You’re smart? Really? No way!


“No, seriously…YOU are smart? You’re just an assistant. How can you be smart?”

The line above is what I think some coworkers and supervisors are really thinking when they find out you have some hobby or second job that only so called “smart people” would have. 

I literally have had a supervisor ask me, “Really, you study Japanese??? Wow… like, seriously…really???” And this person was dead serious about the question and I could tell by the look on their face as well as asking me twice. lol

I’ve always wondered why some people, not all by any means, think that just because one has a secretarial, receptionist, or administrative assistant type position that they must not have any ambition and/or must not be very smart. Sometimes you are thrown in the position, think it will be a great stepping stone to future greatness, or you really do like doing administrative/assistant type work. No matter the reason it isn’t fair to judge just because it is the way one is making a living.

I think this “assistant = stupid” mentality is one of the larger reasons that we assistants tend to be stuck in our fields. This may not be the norm for every area nor the norm for every business, but this is just what I, personally, have experienced in regards to trying to get out of the assistant positions. I do not understand why some still hold the belief that if you are in one of those “pink ghetto” positions that you must not have any passions to move forward, lofty goals, or interesting hobbies. HR managers and supervisors that have this mentality sure make it very difficult for those that want to get out.

If you are happy where you are, I am NOT saying that it is a bad thing nor am I judging you or anyone else. Personally, I just want to be happy (for the most part) to get up every morning and go to work and feel like I’m just a little bit appreciated. If you feel that way now and are happy in your field, no matter the position you hold, that is something to be treasured! No employer or position will be perfect but some things can be made better.

I have high expectations of myself and I want to move beyond and be able to help others, enjoy my work, and kick butt doing it. I am smart and so are all of you. Don’t let any coworker, supervisor, HR manager, or anyone make you feel like you are less than because you feel stuck in your current position. I believe things will be better if we find those areas where we can level up and find ways to rewrite our resumes to turn away from “assistant only jobs.” We can do amazing things. The internet is such a wonderful resource and I am so thankful that I am living in an age where information and free classes are at my fingertips.

I want to eventually work for myself in some capacity. I want to create websites, translate copy from Japanese to English, tutor Japanese language learners, and travel overseas. I may not get to do everything on my bucket list but more and more I’ve realized that life is too short to be in a field or position you dislike and where you aren’t appreciated.

We are not stupid and it doesn’t matter if we have that degree or piece of paper because we can still fight to be more than just an assistant for the rest of our careers.


Grab your mouse.
Go to the forums and find those class suggestions.
Go to google and search for local or online classes and workshops.
Go and do something that can help you Today to get out of this Scarlet Letter of a field.

We can do this together!

2 thoughts on “You’re smart? Really? No way!

  1. As someone who has had the assistant title if you think that people are condescending to you as an admin, imagine how people treat you when you’re a clerk…down right humiliating.


    • Yes, I agree. It is worse. I currently have a job title as something similar to “front desk.” I am “front desk” officially yet my duties include a range from phones, training new employees, keeping track of local offices incoming/outgoing projects etc. My title sounds like I just answer phones and greet visitors. It’s sad isn’t it? You probably did a ton of work with just a job title of “clerk” yet people treated you lower than an administrative assistant/secretary. I didn’t even think that treatment was possible until I came to my current employer.


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