By Debbie Gross
Embarrassed to say?
I have run across this statement more often than not from administrative professionals, especially when they are being asked by others as to what it is they do. My first and most obvious question is why do you or others feel this profession is not as valuable or credible as others professions in the first place? Is it because the role requires service to others and could be considered somewhat subservient? Is it our own perceptions of the role? Is it how we show up to our own jobs each day that give others a less than stellar perception? Do we give others permission to demean it? It could be any number of these reasons however alas there is a new movement out there that is changing this thinking and the perception of the administrative profession. [Read more…]
I’ve attended a few conferences in the past, some work related and others writing related for personal growth. In the past, I found myself so excited during and immediately after, but then life would get back to normal and I’d let my notes disappear under stacks of other notes or books. So when I attended the Accelerated Assistant conference by Office Dynamics last October, I made a vow to find a way to keep the enthusiasm going long after leaving the event!
Of course, this administrative conference made it easier than others I have attended to leave a very lasting impression. The speakers were amazing, inspiring and encouraging; Joan Burge, Courtney Clark, Lisa Olsen, Judi Holler and Peggy Vasquez just to name a few! The location was near Red Rock Canyon; what an amazing relaxing setting and view from my room! The meals, the networking, the success store, evening group gatherings, the list goes on and on….Yes, this certainly had all of the makings of an amazing conference.
But, yes there is always a but…I knew from past experiences that it potentially could all be dimmed once I got back to work and my life got back to my daily busy routine and I would find the memories of my fantastic view, my temporary support team that sat at table 28 with me, the personal interactions with speakers after their talks and did I mention the amazing views…I knew there was a good chance all of those great memories and lessons would fade and take back seat to my current to-do lists, errands and workload.
But no, they haven’t faded…three months later and the memories, lessons learned, bonds formed, and even the warm breeze by the pool and tall palm trees are all just as clear as they were in October! I not only learned professional tips and put them in place as soon as I returned, but I also learned lessons for me personally, which I have incorporated into my daily routine. How?
How indeed?!…my personal experience has been with intention. I knew going to the conference I was wanted to learn as much as I could…to gather knowledge from the experience of the speakers and those that I met during the networking sessions. I went there with a plan…with goals:
- Ask questions
- Take notes, highlight my favorite quotes in the workbook
- Break out of my shell and interact as much as possible
When I returned, notes in hand, to-do list created, workbook highlighted…I first incorporated some daily organizational tips into my daily work routine and I enthusiastically posted about my experience. I wanted to share my experience with everyone I met (and I practically did!).
Next, I put together a 45-minute presentation for my work team. I presented my top takeaways from the conference, my unexpected meeting with Joan herself (giggles), I talked about the amazing speakers and shared their websites, and I talked about a couple of my personal experiences. I shared how I have dealt with personal and professional changes, how grateful I am for all of the support to attend the conference and my daily work support team, I shared my morning routine schedule, why self-care is so important for us all, why journaling plays a very important personal role in my life, I shared some favorite books and my favorite free learning resources, I personally use, from our local libraries.
Sharing with my team and listening to their experiences helped motivate me, keep me focused, actually incorporate what I learned and most importantly reminded me why I choose this profession, what my passions are and how I can balance work, passion, daily routines, etc.
How can a conference do all that?! As I stated, this was a great mix of speakers, location, support, and networking. I also went there open to learning every single bit of experience and skill the speakers shared. I interacted with my table and others during breaks. I asked questions. I listened. I put myself out there…and I made time to relax and reflect at the end of each day. I was present and focused.
I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to attend and for the reminder that all of us have years of experience and skills learned that are precious and should be shared with others. I’m also grateful for the reminder that my passions, goals, and dreams are just as important now as they have ever been. I’m really looking forward to the 2018 Stellar Assistant Conference!
By Wende Morrow
Wende Morrow has been a C-Suite Executive Assistant for 32 years (20 of that legal). Wende’s current title is Senior Executive Assistant of R&R Partners, directly reporting to CEO Billy Vassiliadis.
As I reflect on the many things from the Office Dynamics 24th Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence and the beloved Office Dynamics Webinars I’ve watched, the most common thread that sings to me the loudest both personally and professionally is CHANGE and how to deal with it. Not many people really talk deeply and honestly thru the realities of all of that on a personal, female level.
I love that Joan Burge and Courtney Clark (2017 Office Dynamics Conference speaker) in particular, have taken the time to share their raw truth of experiences on change. To talk about how to deal with it; be with it; talk and walk with it; walk THROUGH it; get up and OVER it (versus UNDER it). Some of my most cherished relatable experiences are in Joan’s Give Yourself Permission to Live a Big Life book. I am forever grateful that these brave women have shared their personal losses and triumphs to the world for us to lean into again and again. As we all know too well, change is all too often huge, unexpected and most assuredly CONSTANT, never completely easy and seamless and discriminates to no one.
This past August I turned 50. I am learning that change and disappointment at every age has its own challenges, but I am forever on the quest of kaizen (Japanese term for continuous improvement) to take the sting out of it and to make it a positive fruitful journey at every turn, no matter how daunting the roadmap looks at the beginning.
Along the lines of accepting change and making it your friend versus foe, I wanted to share a most splendid quote.
“If the door closes, quit banging on it! Whatever was behind it, wasn’t meant for you. Consider the fact that maybe the door was closed because you were worth so much more than what was on the other side.” ~ Anon
“I’ve lost my mojo and fear speaking up when I should,” confessed Janet who recently stepped into a new position. She’s not alone – I hear this theme often whether delivering programs to attorneys or administrators. Too many individuals avoid necessary, yet uncomfortable conversations. Just like any fear, the more we avoid it, the larger it looms. That’s why I’m offering these seven strategies to help you speak up and speak your truth the next time you feel that your voice needs to be heard: [Read more…]