What Do You Do?

What do you do? You’re at an event for young professionals, meeting your spouse’s friends or colleagues for the first time, or meeting a new friend for coffee. It’s one of the most common small talk questions asked (in the United States anyway) and one I used to avoid.

The word “assistant” tends to put people off a bit when they think of a so-called legitimate career choice. The word “assistant” does not immediately conjure images of highly skilled workers, or degree-holding professionals. Instead, all too often, people immediately think of answering phones, pushing paperwork, and grabbing coffee before the meeting.  Those people are dead wrong.

As frequently discussed by my colleagues –to be an Administrative Professional is not to be the stereotypical secretary that Mad Men portrays.  It is not being someone’s secretary.  It’s being an integral part of a business, running  an office, or offering your own opinions and insights for business plans, sales presentations, and marketing collateral and providing fresh, innovative ideas when others’ may seem stale.

So, when looking to develop their career, many may think they need an advanced degree to move their career forward. But, getting an advanced degree may not answer the question of where you want to go. Sometimes you just need to do the work.

Follow the link below to see more about this idea from Mia Scharphie, a Career Coach for Women in the Design Industry.


Once you finally learn who you truly want to be, and you start sharing that with others, you’ll feel more compelled to start acting the part. You train your brain to look for what you want by writing about it, talking about it, researching it, visualizing it, and most importantly, taking imperfect and emotion-filled steps forward.

Published by Dallas Society for Design Administration

We are an elite organization that advances management and administrative professionals in the A/E/C industry through education, networking, and resources. SDA Membership provides: Career/Industry Credibility A “home” for administrative leaders Access to the greater A/E/C Community Increased profession and industry passion Advancing A/E/C Firms from Within For over 60 years, the SDA has been providing accredited education, best management practices, and training on professional standards to help design firm personnel grow professionally. Our membership stretches across the United States and Canada and is composed of personnel in the architecture, engineering, construction, landscape, and interior design professions.

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