On Administrative Professionals' Day, give yourself a gift

At book signings, I almost always meet a woman who tells me, “I’m just a secretary.”

Before I sign her book, I ask her to do one thing: Take the “just” out of her job title.

I’ve been a legal secretary, office manager and administrative professional. That was BC – before computers. Anyone else remember carbon paper, IBM Selectric typewriters and passing out from Wite-Out fumes?

Back then, I often said, “I’m just a secretary.” Unfortunately, I believed it.

It can be a tough job. Too many bosses think doing something special on Administrative Professionals' Day will make up for being underpaid and underappreciated all year long.

You can’t change them, but you can change you and how you see yourself.

On April 22, Administrative Professionals Day, give yourself a gift:

Take the just out of your job title. It doesn’t matter what they call you, it matters what you answer to. You aren’t just a secretary, office manager or administrative assistant. Remove the just. Don’t diminish your own worth.

If you want your job to be more creative and interesting, if you have passions and talents that you have kept buried, bring them to life. Do what’s in the job title you have but squeeze in room to do what matches the job title you want.

Own the power you do have. Power is an inside job. It isn’t in the title you have. It’s in the passion you put into your work and into your relationships there.

Even when you feel invisible, your work isn’t. Believe me, when you miss a day of work, everyone knows.

Every job is as magical as you make it. The magic might not be in the paycheck or perks. It’s in the imprint you leave behind on every customer, client and co-worker.

You’re not “just” a secretary.

You are way more magical than that.