By Alison Currie
Special to The Sun
One of the largest workplace observances outside of employee birthdays and major holidays is Administrative Professionals Week. It is celebrated around the world on the last full week of April.
This event was originally established as National Secretaries Week in 1952. It was created with two objectives in mind: to recognize the secretary, upon whose skills, loyalty and efficiency the functions of business and government offices depend; and to call attention through favorable publicity to the tremendous potential of the secretarial career.
Although the first event was launched in the United States in 1952, the idea of creating a community specific for Administrative Professionals started 10 years earlier during the Second World War. When the men went off to war, women entered jobs formerly held by men. Among the roles to fill were those of office workers.
As a way to provide networking for office workers, The National Secretaries Association was established. To reflect the expanding role and wide-ranging job titles of administrative support staff today, the name has since changed to International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).
The IAAP has grown into an association with 600 chapters, with more than 40,000 members worldwide.
It provides members with conferences, seminars and resources to assist administrative professionals to enhance their skills and become more effective leaders.
The IAAP continues to believe in the importance of this event to call attention to the increasing value and contributions of administrative professionals in today's workplace.
Individual employers, executives and supervisors in offices across the globe will recognize the valuable workplace contributions of their administrative support staff in various ways. Individual managers commonly give gifts of appreciation such as flowers or chocolate. However, according to a survey conducted by the IAAP, administrative staff prefer observances that recognize their professional role or provide opportunities for professional learning and growth.
"I think it's great to have a celebration of Administrative Professionals Week," says Tina Amero, an administrator at a large retail company. "You get to meet all kinds of different people and discuss the life of being an administrator. Also, you can get new ideas."
To learn more about how to get involved with IAAP and the local Canadian chapters, log on to www.iaap-hq.org
. To register for a celebration and professional development event, contact Office Workers Career Centre (www.officeworkers.org
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