April. The magical time of year when we get to celebrate — we mean really celebrate — every Administrative and Operations professional around the globe.
And this year, we went extra hard, turning Administrative Professionals Day into an entire MONTH of exciting opportunities for global recognition, actionable learning, and spirited fun.
Has the last year made me dread someone saying, “Let’s hop on a Zoom to chat about this?” Absolutely. But the best part about Admin+ Month events were they all felt like a party. The confetti. The pump-up music. The inspirational tidbits from the Ninja Roundtable Discussion. All of it was so engaging and exciting!
— Ross Greenberg, Workplace Experience Associate
At OfficeNinjas, we’ve never felt one day of professional recognition was enough.
Back in 2012, we launched the first annual OfficeNinjas Admin Week. And every year since, we’ve joyfully packed more and more high-quality programming into those seven short days (the first OfficeNinjas Conference took place during Admin Week in 2019, for example).
That is, until we finally realized something: one week of jam-packed celebration isn’t long enough either. In bringing our Admin+ Month vision to life in 2021, we’re proud to have created more space for meaningful connection, deeper learning, and sustained joy.
The best part? We were able to offer Admin+ Month festivities completely FREE, by reinvesting revenue from our new membership-based career accelerator program OfficeNinjas Collective.
Celebrate the Global Community
Designing this year’s celebration as a completely virtual experience meant the entire Admin+ community could engage, learn, and connect LIVE throughout the month — no matter where in the world they’re planted.
Ninjas participated in Admin+ Month from a staggering 34 countries, representing dozens of Admin+ roles, including:
- Executive Assistants
- Administrative Assistants
- Office Managers
- People Ops / HR Pros
- Chief Administrative Officers
- Directors of Operations
- Chiefs of Staff
- Executive Business Partners
- Virtual Assistants
- Facilities Coordinators
- And many, many more
That kind of representation deserves a little fanfare! 🎉 We incorporated a digital Pop Confetti button into this year’s live events for moments just like THIS.
The confetti was amazing… I just sat there popping confetti and it put a smile on my face.
— Stacey Anker, Executive Assistant
Revisit the Actionable Learnings
We planned our Admin+ Month experiences to be interactive and actionable — where the learning and networking taking place could become mastered skills over time. But we also wanted to make sure Ninjas came away from our learning events with plans for immediate action.
Enter the HYPEBOOK…
Every great adventure needs a trusted guide. We created the 70-page HYPEBOOK to usher Admin+ Month All-Access Pass holders through all twelve of our events and experiences.
Not only a helpful info guide — the HYPEBOOK acted as a dedicated workspace for the introspection, analysis, and action-planning done in each event.
It made showing up more intentional; the learnings, more meaningful. And the best part? It contains powerful frameworks that can be used again and again.
April 5 // Admin+ Month Kickoff: Ninja Networking
We started our celebration with a special Ninja Networking event, wherein OfficeNinjas played matchmaker to hundreds of Admin+ professionals eager to learn from each other and nurture their network.
Connecting awesome Ninjas to each other has always been an important part of our Admin+ celebrations, year after year. Only, this time we did it with a twist.
Instead of introducing Ninjas at random, we taught our AI robots to match participants based on two factors: the career knowledge they were seeking and the expertise they wanted to share. The result? Every participant received a list of ten Ninjas specially curated just for them.
Then, we shared our step-by-step Ninja Networking Framework for how to confidently initiate and conduct an impactful first meeting, virtually. And we challenged everyone to put themselves out there and meet at least one of their matches during Admin+ Month. Many meaningful connections were made as a result.
Admin+ Month really helped reinforce the value I bring to my company. The Ninja Networking matchup was great. I learned something from each person that I spoke with. It really helped me get out of the “imposter syndrome” mindset that I felt like I was in, since I only have one executive and one person that I spoke with had to manage 5 executives. They reminded me that while I only have one executive, I’ve been taking on more responsibilities since other coworkers have left and that makes me more valuable.
— Mary Standiford, Operations Administrator
April 12 // Your Move: A Ninja Roundtable Discussion
We brought together five dynamic Admin+ professionals from diverse industries for candid conversation inspired by our Admin+ Month theme: It’s Your Move.
