2023 Update: Administrative Professionals Day is April 26, 2023. Some great gifts to get for your administrative professional (other than cash, of course) include:
Happy Administrative Professionals’ Day! What are you getting for your administrative professional today?
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In the past we’ve taken polls about the best administrative professionals’ day gifts like cash, flowers, and gifts like jewelry — and we’ve shared stories of our amazing assistants, as well as talked about what’s the best things we’ve delegated to him or her. (This comment thread has great comments on what to get male assistants.)
So readers — what’s going on at your office today? What did you get your assistant for today? If cash — how much? If flowers, jewelry or another gift, share details!
I’m fully expecting to be called a jerk for this, but I think this is a dumb holiday (same with bosses day, for that matter) and refuse to participate or even acknowledge its existence. I dislike any expectation of giving or receiving gifts in the workplace, especially for just doing your job. Maybe I find this day particularly grating because most admins I’ve come across have been women, so this has just seemed like an excuse for the bosses to give them flowers and scented candles and other “woman” gifts instead of paying them appropriately all year long.
*stepping off soapbox*
I completely agree. I hated it when I was an admin, I hate it now. How about we pay adequate compensation and skip the flowers?
I agree. I am an Admin Assistant and hate this day. They don’t even ask me if I want anything or if I have a preference. Instead, they just leave some flower arrangement on my desk with a card signed by everyone in the office. Know full well they don’t mean what they say.
100% agree. If it’s about compensation, pay admins properly in the first place (and don’t make junior professionals gift office managers who make twice what they do). If it’s about respect, opting to show respect only once a year would seem to defeat the purpose. If it’s about celebrating a job well done, include everyone or specific stars, instead of singling out one group of employees, some of who may be great and others very much not. If it’s about how terrible admin work is, then again, pay properly in the first place to compensate them.
Hear hear. Many admins in my office make more than I do.
Former admin, mixed feelings about the day. It feels good to be recognized and thanked, but agree with you that the flowers/candles/trinkets are belittling.
Pay your admins well, thank them in the moment when a job is well done, and if you have to do something today, give them a gift card or cash.
Also the proximity to mother’s day irks me. Feels like a general season of let’s thank women who do stuff by giving them flowers.
I always give cash.
I hate this day. I not only feel like it is demeaning (and possibly sexist), but I feel the harsh resentment of all of the other lower level employees who are forced to contribute (even if just a dollar) and sign a card when they may not have much money themselves or maybe work 10x harder than the admin does. HATE HATE HATE this day!
We have bosses day and admin professionals day, and nurse appreciation day and teacher appreciation day, and but where is the day for the entry level policy analyst or communications assistant or lab tech? How about we just make an effort to make everyone in the office feel appreciated and respected and cut out the goofy obligation cards?
Agree. I like Ask a Manager’s post about this. Link to follow…
seriously, don't do this
Don’t do what one of the other divisions in my organization did, namely send everyone a flier with pink curly script and a cartoon illustration of a vaguely come-hither-looking secretary in a pink blazer, encouraging people to show administrative professionals their appreciation by using one of the suggestions from a flower-emoji-bullet list, including “sending flowers” and “giving them a car lololol.”
Not all of us are fancy lawyers, Kat…some of us are the administrative professionals!
Yes. And cowering hoping no one remembers the “holiday”.
Seriously…I read the sentence “What did you get your assistant for today?” and thought “how many of us ARE the assistant?”
Not an admin, but I know that some of the women who comment here frequently are! I wish this post had also included a question about what you want on this day (and in general).
Kat in VA
EA here. I got flowers and also orchids, as well as a card signed by the execs, and a gift card to Starbucks ($40! That’s enough for a whole for me.)
What’s striking is that I’m a contract worker and my contract is up on the 4th (backfill for maternity leave). But they treated me the same as the other admins. While the holiday may be cringe-inducing, the thoughtfulness was not.
Is it obvious I really, really like this company? Alas, Corporate says their administrative needs are sufficient at this time. Yay for job hunting again! :(
Kat in VA
Bah, it’s obviously Sunday. The card is enough for a “whole year”.
My firm hosts lunch for all the staff and, I think, a gift card to the local shopping mall. I separately gave my assistant and clerk cards with gift cards in them to thank them for their help.
My husband’s firm, on the other hand, gave everyone firm swag and a nominal giftcard for a group of very expensive restaurants which will not even cover the cost of one entree and will likely go mostly unused. What a useless thank you!
Ha, that reminds me of Old Job, where they took the entire office out for a local sporting event during the afternoon (each ticket was prob $5-7) but forced us to take vacation time to be able to leave the office. I went the first year before I realized they’d make us use benefit time and skipped the next year in protest.
Is this what young people are doing now?
I suppose when we say that, we mean young women, young men, and men in their 40s…
Obvious troll is obvious.
Attorneys don’t celebrate this one, but the partners cater a breakfast for all of the staff.
We give gifts for birthdays and Christmas.
I’m an office manager and this is a weird one. I’m in charge of a bunch of people who earn more money than me and who are often defiant because I’m a young woman.
We have a millennial law firm (everyone is a millennial). We did flowers and lucnch last year and this year did Cineplex cards and gift certificates for dinner and that went over better for sure.
Our support staff our the front line to our clients. We pay them well and treat them well and value them. To be honest no one on our staff admitted to hearing/knowing about admin professionals day last year I feel like it’s not a thing for the younger generation but people do appreciate the stuff.
That sounds lovely! How does one join a millenial law firm?
It’s very peaceful. I basically got terminated after having a baby, started my own law firm, hired the two (yes two!!!) more junior lawyers my law firm had replaced me with and we’ve been growing from there.
Good vibe, low stress. No task is beneath anyone kind of place.
But yeah, last year no one knew about admin professionals day except me (I have the most wok experience of anyone there). And we regularly treat our staff to stuff like gift cards for dinners, we don’t dock pay or keep track of sick days, we do 3 weeks paid vacation etc so I don’t know if this was necessary or expected or whatever but it was appreciated.
We couldn’t decide who was an “Admin Professional” and who wasn’t, so we just threw an all-staff appreciation breakfast (breakfast tacos, bagels, fruit, donuts).
Well this thread was not really helpful for those of us that DO have an assistant and appreciate them – rather than all the feedback of not showing appreciation! and salary is out of my control as HR sets the range.
To provide a response of a real scenerio, I will let you all know what I do. I bring in fresh flowers at the begining of the week, write a very nice card, then chocolates, and a cake for all staff later in the week. I take my assistant out to a trendy lunch place and she works 1/2 days for the whole week.
I really do appreciate her and all my staff and I try a few times per year to show it – usually with food and candy.