I believe the way people view us is often a reflection of how we view ourselves. Talking to my peers, I'm frequently shocked and saddened by how many feel their role has little or no value, or that they are not respected. Under the category of things I know for sure, I know the role of the assistant IS a valuable one. But how can we get others to believe that if we don't believe it ourselves? How do we get our bosses to believe in us if we don't believe in ourselves?
I’ve been in administrative support roles for just shy of twenty years now. I’ve had roles ranging from entry level administrative support to executive assistant to the CEO and have always been considered a valued member of the team. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have worked with executives who understood the value I brought to the equation and utilized me to the point that their trust intimidated me. I’ve also had the misfortune to work with executives who refused to provide me with the information and tools to be successful. Those executives viewed my role as insignificant and thought executive assistants were a dime a dozen. Worse, they saw the role as a place to lay blame when they messed up. I didn’t last long with those executives. With one, I managed to change their mindset and partner with them as a strategic business partner.
My goal, my passion and my dream is for all assistants to understand the value they bring and the importance of their role. If you believe you are “just an admin” that is how you will be viewed. When you embrace the significance of your position, others will as well.
The Audacious Admin is Debbi L. Shaffer, an outgoing, resourceful and highly motivated executive assistant with 20 years of experience specializing in C-Suite Executive Support.