Honoring Mom for Administrative Professionals Week

It’s Administrative Professionals Week and I can’t help but reflect on how fortunate I was to find a career that I truly love and I am so very passionate about.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a professional administrator? Or possibly circumstances made the choice for you. I’ve asked this question of many administrators over the years and the answers are all over the board. Some knew that was their career of choice from the get go and trained accordingly. Others were in between jobs and needed work and decided to accept a receptionist or assistant position temporarily. But a funny thing happened, after being in this “temporary” position, they realized that they loved being an administrator and were actually pretty good at it.

My story is one that will stay with me forever, because I owe my career and my success to my 93 year old mother. It’s uncanny how our lives paralleled each other. As a mother of five, she took a job as a secretary to support the family while my father followed his dream of owning his own restaurant. Following in my mother’s footsteps, I also have been the stable one in our family, working as an administrative professional providing financial support while my husband followed his dream of owning his own marketing company. My mother had a creative side and wrote a book that unfortunately was never published. I was more fortunate and wrote a book that was published. Here is an excerpt from that book, “Sitting on a File Cabinet, Naked, With a Gun,” that pays tribute to my mother, Helen.

Excerpt from Sitting on a File Cabinet, Naked with a Gun. © 2009 – 2012 Authors Linda McFarland and Joanne Linden, published by Authorhouse® .

From the story: “What was I thinking.” Joanne Linden knew from an early age that she wanted to be an administrative assistant, but it took a twist of fate to land her role of executive assistant to a CEO.

“I remember as if it were yesterday going to work once with my mother when I was nine years old. It was summer break, and on that day, none of my older brothers and sisters could take care of me. My mom had no choice but to drag me along with her and hope that I wouldn’t be too much of a nuisance. (Little did she know that she was decades ahead of the nation’s future “Take Your Daughter to Work Day.”)

Mom was the only secretary at a small tool-and-die company in Cleveland. While I watched, a constant stream of people came to her desk, from the president to the receptionist, each one asking for her expertise in some matter. Until that day, I had no idea that she ran that company! She certainly had to be the most important person there, because no one seemed capable of doing their jobs without her.

That was the day I knew I wanted to be a secretary, just like my mom. (Or maybe it was because they had free donuts.)”

Thanks, Mom!