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71% Of Administrative Professionals Agree They Are More Important Than Ever; Ajilon Office survey highlights importance of administrative professional role in the workplace.

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. -- National Administrative Professionals Day - offices across America will be showing appreciation to the administrative professionals who keep them organized and keep operations flowing. In celebration of their contributions, Ajilon Office conducted a survey of the administrative professionals it has placed in companies throughout the country to find out how they view their role in the workplace. According to the survey, an overwhelming 71% of administrative professionals surveyed attest that their job function has become more critical over the past few years - this probably is not a surprise to their bosses and colleagues who rely on them daily!

"The role of the administrative professional is not what it used to be," said Neil S. Lebovits, CPA, president and COO of Ajilon Office. "Today's administrative professional has to be tech-savvy and organized to stay on top of unprecedented information flow. But, even more importantly, the administrative professional today needs to be the ultimate multi-tasker, able to be the go-to person for the harried execs and bustling departments they support."

The following are highlights from the survey:

--A must have?: 86% of administrative professionals acknowledge that they are an integral part of their boss' success.

--Moving on up: While 32% of administrative professionals are finding fulfillment in their current positions, 50% believe that the role is a stepping-stone to another job. And, 55% feel that the role of administrative professional offers a deep understanding of how their company operates, making it even easier to transition to another position.

--Riding the learning curve: The best job is one that you learn from and 63% of administrative professionals believe that their work has taught them skills they did not previously have.

--Gimme! Gimme!: When asked what intangible they would like more of in the workplace, 29% requested increased responsibility and 29% yearned for more involvement. Independence, training and feedback lagged behind, with a respective demand of 19%, 12% and 9%.

"It's crucial that today's administrative professional be included in team decisions," said Lebovits. "They tend to work with the most people and touch the greatest number of projects - it's likely that they have an acute sense of what's going on."

The survey results demonstrate that the majority of administrative professionals view their role positively and their career outlook with optimism. However, only 52% of these professionals feel valued and appreciated. Less than half believe that their role commands the respect it deserves. However, given that administrative professionals keep their bosses and departments organized, it is vital that their contributions are acknowledged. So this Administrative Professionals Day, make sure you recognize those who help keep you organized, punctual and sharp.

The following are tips for employers looking to aid in the development of their administrative professional as well as tips for administrative professionals looking to maximize their career:

For employers:

--Show acknowledgement: Appreciation is a great motivation tool. A simple "well done" can go a long way. Make sure they know they are doing a good job and let other team members know as well.

--Encourage input: Involve your administrative professional in team meetings and decisions. This will not only benefit them but also the rest of the team, who will view the administrative professional as part of the group rather than an external support.

--Open communications: Engage your administrative professional in a conversation about their career, asking about their strengths, weaknesses and professional goals. Keep this conversation going in order to contribute to their career as they contribute to yours.

--Train and develop: Push your administrative professional to learn new skills and encourage ownership of tasks. Perhaps if they excel in creating presentations, appoint them as the go-to person and make sure the rest of the employees know of their specialty. Also, offer to pay for them to attend several seminars or workshops throughout the year.

--Wait your turn: While urgent projects are bound to crop up on a daily basis, remember that you are most likely one of many the administrative professional supports. Being mindful of the other projects they have will keep expectations in check and allow for a more amicable, mutually beneficial partnership.

For administrative professionals:

--Do some of your own PR: If you're feeling less than acknowledged, make sure you let your supervisor know - in a non-obvious way - the way you went above-and-beyond for a specific project.

--Speak up: Don't be hesitant to offer your input on a situation, especially if you have experience with a similar scenario.

--Seek knowledge: Look for opportunities to learn about other job functions. Try to understand components of a project beyond what you are working on. Fine-tuning your knowledge of the business makes you a more valuable asset and will benefit your career in the long-term.

--Ask questions: If there's a project that interests you, ask your supervisor if you can help out. Ask trusted colleagues and bosses for an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses to help develop yourself professionally.

--Make a timeline: Map out your career goals - include projects you'd like to work on next month as well as where you'd like to be in your career in five years.

--Learn to read people: To ease the stress of dealing with people's demands, take time to observe the working style of each person you support. Being in-tune with each person's likes and dislikes will help you develop a strategy to tackle projects.

Survey Methodology:

The current results are based upon questionnaires sent via e-mail with a representative sample of 324 adults, 18 years of age or older. Surveys were conducted between March 28 and April 4, 2005. The margin of error is approximately plus or minus 5 percent. A copy of the survey questionnaire can be provided upon request.

ABOUT AJILON PROFESSIONAL STAFFING, NORTH AMERICA

Ajilon Professional Staffing is a leading specialty staffing and recruiting services firm and is part of the Adecco Group (ADO) - the world's largest human resource solutions provider. The North American professional staffing division has three focus areas: Ajilon Finance, Ajilon Office and Ajilon Legal. Ajilon Finance - previously AOC Accountants On Call - specializes exclusively in the temporary and permanent placement of premier accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Ajilon Office, previously Millennium Staffing, offers clients executive administrative professionals on a temporary and permanent basis. Ajilon Legal, previously Co-Counsel, places highly qualified candidates in a wide range of specialized positions including attorneys, paralegals and legal support professionals.

ABOUT AJILON WORLDWIDE

Worldwide, Ajilon has professional staffing and managed services divisions in several disciplines including finance and accounting, legal, high-end office support, information technology, communications, sales and marketing, engineering and more. Ajilon has more than 450 offices operating in 18 countries in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. More information can be found on the World Wide Web at www.ajilon.com
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Date:Apr 20, 2005
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