Spilling the details…
I’ve had no less than a dozen strangers ask me about my former life and what kind of juicy details I’m inclined to share. My answer is typically the same to each person, but I’ve decided to elaborate a bit this time.
I was a career admin. I fell into my role by accident. I sometimes think of my admin career as the grown up version of Pinky in the movie “Grease” since I’m technically a beauty school drop out. I finished high school and I’ve been to college. But that part doesn’t really matter.
I spent 26 years tending to the needs of others, by choice. I started my career working for family and learning the basics of office life. I progressed up the corporate ladder in my field and worked for VPs, SVPs and ultimately CEOs. And it’s my 7-year stint supporting a particular CEO when people become interested… you see, I reached the very top of the ladder when I supported Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook.
You probably want to know if the movie “The Social Network” told the real story of Facebook and whether Mark is really like the character portrayed in the film. I will share this, they did a really good job with the t-shirts the Mark character wore. As for the rest, well, it was based on a novel and the historical dates of the film take place from February 2004 to December 2005 and I didn’t start working at Facebook until February 2006 so I am unable to confirm whether any of the story is true or not.
Sorry to disappoint you. You’re probably not going to be too happy learning I won’t give you details about Mark’s life or that of his family. I mean, I will gladly reiterate to you public information about the family. I do know what’s real and what’s not when one does a Google search. So why the heck did I choose to write on Medium if I had no intention of giving you juicy details? Good question.
I’m writing to satisfy the curiosity of those who say, “you should write a book.” You’re right, I should! And perhaps one day I will. However, my book would not be about Mark or his family. My book would be about my career as an admin and what it was like to grow up serving the needs of others. Developing relationships. Failing, learning, and then succeeding. My book would be about how to not treat team mates improperly and how and why an admin is really a secretary, no matter who gets offended by the archaic term. I could share how hard it is to transition from old school tech to rocket ship fast technology and learning how to catch my breath. I could probably write pages and pages about how to not be a typical CEO assistant and ways to empower people to own their stuff.
Yeah, I could write a book and someday I might. I may even include a thing or two about Mark and how he taught me valuable lessons which I continue to reflect upon. I’m not sure if folks would want to read a book like that or if I want to devote the time to write it. I do know that in some way, whether published or just kept for myself, I will write about my experiences working in beverage and food distribution, online education, managed care, equipment leasing, finance, legal, and technology because I want my children and grandchildren to have a history of my life.
I am an average person who had an extraordinary experience during my career as an admin. There are hundreds of people like me, who were in the right place at the right time and chose to take a risk. I’m very fortunate my risks paid off and helped make my admin career fulfilling.
For those of you out there in the height of your admin career or in the top position on the ladder, take a moment to remember your first few years as the rookie admin and mentor someone. Never stop learning. Always take your seat at the table. Stay humble and be kind.