Advice for Employers and Recruiters

7 Things Administrative Assistants Hate About Their Bosses

William Frierson AvatarWilliam Frierson
April 27, 2012

Administrative assistants (aka executive assistants, or secretaries if you’re stuck in the Mad Men days) are essential for any successful business to run properly. They epitomize the phrase “in the trenches” because they’re the ones getting their hands dirty by doing all the things that need to be done that no one else can do quickly and efficiently. All the creative planning and brainstorming is great, but it’s the administrative professionals who turn pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams into reality.

But because they’re so reliable and always there, it’s easy to take them for granted. Case in point, if you’re a manager and completely unaware this week is Administrative Professionals Week, you likely fall into the aforementioned category. But even though you should be giving your assistant a gift this week, we thought we’d turn the tables and do something different.

Most administrative professionals need their jobs and therefore can’t tell their bosses what drives them nuts about work on a daily basis. That’s why we surveyed some assistants, let them vent and came up with seven things about you that your assistant wants to change.

7. “Stop Being So Inconsistent”

Administrative assistants aim to please and are always trying to do things the way you want them. But if the way you want things done keeps changing, it becomes pretty impossible to hit a moving target.

“Don’t keep changing the rules for answering your phone. Do you want me to interrupt you no matter what you are doing when you get a phone call no matter who it is? Or do you want me to use my judgment and know there are certain people you don’t want to talk to or would prefer to call back later?” said one administrative assistant.

The point is, be consistent. And if you do want to change the way you do things, let your assistant know. Because while they’re good, telepathy and clairvoyance are not skills most people possess.  Continue reading . . .

Article by Aaron Gouveia and courtesy of

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