Joan from Madmen, Andrew from The Proposal, Andy from The Devil Wears Prada and April from Parks and Rec. What do all of these characters have in common? Essentially, all of them are an Administrative Assistant or Office Coordinator. They make the coffee runs, schedule meetings, and prep meeting material in order to make their office look amazing for clients and visitors. Granted, most Administrative Assistants do not lead lives like that of the movies; however, we are pretty remarkable and we know how to get it done without missing a beat.
Administrative Assistant Roles: Reality vs. The Movies
Movies and T.V. shows do romanticize office life a lot. I dare say that not most of us grow up saying, “I want to be an Adminstrative Assistant.” It is a position that no one else wants to take because everyone secretly knows that it takes a certain individual with a little crazy to accomplish the tasks given to him or her. We are the behind scenes rock star of any office. First, let us begin with the less glamorous tasks bestowed upon us for example
- watering the plants
- taking out the recycling
- filling the ice tray
- making sure that there are cold water bottles in the fridge and hot coffee when guests arrive
I know that all these sound trivial, but they are pivotal to any office space. And who else is raising their hand to perform the job? Cue, the Office Coordinator. We order the office supplies for our teams and/or the entire office so that they can perform at top-notch. Office coordinators have amazing memories because we know what type of notepad, pen, and pencil each coworker prefers, and when the supply closet gets a little messy, who do they call? The Office Coordinator. We make the office go-round on a daily basis, and similar to the movies, we do make the occasional lunch and coffee run for our coworkers. Guess what? We have everyone’s lunch order memorized too. Jimmy John’s and I have become very good friends over the years.
Food & Event Planning
Speaking of food. Office Coordinators are event planners extraordinaire. If you happen to be a restaurant or venue manager, here is a hint: Build a relationship with the Office Coordinator because we will be your main point of contact. When it is time for the event, we plan the menu as to accommodate every food allergy and dietary restriction, we make sure that any PowerPoint presentation is on the computer and entertainment is ready to go if needed. We know the best prices in the city and the cuisine at all the major restaurants. Do you need a food suggestion? Ask your Office Coordinator.
Training Session Extraordinaire
In addition to planning killer office outings, we organize the office training sessions. We find the best time to fit everyone’s busy schedule and send out the calendar invite. We line up the venue and all tech needs. Plus, if a speaker is coming to the company training, we arrange the hotel stay, pick up and drop off time from the airport and the occasional Uber ride for them. All those nitty, gritty details that create the perfect event are the job of the Office Coordinator so everyone else can sit and enjoy.
Other Duties as Assigned
Notably, we handle the everyday problems of the office. If IT is busy, the Administrative Assistant or Office Coordinator must attempt to either fix the problem or know who to call that can fix the problem. (Google is our best friend.) If something is lost in the mail, we put on our detective hats to hunt it down. I have chased down a UPS truck to pick up a package. We run the weekly reports, create invoices and send out those required mass mailings/emails to all employees. Amongst all this every day, we answer the phones and screen those sales calls, so our supervisor does not get disturbed (Sorry salespeople!) making our supervisor(s) very happy.
Friendly, Neighborhood Administrative Assistant
Finally, we are the friendly face in the office that greets all guests and employees. The best part of our job is that we keep the positive energy in the office running. Our real title should be “Director of Happiness” because we create a happy and welcoming environment for all guests and coworkers. We do the work that our coworkers simply do not have time for and assist them with all their needs so that they can perform at their optimal level every day. Being an Administrative Assistant or Office Coordinator is not as glamorous or comical as what Hollywood portrays, but just like the movies, we get it done. Every day.
Interested in becoming the next office Rock Star? Check out Corridor Careers Administrative Roles