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The Unsung Heroes of Business: Administrative professionals

Administrative professionals are the ones with many names: secretary, assistant, PA, administrator, office manager, right arm…etc. Here is a story from an assistant we know:

One of the biggest mistakes I will never forget making as a secretary was to send out a group email with the subject line, “Massage from the Embassy”. At the time I was the secretary to the Ambassador of Malaysia to Finland and obviously, the email was meant to read, “Message from the Embassy”.

Administrative professionals are more than just assistants at work

It’s the little things that make assistants not just necessary but special, and something no computer could ever replace. It’s the recognition for the need to pack and spend time with family before a long trip. Making sure everyone at work is lifted on their special days – something my own assistant Trang is fantastic at. Or even simply recognising what a boss or the team needs before they even mention it.

Evon with her Executive Assistant Trang

What makes a good assistant?

I know being able to read people’s needs is what made me a good secretary. And it wasn’t because I was born to serve. But it was that very eye for detail and anticipation of others’ needs. I got to sit and observe all that went on with a business, the needs of my boss, the pain points in organising events, the time needed to be a good team member and leader. Everything that made me a good assistant makes me a great CEO.

As a secretary or an assistant, you’re also dealing with someone who’s very exacting and whose time is precious. Those demands can be tough and even at times seem unreasonable. Who really needs five different forks for a meal? In time, we are the ones who make everything go smoothly,  we do it before they can even think about it, isn’t it magical?

Why HUONE celebrate administrative professionals day

That’s why I like to celebrate International Secretaries’ Day, also known as Administrative Professional Day. It’s taking the time to recognize and honour those who make our success possible. They really are someone special. Every small act of theirs, every small gesture has big results. Who else at work do you know like that?

In Asia, it’s common to give your secretary flowers or chocolates or take them to lunch. Finland doesn’t have this tradition, they don’t even celebrate it. But even if we at HUONE have a flat management structure, I still believe we should honour and showcase those who help us all. That’s why we organise breakfast Seminars for International Assistants’ Day, to help those attending focus on their professional development. Sadly, or rather happily, the event is already full and we’re so pleased that we’re committed to holding more.Administrative Professionals

So, from one (former) secretary to another – We couldn’t do it without you, thank you.

With love,


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