Last year Office* conducted a survey for assistants which asked some questions and is well worth a read if you haven’t seen the results yet. One of the statistics to come out of the survey which I found interesting was that 72% said they felt a PA was undervalued as a professional career choice. What a surprisingly high number!
Since the survey was published, I’ve thought about that statistic quite a bit, and I wonder if other professions would have such a high response rate. What is it about being an assistant that makes others question our career choice and why do we stay in a job if we feel that the career choice is undervalued?
Feeling valued is a key performance indicator which increases our engagement and motivation at work so if we think that our entire career choice is undervalued surely this will have an impact on our performance at work? Or are we as assistants so used to feeling like this that we get on with things as best we can despite being undervalued?
I genuinely believe that assistants have such a wide range of skills that we can turn our hand to most things and are one of the greatest assets a company has but how do we prove that to our organisation if they do not value the profession itself? How do we even begin to change this culture?
I don’t have all of the answers, and I do think it is hard to change perceptions, but I do feel that it has to start with ourselves. We have to take our profession seriously, and we have to stand up for our career choices. I’m very proud of my career and where my choices have led me, and I think every assistant should feel that I also strive for more. I know we can do it and if others do to then we will start to value our profession, and surely others will follow.
What do you think about that statistic? Is it even relevant a year on? How do you get valued at work? I really would love to know your thoughts!