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Administrative Professionals Day: Build a career that works for you

Posted by Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on Tuesday, Apr 25, 2017

Choose your own career pathOffice support and administration can be a highly competitive and rewarding function, with opportunities for career progression and organizational responsibility, but you have to find ways to drive your own career.

In honour of Administrative Professionals Day, I talked to two of our administrators who have progressed with Hays to find out their experience and advice.

“Since joining Hays in 2012 as a Sales Administrator, I have been fortunate enough to develop my career and progress in really exciting and unexpected ways,” my Executive Assistant, Keira Lindsay, says.

After 18 months in the role, Keira was keen to develop her coaching and managerial skills and after volunteering to spearhead new national projects, she was promoted to National Administration Manager overseeing the administration team across Canada.

“My advice to anyone considering a role in office support would be to seize any opportunity to learn new aspects of the company from more experienced colleagues to make yourself an indispensable resource to the business,” she says.

Keira consistently asked for more responsibility, and took it on herself to prove what she could do. This lead to her being promoted to executive assistant. To fill the role of National Administration Coordinator, we promoted then Calgary office administrator Jelyn Samson, who had then been in her role for about 16 months.

Jelyn now leads a team of five sales administrators across Canada, as well as acting as the admin for the Calgary office, supporting 23 people.

“If you care about the work you do that already makes you a valuable asset to any team,” Jelyn says. “To become effective as an admin identify your objectives and prioritize tasks. You also need to have a good attitude – people with good attitude take the initiative whenever they can, they willingly help a colleague in need and make sure that work is done to the highest standards.”

Jelyn stood out nationally for the coordinator role because she was proactive, efficient, and willing to go above and beyond – and she didn’t wait for opportunities to arise. She was consistently asking for more to do and putting her hand up to take on more responsibility.


1. Take ownership of your role
“Love what you’re doing,” Jelyn says. “There’s a great feeling of satisfaction from knowing that you’re helping the organization to be more successful.”

2. Be proactive about finding new opportunities
“If you want progression and growth then let your managers know and if there is no defined career path – create one,” Keira says. “You could surprise yourself with what is possible.”

3. Never stop learning
“Do not forget to keep on learning and devote time towards career development, you never know when those new skills will pay off,” Jelyn says.

Find out more about building your career with Hays, or see the latest office professional roles to take control of your career:

Job Title Location Job ID
Administrative Assistant Calgary 1057070
Property Administrator Mississauga 1057117
Executive Assistant Toronto 1055459
Contract administrator Edmonton 1054253

Talk to Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on the Canadian labour market.

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