According to a new survey from the International Association of Administrative Professionals, founders of Administrative Professionals Day, the most difficult aspect of the current recession is that employees are not getting raises. Of those surveyed, 27 percent said they haven't gotten a raise with 21 percent saying their workload has increased. Seeing co-workers downsized is the hardest part of the recession for 16 percent of administrative professionals. Other responses: my company stopped all training (7 percent), my pay was cut (7 percent) and finding a new job (7 percent).

The recession has made the work environment more stressful than before. When asked "During this Great Recession, how are working conditions at your office," 32 percent responded "fair – things are more stressful than before." Of the nearly 900 admins surveyed, 26 percent said "good – with everyone getting along and doing well." Nearly 20 percent answered "poor – morale is low."

Even with stressful conditions and lower pay, most of those surveyed will not seek new employment when the recession eases and job prospects improve. Only 21 percent said they'd leave their job and find a new position when conditions improve with 67 percent indicating they would stay where they are.

According to Susan Fenner, Ph.D., education and professional development manager at IAAP, admins are more likely to remain with their companies in spite of noted hardships because it's a measure of their professionalism. "As a group, they are used to stepping up to the plate and consistently bringing in home runs, no matter what fastballs are thrown their way," said Fenner. "They stand out for being creative problem solvers, exceptional team players, and masters at managing projects."

For decades, admins have taken on new job duties, learned new skills, software and expanded the role of an admin. One reason the job of administrative professional is so hard to define is because admins are constantly changing their jobs in response to employer needs, something admins have mastered during this recession.