What is Administrative Excellence?

Here are some key questions that all administrative professionals should ask themselves from time to time, according to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP):

What have you done to continue your education, training, or overall personal and professional development? What classes have you taken? What seminars have you attended? And most importantly, how has your company benefited from this? What are your long-term professional goals? What do you see as your strengths and what areas are you working to further develop? Do you have a mentor? What have you learned from him or her? And given back?

What have you done to save your company time, resources, or money? Have you streamlined any processes? Have you done anything to bring in new clients or cut costs without cutting services? Do you regularly look at your department's budget and ask yourself how you can make it stretch further? Are you using technology to its max? Are you putting your energies into things that really matter or are you maintaining the admin status quo? What new processes have you initiated and what have been the effects of them? Can you show where you are recouping your annual salary by contributing to the bottom line?

What sorts of leadership have you demonstrated in the last two years? Have you served on corporate committees and become visible to other employees? Does your company have an admin task force or internal administrative support group? Why not? If it has, what role have you played in it? If not, why haven't you started one?

Have you recommended new processes or procedures as a result of your own investigation and research? Are you establishing and utilizing networks both within and outside the company? Have you spearheaded any teamwork within your department or corporation? What was the result?

When have you gone over and above your written job description? How many times in the last three years have you stepped out of the role of admin and looked at what you could do for your company and its employees in another capacity? Have you mentored another admin or participated on behalf of the company in community work? Have you willingly contributed to the company newsletter, actively supported your exec's community activities, or created something new that enhanced the image of your corporation? What ideas did you have that became reality and stirred the company to do things better?

These are the things excellent companies are looking for in their admins. It's no longer enough to show up 9 to 5 and do what is in your job description. The excellent admin is one who steps outside his/her comfort zone and adds something new and significant to the employer.

If this isn't you, start today. Add a little and soon you'll be adding a lot. Most of us have it in us. We just need to take action and become the one who makes a difference.

That's how to get your employer's attention, recognition, and respect.