ADMINISTRATIVE Professionals are no longer considered basic assistants as clerks, typists, secretaries or coffee makers. In a world where advanced technology skills are in high demand in the world of work, admin professionals are critical to companies in carrying out daily duties.
In an interview with Newsday, chairman of the National Association of Administrative Professional (NAAP) Eileen V Blackman said admin professionals play adhesive roles in well-established companies and businesses.
In commemoration of Administrative Profession Week (APW), which runs from April 22 to 28, Blackman said admin professionals are no longer “coffee makers” and are more along the lines of decision makers because they guide, sometimes the whole organisation depending on its size.
She said they are really managers for their manager and other people with whom they come in contact within work spaces.
“They have a more leading and decision-making role now, I believe. Technology has a lot to do with that too, because your boss can just voice note something and say ‘I want this done’ and you now have to use your initiative to operate within your scope of authority to get things done.”
On April 6, the NAPP TT held the official launch of APW at NAAP headquarters, Woodbrook.
When asked what companies form the body of admin professions, Blackman said the companies come from throughout TT.
“Whether you are a technician, an engineer, business studies teacher, we come from a wide range of companies. We don’t have as many as we would like to have because, say for instance government ministries, that’s a large pool of administrative professionals, but we have to target them in a different way now to try to see if we can get them interested in this organisation and the benefits that there are,” she said. Blackman said NAAP is a member of the Caribbean Association of Administrative Professionals (CAAP), and the founding member and first president of NAAP is a member of the CAAP and still is very active in the association. “We have a close bond with at least seven countries in the Caribbean, which also have associations in their countries, so we link closely with them. Every year we have a council meeting, and every two years a conventional council meeting somewhere in the Caribbean. The counties include Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Dominica, Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts and Nevis and Guyana.”
Meanwhile, NAAP president Charmaine Gomez-Dolly told Newsday APW 2018 theme, The new way forward, Caribbean Admins Working Together Move Mountains was submitted by TT and was chosen by the CAAP.
She said while the organisation is not growing as they would like it to, members are working on new strategies to encourage people to join the organistaion.