S/O: I'm an administrative assistant — ask me anything!

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2007

@discokitty:  I worked briefly as an admin assistant when the actual assistant went out for surgery, so I know the basics of the job, but I do have a question.

Do you genuinely love your job, or is it more of a paycheck for you? Is there something you’d rather be doing or is this your dream job?

Post # 5
2385 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@discokitty:  I’m a legal assistant and was thinking about applying for some admin. asst. jobs mainly because the pay is a bit higher starting out, and the responsibilities are pretty similar from what I’ve read. My biggest worry is that the position, much like the one I am in now, has little opportunity for advancing up the corporate ladder. What do you transition/upgrade into after admin. assistant? I really hate being stuck at the same place with nothing to reach for for the past 5 years and I would hate to be in the same position just a new company… 

Edit: I also really enjoy work staying 100% at work, and LOVE that I don’t even think about those hours until I step foot in the door the next workday. 


Post # 7
1381 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I worked as a admin asst. through college, worked in an insurance call-center after college, and now I’m back in an office. I like it SO much better. I work in a really chill office and have a very flexible schedule, so I love that aspect. I know not every office is like that, so I’m really lucky.

I worked as an admin. asst for a year at an accounting firm in Portland for 1.5 years and went to another firm in Jan. of this year and was promoted to office manager in July. I’m 26, so it’s a pretty high position for someone my age. I make a great paycheck and LOVE what I do and the people I work with.

I’m in school on-line for my paralegal degree so I might try to transition into the legal field as an office manager in a few years. I’m guaranteed a raise every year at my current job and have employer paid health insurance and life insurance, so I might stay longer than intended.


I guess my question is: do you feel like you are paid enough for the amount of work you do? That’s the only reason I left my first job in Portland for the new company I work for – it can be soul-sucking if you’re not getting the recognition you feel you deserve.

Post # 8
2114 posts
Buzzing bee

@discokitty:  well i know that feeling! I am an Admin Assistant as well. I have only been in this position for about 8 months, so its still new and exciting for me (well most days :p) I worked in Guest Services in a mall for 4 years so I was really happy to be promoted to Admin Assistant.

Its in a mall managment office so I do have to say alot of the excitement comes from other aspects of the job. I really love it, but its not a job I can stay at forever. The company is large and has many different to departments so I hope to grow and eventually move up.

Post # 9
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I got hired as an Admin Clerk at a corporate law firm right when the economy hit a low point in 2008 and it was four years before I got any kind of raise…I was not a happy camper lol.  But since then I’ve gotten three raises and two promotions so that helped make it worth it.  I’m a Production Secretary now but basically I do a lot of what I did as an Admin…I like that it’s not an intense, high stress job but that I’m still depended upon and necessary.  Like the OP I thought for awhile I would go back to school but I decided I’m pretty happy with my job and can’t really think of another job I’d like to pursue (and would be willing to go into debt for!) so I’ve settled in for the long haul now. 🙂

Post # 10
99 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012 - Chapel of Flowers

How did you start as an administrative assistant?  (Did you have any specialized school/degree?) I am thinking about becoming one since like a PP said I’m not sure what I want to go to school for. Any advice on where to get started?  

Post # 11
640 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I totally have been thinking about leaving my job as a Procurement Agent/Buyer to go to Admin Assistant. I did this type of this for a bit when I first started with the company and I absolutely loved it. I also did receptionist duties and it was great! I’m just tired of my job now, the only thing keeping me around is the pay (I’m in the mining industry). But I really want to do something I love now. I’m almost 30. Time to make a change.

Thanks for this thread!

Post # 14
611 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I’ve been an admin. asst. at a payroll company for almost six years.  I love the people I work with most of the time.  No room for advancement where I am though.  I tried applying for a payroll analyst position and I was basically turned down because they NEEDED me in my position (I took it as I was too good and they didn’t want to have to train someone else on everything I do.) To compensate not considering me for the payroll position, they gave me a decent raise–which was nice.  That was almost a year ago.  I do love my job but I can’t say I feel appreciated a whole lot.  I am now 4 months pregnant and I am trying to decide if I want to quit or not once the baby arrives.  I think an admin asst is a good job as long as you get compensated and praised regularly.  People take admin. asst. for granted. 

Post # 15
2100 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I was an admin for many years and I really disliked it. I just got crapped on, over and over. HOWEVER, now I’m a receptionist and I really enjoy it!! I still use the same skills but it’s far more people oriented and just requires a different mindset. It’s a great job for me, for when I head back to school! 

You gave some great advice up there!! However, I would not suggest the Fred Pryor seminars. I went to many and they are hokey, filled with too much advertisement and not enough content. For those considering this line of work, I suggest teaming up with a recruiter to be a temp, to see if you like it. Then, look at courses for computer, writing and typing. Or do typing online with practice tests. Also, be well versed in Microsoft Office Suite, research using the Internet,, basic office functions, how to prepare expenses and make arrangements. Sometimes you have to be a bit of an event planner, too, for dinners, events, parties and meetings. You have to also be discreet. You are exposed to so much stuff..you just can’t tell anyone or everyone. I knew weeks, sometimes months in advance people were getting fired or someone wasn’t getting a raise after many years but other managers were. Or that we were gonna undergo massive change and I could tell not a soul. 

You have to be exceptionally organized and work well alone, giving yourself motivation to get crap done. You also have to be very ok, with getting interrupted a lot. Also know that when an admin makes a good salary, she is working for it. My old boss was making 60+ but had no life. Worked on weekends, late, late nights. No real social life…she was at the mercy of her boss. But that may not be typical. I’d say,with  the 4 admin positions I had, be prepared to work for a decent wage. Get in with a great company and do well and learn the business. And then apply, apply for other jobs. Get in good with other managers. 



Post # 16
2100 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@future_mrs_sommer:  Ummm… Yes they do!!!! I find it very hard for admin’s to move up. It can be done but you really have to work at it and have ppl WANT you to advance. If you have support, then it’s possible but time and again…I’ve seen it not happen. My former boss was an admin for 25 years. She was wonderful but no one ever saw her past that. And she literally had no life. She tried to break through but everyone needed her. You just can’t make yourself too “needed”. Lol 


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