Written by: Eth Lloyd, Advisory Council Chairman
Administrative Professionals celebrations in 2020 will go down as being one of the most unusual, but one of the most innovative. The Covid-19 world pandemic has changed so much for so many of us – in our own roles as administrative professionals, for our families, our friends, our colleagues, and for so many hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people we do not even know.
Such a change could prove more than overwhelming, we could look like rabbits frozen in the headlights of a car. Some of us may have felt like that at times and some of us may still have moments like that to come. However, what we are seeing throughout the world is how, due to technology, those of us individually in the administrative profession and those of us who work with our profession to support growth and development, have almost universally found another gear. We have shifted what we do to another realm and kept things moving and happening.
It has become quite noisy and crowded on the internet with so many people offering webinars, support sessions, truly amusing and innovative glimpses into people’s lives, virtual conferences, virtual meetings, virtual social events, virtual exercise classes, virtual morning coffee sessions to name but a few. What the bulk of these activities provide is an enormous choice of ways to assist and support us through a challenging and extraordinary time.
The celebration of Administrative Professionals and the work they do is undertaken each year at this time. Throughout the world things happen sometimes significantly with a week of offerings, sometimes a day or an event and sometimes low key. There are usually professional development themes and recognition of our work within all the celebrations of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, speakers, discounted or free training opportunities, gifts, etc.
I was delighted last year to be asked to speak, through a recorded presentation, to the Administrative Professionals at SAP in the USA and their invited guests, as part of a day-long event. My presentation focussed on the “Past, Present and Future of our Profession”, but I did not mention anywhere how we could manage in a worldwide pandemic!
This year there are many opportunities for Administrative Professionals Day celebrations, all virtual. You could have celebrated starting at Monday of this week and been involved in something every day and at many different hours of those days. I wonder if this will be something that will carry over into 2021 and beyond – part of a new normal? I believe that some of the changes forced on us during this time will become part of our lives, just as detailed security checks became part of our travel world after 9/11.
The resilience and strength shown by every Administrative Professional during these current times is absolutely something to be celebrated, what I am seeing happening and being offered to celebrate and support you and your role is extraordinary.
Each one of you take your opportunity this week, at least once, to check in and participate in an event. Take this celebration of your role as something well earned, feel pride in what you are doing the support you are providing your employer and remember that you work in an awesome profession.
Happy Administrative Professional Celebrations to you all, whenever and however you choose to celebrate! I joined my own professional association AAPNZ for a virtual event with our National President and Lauren Parsons as our invited speaker, at New Zealand time 5.30pm Wednesday 22 April.