There is a great amount of independent administrative professionals on Upwork helping clients around the globe. They’re an incredibly talented group!
Many administrative professionals have skills in customer service, office management, client communication, record keeping, documentation, database management, travel planning, and bookkeeping. Some administrative and virtual assistants also fill the roles of webmaster, copywriter, and social media manager. Without these professionals’ hard work, many businesses would not be as efficient or profitable as they are today.
National Administrative Professionals Day is the perfect time to honor the invaluable contributions of your administrative staff. This holiday happens every year on Wednesday during the last full week of April. It’s actually part of a larger National Administrative Professionals Week—so don’t hesitate to celebrate your team 7 days in a row … or all year long.
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The history of National Administrative Professionals Day
The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) was founded in 1942. Then called the National Secretaries Association, its purpose—and still is—to help administrative professionals advance in their careers.
In the 1950s, an IAAP president named Mary Barrett helped to create National Secretaries Day to honor and recognize these skilled professionals. The holiday was first celebrated Wednesday, June 4, 1952.
In 2000, National Secretaries Day became National Administrative Professionals Day. This name change better reflects the contributions of all administrative professionals regardless of job title. Executive assistants, administrative assistants, receptionists, office managers, virtual assistants, and other support staff that keep the office running all deserve recognition throughout this year, and especially on this day!
Important dos and don’ts of gift giving at work
When selecting a gift for your favorite administrative professional, be sure to keep it professional—but you don’t have to shy away from adding a personal touch. Some good guidelines to consider include:
- Do give administrative professionals a gift that shows you and your team recognize their personality and interests
- Do incorporate interests or causes that you know are important to your administrative professional
- Don’t give your administrative professional a gift of office supplies or other utility items that are a normal part of the job
- Don’t give a gift that might imply they need to improve their performance, such as a book on time-management strategies
Great gifts to give an administrative professional
We’ve gathered together some of our favorite gifts for administrative professionals, including:
- Custom stationery
- Unique artwork
- Personalized calendars
- Portraits and avatars
- Pet portraits
- Custom cards
- Personalized video messages
- Virtual lessons
Each gift on this list is unique and more customizable than a standard gift basket. Better yet, you can purchase many of these gifts in Upwork’s Project Catalog™ right now.
Beyond a simple office supply—which is a major don’t—custom stationery is a beautiful and professional gift. It can serve your administrative staff well at work and in their personal lives. You can work with an artist on Upwork to create the perfect stationery design and then have it printed locally or via an online service like Moo.
Digital artwork is a great gift for in-office administrative professionals as well as virtual assistants. By working with an illustrator or graphic designer on Upwork, you can order a unique item perfectly sized for use as computer wallpaper or a video call background.
You can also give your administrative professional a piece of artwork for their office, even if they work from home. Work with an artist on Upwork to create a digital artwork file and then have it printed locally. If you're working with a virtual assistant, you can send them the digital file as the initial gift and then offer to have it printed somewhere in their town.
While calendars are technically an office supply item, you can turn them into a touching and personal gift with the help of graphic designers on Upwork. Instead of ordering the typical calendar with bank holidays printed on it, work with a designer to incorporate label days that are special to your administrative professional.
These special days could include their anniversary, children’s birthdays, the day they started working with you, the day they adopted a beloved pet, and more. You can also look up silly and unique holidays related to things your administrative professional enjoys and include those on the calendar as well.
Portraits and avatars
If your team spends a lot of time working together remotely with tools like Slack and Google Drive, a portrait can be a fun gift that doubles as a digital avatar. Upwork has a number of portrait artists, and you can order an illustration in any style, from realism to caricatures.
If you and your administrative professional work together in a dog-friendly office, a pet portrait is a sweet way to show you appreciate them and their pooch! You'll probably need to snap a quick pic of Fido on the sly and then share it with the pet portraiture artist.
Despite the long history of Administrative Professionals Day, cards for the occasion aren't quite as common as other holidays. Instead of scouring the shelves for a Hallmark card, work with a calligrapher to create a beautiful, hand-lettered message of thanks. You can send this message to your administrative professional virtually or get it printed on a physical thank-you card.
Personalized video messages
A personalized video message is a fun alternative to paper cards. Have each member of your team record a message for your administrative professional on their smartphones and then work with a professional video editor to knit them all together.
If you know your administrative professional has an interest in learning a new hobby or skill, you can give them a one-on-one lesson as a gift. There are a wide variety of expert-taught lessons available on Upwork, including language learning, cooking, crafts, and more.
If you know of a charitable organization or cause that is important to your administrative professional, you can make a donation in their name. This is a great way to show that you recognize and support their dedication to a cause.
If you’d like to make a donation as a gift but aren’t sure what organizations your administrative professional supports, services like Global Giving allow you to create a donation gift certificate that the recipient can allocate to a variety of charities.
Planning for National Administrative Professionals Day
Usually, several days of lead time are required when ordering a custom gift for your administrative professional. If you order the gift through Project Catalog, you can see the lead time and included services up front. Make sure to give yourself enough time to gather necessary information, place the order, and wait for delivery. The independent professional providing each service will be happy to answer any questions you have about how the process works.
And, if you aren’t yet working with an administrative professional, now’s a great time to find someone who can help you run your business more efficiently. Simply create an Upwork account to find the perfect administrative professional for your business, or purchase gifts for your existing administrative support team through Project Catalog.
Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.
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