James Edgar

Name:
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

I have a regular job, as an Administrative Assistant for a Fortune 500 company, and belong to the International Association of Administrative Professionals® (IAAP). I am an evangelical Christian, a registered Republican, a severe sports freak. I am married with no children. I attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for some time but didn’t manage to graduate. I don’t go to movies too often, but when I do, I love stupid movies. My musical tastes are all over the map, but I recently have been beefing up my collection of music from my high school days – 80s music! I have only limited skill at building websites, but will be spending the next few months attempting to change that. I have the unique genetic makeup known as albinism.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Administrative PROFESSIONAL

For seemingly an eternity, they have been called secretaries. The only experience most people have with admins are the one in the office they work in and what they have seen in the movies and on TV. If that’s you, let me clue you in on a few things. What you see on the screen bears little resemblance to real life:

TV/Movie admins
dumb as a box of rocks
sits on boss’s lap to take a memo
always fetches coffee for boss
does little else

Real admins
Extremely intelligent
Transcribes what boss recorded on tape
Rarely fetches coffee for boss
Manages calendars, oversees office equipment, is software expert, makes highly detailed travel plans, just to name a few

Admins have a professional development association to help their career along – the International Association of Administrative Professionals® (IAAP). This organization does for admins what the Bar Association does for lawyers, the state Societies for Certified Public Accountants do for CPAs, and other professional organizations do for the professions they represent. And just as an accountant can become a CPA or an engineer can become a PE (Professional Engineer), an administrative professional can achieve professional certification. There are two designations available - a Certified Professional Secretary® (CPS) and a Certified Administrative Professional® (CAP). There is a 4-part, 2-day exam to become a CAP. You can also chose to take the first 3 parts only and get the CPS, then later take the fourth part and attain the CAP rating in addition to the CPS.

IAAP has over 40,000 members worldwide (included in that number are those that are in similar associations outside the USA that affiliate themselves with IAAP), and nearly 600 local chapters. The association is organized into 6 geographic districts, and each district is made up of divisions (these are usually individual states). Each division has a number of local chapters. Members can chose not to align with a local chapter, but instead be a member-at-large of the association and/or division. I am an at-large member of the association and the North Carolina Division. Charlotte has 2 local chapters – Charlotte and Metrolina – and I am working with another at-large member to establish a Charlotte Center City chapter to meet the needs of admins working in the central business district.

There are several conferences each year, at the division level and the association level. The biggest gathering is the International Convention & Education Forum, typically held in late July each year. The 2006 convention was scheduled for New Orleans. Obviously, Hurricane Katrina changed all that. Instead the convention will be in Reno, where it was scheduled to be in 2008. New Orleans will host the 2008 convention instead.