Roundtable members gave the audience an insightful look into their personal strategies and mindsets — as well as the calculated risks they’ve taken to create careers they love. The Roundtable included:
A common theme heard from many Ninjas who attended? They saw a lot of themselves in the Roundtable members, and appreciated hearing their honest and inspiring stories.
Admin+ Month was a powerful reminder that I am part of an enormous community that relates to me and that I can relate to. While participating in the Roundtable was a humbling opportunity, reading through the chat afterwards and seeing people respond to what we were saying was gratifying to say the least. To know that something we shared resonated with someone else is all we can ask for.
— Reggie Cajayon, Roundtable Host + Admin+ Month Advocate
April 19 // OfficeNinjas Studio: Problem Solving with Systems Thinking
In this guided session — hosted by Hilary Phillips (Director of Field Marketing and Events and a 2020 OfficeNinjas All-Star) and Kristin Sgroi (Director of Education, OfficeNinjas) — participants were treated to a rigorous brain workout as they untangled one of their workplace problems using a powerful business skill called systems thinking.
We set our sights on one systems thinking strategy in particular: the Iceberg Model, a key tool for analyzing the underlying issues impacting a situation you want to improve. Take a look at our Iceberg Model Worksheet for an approachable layer-by-layer framework that’ll help you reframe a problem, understand it differently, and suss out possible intervention points.
I love systems thinking and the framework that was used. It helped me tackle a few looming challenges in some projects.
— Kaitlan Norrod, Executive Assistant
At OfficeNinjas, we are huge believers in the power of frameworks — for nearly everything!
We know that complex opportunities and challenges become more approachable with intentional processes and structure. That’s why the courses we teach in OfficeNinjas Collective each offer a step-by-step framework that can be followed in a variety of professional (and personal) situations, again and again.
Ready to advance your career?
Then you belong in OfficeNinjas Collective, a modern career accelerator for Admin+ professionals who want to grow their business acumen and make higher-value contributions.
Join OfficeNinjas Collective
There’s more relevant learning, inspiring peers, and actionable takeaways happening inside.
Get Inspired by the 2021 OfficeNinjas All-Stars
OfficeNinjas All-Star Awards is an online search for the best and brightest Admin+ professionals in the United States and Canada. From thousands of nominations, we select five outstanding individuals and one stellar team to publicly recognize with an engraved award plaque, a lavish prize package and an in-depth feature interview.
This year, we honored five fascinating career Ninjas, each with their own unique superpower:
- Amy Spellman, aka the Director of Fun. Amy’s life goal is making sure everyone around her feels joy and connection.
- Sherrisse-Lee Lewis, aka the Barrier-Breaker. When Sherrisse-Lee is on a mission, she will not be stopped by old ways of thinking.
- Tonya Carter, aka the Entrepreneur. Tonya is a dedicated self-starter that empowers other Ninjas to approach their roles with total ownership.
- Nicole Godinez, aka the Exuberant Empath. Nicole is so dialed in to the emotions of others, she is the go-to person in her organization for help with tough conversations.
- Culley Stine, aka the Bravehearted. No challenge is too tough for Culley to take on. She turns obstacles into opportunities.
And we crowned one stellar 2021 All-Star TEAM: The six-person Global Office Operations Leadership Team, aka “GOOLT” at Slalom, headquartered in Seattle, WA.
Together, Jill Kinison, Whitney Bowie, Mollie Edwards, Jennifer Klemme, Lindsay Butterfield, Karen Moloney manage, support, and oversee more than 120 Ninjas across more than 36 global locations.
The Avengers got nothing on GOOLT!
We highly recommend reading each winner’s candid interview to learn more about the inspiration behind their nominations and glean insight into their successes. While you’re there, please show them some big love in the comments of those articles!
