De Wolff noted that office professionals work constantly with new information technologies. They bring the information economy to life and experience the impact of the information revolution on a daily basis. She told her audience about a four-year study of nine Toronto companies with as many as 6,000 employees. A team of researchers, including Ms. Wolff, Interviewed approximately 650 managers and office workers to determine how the administrative profession has changed.

They discovered that office work has changed in three ways. 1 . Tasks that formed the core of administrative work are done in new ways, but are still required in most Jobs. 2.

Complex new tools that administrative professionals use to do these core tasks require office workers to develop technical knowledge and skills and to work constantly to keep their skills current. 3. Reorganization In many workplaces has added new tasks related to specific occupations or industries that require office workers to diversify.Many office professionals are being asked to do things that fall outside of their traditional support role.

For example, a receptionist in a publishing house may be asked to edit manuscripts. These trends have led to changes in the Jobs of office workers, including: ; Intensified workloads, with fewer people handling more tasks and a wider range of responsibilities. ; More complex administrative work with fewer entry-level positions. ; Training responsibilities handled by office staff, particularly in the areas of software and Fewer office workers with nine-to-five schedules, and many having temporary Jobs and flexible schedules.How can administrative professionals enhance their ability to respond to these changes? Ms. De Wolff acknowledges that preparing for the future is a challenge.

She offers this advice: ; Attain the highest level of education and certification in your field, and gain the broadest possible range of skills and experience. In the administrative profession most Jobs now require significant experience or higher levels of education. ; Pay attention to the parts of your Job that you like, that you're good at, or that challenge you, articulately in areas that are new, like technical support, web design, training, or graphics.Strengthen these skill areas by making more room for them in your Job and by getting more training. ; Invest in your own training and development. Take advantage of Pay attention to the parts of your Job training that you like, that you're good at, or provided by that challenge you, particularly in your employer, areas that are new, like technical but go beyond support, web design, training, or that to seek graphics.

Additional ; Keep up to date on new technology and software. If you hear about new technology you aren't milliamp with, find out what it does and whether you need to learn how to use it. Strengthen your communication skills. Most office jobs today demand strong verbal and writing skills. While your current proficiency got you the Job you have today, a higher level of skill will keep you "Job ready' in case your current role changes significantly or even disappears entirely.