During current uncertainties, confusion, stress, and figuring out social distancing, please remember that you are not alone. Yes, you are very capable of holding it all together, supporting your team, and solving problems, but you are not alone. You are part of a vast, yet supportive community. As administrative professionals, we constantly prepare for the unexpected and seek the best possible solutions. During workplace challenges, tight deadlines, technology integrations, or policy changes administrative professionals seek out creative yet steadfast solutions. Problem-solving is practically in our DNA, but during this unprecedented time, please don’t try to do it all and certainly don’t do it alone.
The community of administrative professionals I have had the honor to work with throughout the past 20 plus years has encouraged and supported me in countless ways. As a young woman, starting out, I had so much to learn and little technology available so I relied on the women with years of experience and the willingness to teach me. Their support helped me evolve into the woman and professional that I am today.
Last year I attended the Conference for Administrative Excellence for the third year in a row. A few months prior, I made a decision that challenged my comfort zone and required some self-reflection; I quit my job of over six years and I did not have another job lined up. Professionally, I attended the conference with the mindset of a seasoned administrative professional, anxious to connect with others and learn from the speakers. Personally, I attended to re-discover my own strengths and capabilities.
During those few days with over 350 amazing professionals and speakers, I stepped even further outside my comfort zone and started conversations at every break, meal, and any other opportunity I found. I asked questions and intently listened to answers. I interacted with professionals from a variety of workplaces, experience levels, and titles. Together we discovered similarities and formed a diverse circle of support that shared knowledge with one another.
By sharing conversations that are real, honest, and even a bit vulnerable you not only connect with others, but you learn (or re-discover) about yourself. You are reminded just how capable you are and why you chose your career – not only because you are good at it and have the skills required to help your manager and team succeed, but you also have the mindset and personal attributes to continually excel.
The conference not only teaches new professional skills and tips but also prepares us to face challenges with confidence and to continually develop beyond where we currently are. As Joan said during one of her presentations, “Purposefully be uncomfortable. Permit yourself to be…you. Do not hide because you may be different, be bold and decide to positively impact others.”
I know the recent rapid changes are stressful and routines have been shifted, but please know you are not alone. Whether you have attended the yearly conference or other trainings or you have watched one of the free webinars, read the blog posts or other resources provided by Joan and her team, I hope you know that you are part of this supportive worldwide community. Not only are there multiple free professional resources available, there are also several other training opportunities that, just like the unwavering professionals we all are, will continue adapting to change and providing support.
Community is as important as ever. Please connect and share your tips, concerns, or ask questions to our community. Let’s adapt to change and create a virtual networking experience similar to the opportunities at the conference and training events. Reach out, network, offer support, accept support, and grow together.
We can’t fix these uncertain times, but we can discuss what is working for one another or what is not.
I’ll start…How are you doing? How can I help? How are you balancing work, supporting your team and taking care of yourself?
Please remember that chaos is temporary, but the unwavering support of our community is enduring.
Dana Buchanan has over 20 years of administrative professional experience with a passion for writing that offers a unique and professional perspective on a variety of projects. She enjoys sharing what she has learned from work experience, conferences, workshops, and other professional and personal development opportunities. Her blog topics include interviewing tips, career best practices, evaluation outlines, and the importance of self-care and goal-setting. Dana is available to speak to small groups and coordinates workshops with topics such as; enrichment tips, professionalism, core competencies, and goal-setting action plans. She has self-published two goal-focused planners and currently working on new writing projects.
You can discover new and archived posts by following Dana’s blog at Success Encourager. Connect with her via Instagram (successencourager) for tips and encouraging quotes.