This has truly been a life-changing experience for me. A fellow Ninja took the time to nominate me and get this glorious ball rolling. And now my boss is more educated on the Admin+ world. I feel so special and so loved right now. I’m so proud to be part of the OfficeNinjas community, and to be sharing this week with Nicole, Tonya, Amy, Sherrisse-Lee, and Jill and the GOOLT team at Slalom. I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone’s All-Star stories. I feel like there is so much more I can learn and do. Thank you, fellow All-Stars, for keeping me motivated!
— Culley Stine, 2021 OfficeNinjas All-Star
A massive shout out to Onyx, our #1 choice for corporate gifting and swag. Onyx did what they do best and provided a lavish congratulations gift package for each 2021 All-Star.
Onyx is a true champion of the Admin+ Community! Enhance your corporate gifting experience with these simple steps:
Get 10% off your order! 💫 This Admin+ Month special is for new clients until 7/2021.
Relive the High-Energy Giveaways
It wouldn’t be an OfficeNinjas celebration without a flurry of giveaways. This year, we spoiled Admin+ Month participants with 39 hand-picked prizes!
- During the Admin+ Month Kickoff, one lucky Ninja won a 6-month membership to OfficeNinjas Collective.
- At our Lux Raffle presented by Onyx, Ninjas won an assortment of 15 premium gifts curated by Onyx’s Owner Matt David.
- In our silly and joyful Mega Raffle (on Admin Day!), Ninjas enjoyed some friendly competition and won 20 decadent prizes we lovingly sourced from Black-, Asian-, and female-owned small businesses including Yuzu Soap, Blk + Grn, Spoonful of Comfort, Keki Modern Cakes, The Fruit Guys, and more.
- And we ended Admin+ Month on a high note in our Grande Finale Raffle where three Ninjas won prizes, and all participants gave themselves the gift of meaningful reflection and next steps on their next career move.
Feel the Love from Your Admin+ Month Advocates
We absolutely couldn’t have done it all without the help of one passionate group of Ninjas: our 2021 Admin+ Month Advocates.
This 34-Ninja squad from around the U.S. worked together harmoniously to spread the word about each of the month’s offerings, while also getting other Ninjas pumped to join the celebration. They acted as both creative collaborators and sounding boards in the festivities’ programming development (including the HYPEBOOK).
A few of them even stepped into the spotlight to share their experience and insights as guests of our Ninja Roundtable. AND they created amazing camaraderie in every chat they entered.
When I was given the opportunity to be an Advocate, I didn’t know what it would entail, but it helped me realize that I am not just an administrative assistant, but also a leader and strategic partner in my department, and that I have so much more to offer than I initially realized.
— Erica Bednarski, Administrative Assistant
Your Admin+ Month just wouldn’t have been the same without these devoted Advocates. They were tasked with A LOT, and they took this leadership opportunity and ran with it. In doing so, they validated everything we do and why we do it.
We could not be more honored by their partnership, or inspired by their talent, commitment, and ingenuity.
Thank you to our 2021 Admin+ Month Advocates: Allison Zincke-Robles, Amy Spellman, Angela Schauf, Barb Grealish, Clarisa Valdez, Constanze Fuger, Corina Terrell, Danielle Mack, Danielle Hill, Erica Bednarski, Erica Kelley, Helen Ma, Hilary Phillips, Jill Connaway, Kati Norrod, Kellie Edwards, Kim Baker, Krista Burkart, Lacretia Adamski, Mary Standiford, Melissa Belda, Michelle Trevitt, Moji Oladimeji, Nicki Bartels, Nicki Cave, Nicole Godinez, Reggie Cajayon, Renae Hardy, Ross Greenberg, Sarah Dunbar, Stacey Anker, Tricia Kalchbrenner, Tyler Travis, Zoila Primo
We hope that a full month of interactive learning and joyful camaraderie left you feeling recharged and ready to make some moves of your own.
Want a sublime soundtrack to enliven your journey ahead? 🎶
DJ Edwin (and OfficeNinjas Co-Founder) more than passed the vibe check with our Admin+ Month Pumped Playlist. We got A TON of requests for this one — check it out!
Share Your Admin+ Month Experience
In the Comments section of this article, share your thoughts on your Admin+ Month experience: What were your “aha” moments and unexpected delights of Admin+ Month?