Considering a job as an administrative assistant

In response to my post about The 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job, here is one of the career options that I had consided. I am writing this primarily for myself as I am a kinaesthetic learner and I learn from doing which includes writing things out in full. But I hope my thoughts may be of interest or help for others who are going through the same thing as I am.


Anna the administrative assistant?

As part of my search for the dream job, I’ve applied to positions that I thought would use my experience and knowledge from working as a lawyer, but still allow me the time after work to pursue my passions.


When I looked over the 5 intangible benefits, being an administrative assistant/paralegal/legal secretary sounded like it could tick those boxes.

  • I would use all my prior professional and soft skills experience as a lawyer as well as develop skills in the supportive role and consequently,  feel growth.
  • If I were able to find a team that was involved in something that interested me, being an assistant will allow me to feel invested as I would have helped people achieve something great/complete a project for the greater good etc.
  • By assisting with the above I would feel worthy, as contributing to the company/society would give me great personal satisfaction.
  • If I were to find a team that shares the same visions and goals and one that I get along with and work well with I would feel like I belong.
  • As an administrative assistant, I would have a stable job, pay and hours that will provide me with financial independence and the time to pursue happiness outside of the work hours, making me feel free and empowered.

As such, I attended interviews with recruitment companies like Robert Half and Integrity Staffing, and an interview for a prestigious boutique interior design company in Peppermint Grove (which, I’ve decided not to publicise on here).

Unfortunately, even though I knew that I could be successful, the positions and opportunities offered by Robert Half and Integrity Staffing made my eyes blank over and mind shut down. Perhaps it’s because I knew where those paths would lead to, and I wasn’t ready for that yet.

However, the interview with the interior design company was a surprise.

When I walked into the office where the meeting was held (it was at a marketing company) and I met the owner, there was a completely different kind of professionalism in that room. They were very personable, engaging, relaxed and there was this feeling of freedom of true expression. Perhaps this was because this was in an environment with creative people and being creative myself, I felt like I didn’t need to act too differently to my true self (just a thought).

The work sounded interesting, and the boss was lovely. I looked him up online and saw his work on the Vogue Australia site and was inspired by his vision. I got excited when I received the call for a second interview and with the prospects that I could contribute by helping this team of creative geniuses get organised.


The cons were little, but they kept at me for a bit.

  • I will be back in the office and I didn’t feel ready to be a 9-5pm office worker.
  • I’ll be sitting in front of a computer for most of the day.
  • Unlike the Flight Centre job, I won’t be meeting new people every day.
  • Work routine could get stagnant.
  • I’ll have to wear professional clothes again (it sounds really silly, but clothes are a huge deal for me, and wearing black on black with a dash of colour where I can squeeze it in, does make me feel like I’m putting on a restrictive costume).


So, what happened in the end?

I had the second interview with the interior design company, and I had been waiting for confirmation of a job position with a new business opening up in Fremantle called Escape Hunt.

I ended up being offered a position with Escape Hunt on the Monday and after an hour of thinking to make sure I had made the right decision, I called up the interior design company to cancel my interview because even though the administrative assistant job could potentially meet all the 5 intangible benefits of the perfect job and the cons were minimal, deep down, there was a quiet but insistent feeling that was telling me to take a risk with this new company.

I’m experimenting, and am ready to make mistakes.

Perhaps this is the reason why I ended up straying away from the administrative assistant path?

If you want to know what happened in the end, you can read the result of my decision in my post Becoming a branch manager & senior gamesmaster at Escape Hunt.

What do you guys think?

Have you ever had the choice between the safe job and the job that excites you but you don’t know how it’s going to turn out?

I would love to hear what happened when people chose the safe job?

I also want to hear about what happened to those who took the risk?

What are your thoughts about the perfect job?

Have I got the checklist of the The 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job correct?

Are there any other benefits I should add to it?

Let me know in the comments section!








The 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job

The perfect job would be on a pristine beach besides turquoise waters while on a hammock of course.
The perfect job would be on a pristine beach besides turquoise waters while on a hammock of course!

I am in the midst of finding my perfect job.

Yes, I was a lawyer before and no, I do not want to be a lawyer for the time being.

During my year of unemployment, travel and generally just living life, I started thinking and searching for clues to the question of ‘What do I want to do with my life?‘. I no longer wanted to pursue career in law, and after over 10 years of study and work in that profession, I did not know where to start looking. Everything I had done up until that point of leaving my career was, well, building up that career! Do I go back to university and re-train for something else? Do I just try applying to any old job advertised?

What . Do . I . Do ?

What to think about for when you are searching for the perfect job? 

On my travels, I observed and talked to lots of people about their lives, dreams and their jobs. The people I met included marine biologists who lived abroad for months for their research, and then would return home for a few months to their regular job, others were government employees, accountants, engineers, historians, tutors, hosts, tour guides (most of them being writers or historians too), a nurse, a part time dive instructor/ part time traveler, chefs working at michelin star establishments and many more. Each person had their own journey, own lifestyle, and their own goals and values.

From this amazing montage of lives that I had connected to, the stories of those who were happy in their chosen profession showed me that they all had unknowingly gained 5 intangible benefits from their job.

All of them were able to:

  1. Feel growth – The work nurtured their natural abilities and strengths while giving them the opportunity to challenge their weaknesses;
  2. Feel invested – The subject matter excited, inspired or engaged them;
  3. Feel worthy – Completing the work gave them a sense of pride and accomplishment;
  4. Feel like I belong – It had a great work culture, environment and people; and lastly
  5. Feel free and empowered – The job itself gave them the means to have a balanced life style by allowing them to be financially independent as well as having the time to pursue their passions (this part wasn’t necessarily evident in all the people I talked to, but I decided to add it to the list as it was something that I needed in my job).

Sounds simple yes? – Yes.

Is this obtainable? – Yes.

Am I going to test this theory? – There’s nothing better than a little experiment!

Though, from my experience over the past month of job searching, it is actually quite difficult to figure out if a job meets those all requirements as it requires you to constantly check in with yourself and either reaffirms or challenges your personal belief systems (I can’t be a XXXXXX because its below me), values (does reputation override happiness?) and goals (do I really want a family? Do I want to live in a large house?).

Other tough questions include: will this job fulfil requirements 1 to 5 even if the pay is amazing but the hours are super long? Or even if it’s located on the other side of town and commuting there will be 1 hour? How about even if the pay isn’t that great, but the job provides you with an outlet to pursue your passions while on the job? Or, can you compromise on any of these 5 requirements and still be happy?

Hard questions? Well I think so.

Wish me luck for the search for the perfect job!

What do you guys think?

What are your thoughts about the perfect job?

Have I got the checklist of the 5 intangible benefits from the perfect job correct?

Are there any other benefits I should add to it?

Let me know in the comments section!