Posted: Monday 16 November 2009
If you are any type of administrative assistant - virtual, on-site, part time or otherwise - you may be tempted to allow yourself to consider your role in the company as a "just" role. This means that you think of yourself - or allow others to think of you - as "just a secretary," "just an administrator" or "just an assistant." However, when you are truly involved and effective in your role as "just" any of these things, you are, in reality, absolutely indispensable to the company.
This type of "just" mindset is extremely unhealthy. Not only can it lead to under-appreciation of your efforts should supervisors and other co-workers follow your lead, but it also can contribute to a deep seated workplace dissatisfaction. After all, if you start out each day thinking of yourself as someone who is not very important, then spend the entire day working very hard on important things, you will inevitably find yourself feeling depressed and negative about your situation.
In truth, administrative assistants of all kinds are the literal backbone behind the company. They see that things get done. It is your responsibility to make sure that everyone is not only where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there, but you are likely also responsible for hundreds of other small details that no one else can be trusted to know or relied upon to remember. As a result, you are integral to the success of every account and team within your business, and you must remember that each and every day as you work on making every team a working and fully operational part of the larger business machine.
Virtual assistants struggle with the "just" misconception just as much as other types of administrative assistants and some even more so because they have to deal with people that they may not actually ever see in person. It is easy to feel removed and unnoticed when you are working in an environment that may necessitate communication only by email and other impersonal means. As a result, it is very important that you have a firm hold on your own value to yourself and to your company. If you cannot get past the "just" mindset, then it is possible that you should consider another line of work that will be less stressful on your own psyche and enable you to perform past "just" and all the way to your full potential.