise (controlling office temperature for instance).  It is important that I handle interruptions to my schedule with graciousness and unruffled efficiency.

An essential quality for me is to be flexible since the inevitable will always happen and I have to switch gears quickly to respond to any interruptions. I must be knowledgeable about all aspects of the business and be able to receive, evaluate and pass on information to all areas in the workplace.

Being neat and orderly helps me accomplish all of my tasks and this saves me time when everything is in its proper place, and if I am away then my colleagues know where to find the exact file or paperwork that they require. 

I strive to remain focused, possess amazing memory (post it notes are my friends), unending patience and be able to work with a diversity of personalities. I approach each day as a fun challenge and rely on the support of my co-workers to help me when I feel overwhelmed or answer some of my most complicated questions.  It is never boring!

by Carole Marinier, Monthly Blogger for Northern Lights Canada


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