Suppose that you majored in literature and minored in economics while in college and it’s May of your senior year. Real life is starting to get, well, real.
Where will you live?
Where will you work?
How will you make your parents proud? Your dog proud?
It’s all very stressful, but its not unique. Most graduates face the conundrum of bridging the gap between their studies and their self-sufficient future. This scenario is also common for assistants.
Assistants I have met usually land their first job as an admin through hardwork and a string of fortunate events. Right place, right time kind of stuff. Some say they moved to NYC and took the first job that would allow them to pay rent. Others say they met the CEO and offered to do anything to work under their leadership. However they get there, Assistants learn most everything on the job.
One thing they learn is how to confidently control the company credit card. Office supplies, travel, catering, events, office furniture, software…I’ll stop but you get the idea. According to IAAP’s latest State of the Profession report, over half of all assistants spend at least $5,000 a year; 11% spend over $50,000.
They do this with mostly no formal education in office administration.
I remember when I got my own credit card. It was game-changing. I could book travel faster, order supplies as soon as they ran out, and order catering at the drop of a dime.
Getting access usually takes time. Trust must be earned. Show that you think cautiously about expenditures by using terms such as “return on investment” and “variable costs”.
Make sure to go through each credit card statement at the end of the month to ensure all expenses were made by the company and not a hacker.
If you want to earn bonus points, find charges on the credit card that are monthly recurring and hiding. For example, I found a recurring expense for conference call lines that we did not need anymore. We were spending $50 a month, which means $600 a year.