Administrative Professional's Day, also known as Secretary Day, Admin Day or Admin Professional's Day, is right around the corner. If you have an administrative assistant in your life, here's everything you should know about their day and how to honor them on it.
What is Administrative Professional's Day?
Administrative Professional's Day is exactly what it sounds — it's a day to honor the administrative assistants around you. Every April, you have the opportunity to recognize the work of and appreciate your secretaries, receptionists, administrative assistants and other administrative support professionals on Administrative Professionals Day.
An Administrative Professional is an individual who is responsible for handling administrative tasks and the coordination of information in support of an office-related environment, and who is dedicated to furthering their personal and professional growth in their chosen profession, according to the International Association of Administrative Professionals, formerly the National Secretaries Association. Administrative Professionals may go on to become certified, earning the title of a Certified Administrative Professional (CAP), which is a registered trademark of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. They can do this in the areas of finance and business law (economics, accounting, business law), office systems and administration (office technology, office administration, business communication), management (behavioral science in business, human resources management, organizations and management) and organizational planning (team skills, strategic planning, advanced administration).
Their work is instrumental in helping companies across all industries. As such, they deserve a day of extra recognition.
When is Secretary Day?
In the United States, Secretary Day falls in April every year, though the actual date may change. In 2019, Secretary Day falls on Wednesday, April 24th, but here is when Secretary Day falls for the next seven years.
|2019||Wednesday, April 24th|
|2020||Wednesday, April 22nd|
|2021||Wednesday, April 21st|
|2022||Wednesday, April 27th|
|2023||Wednesday, April 26th|
|2024||Wednesday, April 24th|
|2025||Wednesday, April 23rd|
The pattern here is that Secretary Day falls on the Wednesday of the last full week of April every year.
What is the history of Secretary Day?
Administrative Professionals Day has been celebrated since 1952, when it was part of National Secretaries Week, which the National Secretaries Association (founded in 1942) began promoting. Today, National Secretaries Week is still the last full week of April every year. But it was not until 2000, however, that the special-day celebration of secretaries was dubbed Administrative Professionals Day — and it was decided that Wednesday of that celebratory week would be the day.
So why did Secretary Day become so important?
First, it's no secret that administrative assistants are hugely invaluable for companies — and they have been for as long as time. Secretary roles date back to the 15th century, and even possibly earlier. They became largely in demand in the 1880s across different types of workplaces, however, as typewriters emerged.
Then, following World War II in the 1950s, Time reports that the increase of post-war businesses led to an increased demand in secretarial help. More women entered the workforce than ever before, fulfilling secretary positions and even forming women's liberation groups that ultimately fought for equal rights well into the '70s. Their fight fueled the then-National Secretaries Association's implementation of training courses that covered ever more advanced topics like accounting. This is because, at the time, half of the association's members had aspired to work in management positions and, as computers became commonplace, secretaries' roles were evolving into much more diverse duties than note taking.
The goal of what's since become the International Association of Administrative Professionals was to help secretaries network with and learn from one another, share news, train and take courses to become leaders within their organizations. Secretaries have always been — and continue to — adapt to workplace and technological changes to become leaders in their organizations.
The International Association of Administrative Professionals reports that, today, there are more than 22 million office support and admin professionals working in the United States.
Here's how to honor the administrative assistant in your life.
There are tons of ways to honor the administrative assistant in your life. For example, you can give them a gift to show your appreciation, or you can send them a note by email or in a card.
Here are 6 gifts (and messages) to give your secretary on Secretary Day.
Take your administrative assistant out to lunch on Secretary Day. Let them choose their favorite eatery and treat them to a delicious break.
If your secretary loves chocolate, you can gift them some artisanal chocolate for Secretary Day. If they don't have such a sweet tooth for chocolate, you can gift them other treats, too.
Leave some fresh flowers on your secretary's desk before they arrive to work. This is a simple, sweet gesture to show your appreciation.
4. Coffee Gift Card
Since your secretary is probably working around the clock handling all of your office's support takes, give them the support of some coffee. Get them a gift card to their favorite coffee joint nearby — they'll be sure to appreciate your show of appreciation.
If you have a closer relationship with your administrative assistant, and you know what sports or artists they love, buy them and a plus one tickets for their favorite team's game or for an upcoming concert that you know they'll enjoy. This lets them know that you respect their work-life balance and that you want them to have fun.
6. A Letter
If you don't feel comfortable giving your secretary a gift, consider sending them a letter either by email or in a card. All you have to say is something as simple as this:
Dear [Secretary's Name],
Happy Administrative Professional's Day! I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you and all of the hard work that you do. Your help is invaluable to the business, and you should know that. Thank you for always [something more personal that the secretary always does for you, such as showing up early to work to make sure clients aren't waiting or something as simple but specific as color-coordinating the filing cabinet]!
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.