You are the expert at being the administrative professional. It is time to own your career, explains Kathleen Drum

There is an undercurrent of fear and uncertainty running through my LinkedIn feed. Employers are paralysed by the fear of making a hiring mistake, so they ask for more and more interviews before making a decision. Administrative professionals are taking on more and more work, risking burnout as they are scared of losing their jobs. And everyone is scared of the pace of advancement of AI.

Fear is never a good place from which to operate. Fear is exhausting; it paralyses and makes you stay small.

It is time for a mindset shift. You are the expert at being the administrative professional. It is time to own your career.

Counter your fear with knowledge. Highlight and identify not just the work that you do or tasks you complete, but also the impact that your work has on the organisation. Communicate your value to your executives. Think in terms of hours saved when processes are streamlined, creating more efficiencies across the organisation (read Sandy Geroux’s excellent article on Assessing Administrative Value for examples).

Take inventory of your skills using the Global Skills Matrix. Be honest with yourself and address any gaps. No budget? Look within your existing network; you will have friends and colleagues who are experts in their fields and who may be able to help. Bonus points if they are fellow administrative professionals and you form a network for learning and development! Then join our next Administrative Leaders Network meeting (free to attend) taking place on 27 August (UK, US, Europe) and 29 August (Asia Pacific). There is power in community.

Change is always unsettling. It is time to take control of your development and invest in yourself. The speed of the AI revolution has taken many people by surprise. But in this instance especially, knowledge is power. Learn to leverage your emotional intelligence and other human “soft skills” – we are social beings and crave human connection to counteract the increasing number of machine interactions. Counteract your fear of AI by learning how to use it to your advantage. Using AI is a skill, just like using PowerPoint or Excel.

YouTube has many free videos. Executive Support Magazine offers free training every week through our adminchats on our YouTube channel, as well as eBooks and supplements (including one on AI) on the Free Resources tab on the Executive Support Magazine website.

If you have a budget, consider joining our upcoming webinar, Demystifying AI: AI Empowerment for Administrative Excellence with Jessica McBride on 22 August (currently on special offer until the end of June). For a broader overview of all things tech, we are running our 24-hour live online event ES Tech on 12-13 September, with 30 days to access the recordings after the event.

And for those who are unemployed, your work persona is only one part of your identity. It is what you do, not who you are. Do not feel ashamed. Stay connected with your peers and invest time in learning. We offer a 6-month free subscription to the Executive Support Magazine website for all those looking for work to help you keep your skills up to date. Email me at and we will get you set up.

We are here to support you on your career journey.


Kathleen Drum’s mission is to bring thought-provoking, timely and inspiring content to administrative professionals worldwide, empowering them to succeed in their roles and excel in their careers. As the Senior Editor at Executive Support Media, she works ... (Read More)

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