In my early 20’s, I was an administrative assistant (Admin) to Paul Zane Pilzer and Alan M. May. Mr. May returned from New York and gave the receptionist that worked for me a beautiful silk scarf for Administrative Professionals Day, and he didn’t have a gift for me. Not even something practical like a mens attache briefcase or a customized fountain pen. It bothered me.

Admin-1-JPGI mentioned it to our CFO, and he found out that Mr. May felt that even though my title was Admin, I was a leader in the organization no different from managers and we didn’t recognize managers. It was a compliment of my ability, but more than that it was recognition that Admin’s jobs are important and that making a day to recognize Admins is important. Even though admin is becoming more and more digitised (visit to see an example of the software that is helping to do this), administrators still play a really important role in making sure everything runs smoothly; they are the backbone of a lot of companies.

I have always felt conflicted about whether to give a gift on Admin Day. I remember how important it was to know that I was respected at a higher professional level than I gave myself credit, yet I did not want my Admin to feel ignored.

There are 2 ways to handle Admin day:

1. If you don’t do anything special as far as tickets or gifts during the rest of the year, then Admin Day is a good day to show your appreciation.

2. If you are the type of person that does things to appreciate your Admins during the year, then something small on Admin Day is appropriate, but it all depends on the attitude of your Admin.

Our entire office simply sends our Admins flowers. I have never had an Admin express disappointment that we didn’t go to lunch or present her with a gift. However, I am the type of leader that shows my appreciation throughout the year. As such, I don’t do anything extraordinarily special on Admin Day, and I am perfectly happy with “Boss’s Day” not being recognized.

If you are going to give a gift, give one that elevates your Admin’s professionalism. Personal gifts are hard to choose and won’t have the memory or value of the gift that makes your admin an even better professional.

My top suggestion is to give your Admin some business cards and a business card holder.

You can check out my Pinterest boards for other ideas.

Under $50

Pencil Pouch: The pencil pouch is back in style and is a versatile gift that can hold pencils, receipts, power cords, and more

Smart Phone Wallet: These helpful wallets attach to a Smart Phone and hold credit cards, cash, etc.

Pencil Set: A nice pencil set is something you would never buy yourself, but is useful.

Under $100

Customized Stationary: You can customize stationary with any design for a useful gift.

Leather Portfolio: Portfolios hold and protect your important papers and are attractive.

Business Cards and Business Card Holder: If your admin doesn’t have business cards, increase her professionalism and importance by giving her company business cards and a business card holder.

Pewter Pen Holder

Planner system: Some people prefer physical planners over digital calendars.


Over $100

Laptop Case: Laptop cases can be both functional and attractive.

Over $200

Mont Blanc Pen: A Mont Blanc is a timeless gift.

Briefcase: A boutique briefcase is sure to be appreciated. You can even add a monogram.

Whether you celebrate your Admin one day a year or all year long, you can show your appreciation anytime with a simple “Thank You.” Happy Administrative Professionals Day.

What’s your favorite way to recognize your Admin? Share your story with me on social media:

Recognition is one way to engage your employees and improve your bottom line. Here are some other ways you can improve engagement.


In 1989, Cohen founded InfoMart, a multi-million dollar pre-employment screening company that provides services to Fortune 500 companies nationwide. InfoMart has numerous “Best Place to Work” awards from various organizations. As a recognized expert in the employment screening industry, Cohen is often referred to as “The Queen of Screen” and was influential in the founding of the screening industry’s first trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Cohen is actively involved in a number of business and civic organizations and has received numerous personal honors, including a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record, the Entrepreneur of the Year award from YWCA of the USA, an Enterprising Woman of the Year Award from Enterprising Women, and the Phenomenal Women Award from the Siegel Institute.


InfoMart is an industry leader in background screening services, providing businesses the information they need to make well-informed hiring decisions. With more than 26 years in business, InfoMart is a pioneer in developing innovative technology and screening services, from criminal history searches to verifications of employment. Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a designation earned by less than 10% of the industry, InfoMart has been recognized on Workforce Magazine’s Hot List of Background Screening Providers for 10 consecutive years. The company prides itself on its dedication to customers, innovation, and accurate reporting. For more information about InfoMart, please visit or call (770) 984-2727.

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