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Thank your secretary, administrative assistant, receptionist and other support professionals today – it’s Administrative Professionals’ Day in the U.S. and Canada!

Let’s be honest, where would we be without the help of these professionals? It’s no wonder that this day (it’s also a week) has become one of the most celebrated workplace observances with community events, social gatherings and the recognition of these staffers with gifts.

According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), this year’s theme is centered on celebrating all office professionals. “The recession has hit everyone in the office. Downsizing has forced all of us to pull together and work harder, not just the administrative professionals in the workplace. IAAP recognizes the hard work and sacrifice from everyone. This year, celebrate all office professionals.”

Created as National Secretaries Week in 1952, it got its start from Harry F. Klemfuss a publicist out of New York. He joined forces with the National Secretaries Association (now the International Association of Administrative Professionals) to encourage more people to consider careers in the field. As the politically correct terms and range of responsibilities have changed, so too have the titles of this celebrated occasion. What started out as National Secretaries Week became Professional Secretaries Week in 1981 and later Administrative Professionals Week in 2000.

U.S. Department of Labor Statistics suggest that there are more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants working in the U.S. with another 8.9 million working in various administrative support roles. Let’s celebrate them all today.

The IAAP offers a list of best ways to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day and Week:

  • Tuition reimbursement to attend college classes and work toward a degree
  • Membership and participation in professional organizations
  • Reimbursement for online training programs in technology, administrative, and management skills
  • Registration for appropriate conferences, seminars, and continuing education workshops
  • Attainment of professional certification (IAAP’s Certified Professional Secretary and Certified Administrative Professional programs are widely recognized standards of excellence)
  • Additional gift suggestions include business-related items such as personalized business cards, desktop name plate, gift certificate, computer hardware/software upgrade, or monetary bonus for exemplary performance

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