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  • feedwordpress 14:45:35 on 2018/07/23 Permalink
    Tags: Admin Assistant Training, , , ,   

    The Secret Is Out! 

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    The secret is out! Finally, the secret we have been building up to for several weeks is out. I am very pleased to announce the title of my new book, Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed. In case you have not seen all the social media buzz, this has been an exciting project as this book is like none other I have written for assistants. I wanted to use a very different approach and shake things up, including my wardrobe for the back book cover. This book is pure Joan Burge… Raw. Real. Uncut.

     

    There are a few things that I experienced in bringing this book to life that I want to share with you that you can apply to your own work.

     

    1. Thinking outside of the box. I have written 4 books over the years for assistants and a few other books for women. For whatever reason, this time, I wanted to be edgy and different. I didn’t want to use my same old corporate look. While I love it, I have changed and times have changed. So it was important for me to portray that through the images we used on the book cover. Not only is the outside of the book very different and modern, my writing style is different in that I did not hire any editors or writers to polish or fine-tune my message. The approach I took with my communication style was as if I was sitting at a coffee shop with an assistant, what would I straight out say to this assistant? What have I learned over four decades of being in the business world? 20 years as an assistant? 28 years as the visionary for the administrative training industry? As a person who has sat on both sides of the desk for a very long time?

     

    1. Collaborative effort. The book cover is the result of a team of us working together. We spent an entire day doing a photo shoot—over 500 shots taken. That photo shoot included my amazing Las Vegas photographer, Chris Tucker, plus three of my team members (Brian, Ernan, and Beth). Every person played a part in the six-hour photo shoot! It was an incredible experience. The cool thing when you collaborate with others, ideas come to life that you had not planned. That is one of the differences between teamwork and collaboration. Brian came up with an amazing idea which is the photo you will see on the front cover of the book. Also working with everyone made the long day very fun! We put music on, we laughed, we even got silly late afternoon. Our result was beyond our own expectations. Who do you need to collaborate with at work? Do you even know the difference between collaboration and teamwork? Google it. There are distinct differences.

     

    1. Willingness to be the real you and step out of your norm. As I mentioned, my professional photos are your typical professional business photos, from my outfit to the way I stand or position my body. This time, I wore clothing that portrayed another side of me that most of the public has not seen. But the clothes represent where I am today and being extremely comfortable in my own skin! Plus I was keeping in mind that there are thousands of young people coming into the administrative profession and I wanted to relate to them as well.

     

    1. Be daring! I have always loved to push the envelope and be a little daring. When you see the cover of the book, you will know what I mean. At first, it’s easy to say, “Oh, maybe I better not do that!” But then it was easy for me to say, “Why not do that?” I want to shake up the administrative world in a big way. Mission accomplished. Where, when and how can you be daring? Life is so short and you need to get out there and shake yourself and others up! What are you waiting for?

     

    1. Trust in the creative process. Believe it or not, every person can be creative. Creativity just comes out in different ways. I know this because I teach creativity in our Star Achievement course. The main thing with creativity is letting it rise to the top. When you just let your mind be free and not be analytical, amazing ideas come to your mind. I love watching the creative process in action and experiencing it.

     

    1. Your skills and talents can shine. Brian Burge, our Creative Director, was so excited to be asked to design the cover of this book. Over the years, before Brian was with Office Dynamics, I outsourced the work for my book covers. The people I used in the past did a good job. But Brian knocked it out of the park—and on the first go around. The cover is an awesome expression of Brian’s talents. He had very little direction from me. I let Brian run with it. You need to make sure you get to work on projects that illuminate your gifts! If you are not given projects that will let your talents shine, then create something where you can display your talents and special gifts.

     

    I know there are many more lessons I learned from this project but I will stop here. If you even embrace one idea I mentioned above, you will be amazed!

     

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    The post The Secret Is Out! appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:30:01 on 2018/05/29 Permalink
    Tags: Admin Assistant Training, , , , , ,   

    A Story of Inspiration for all Administrative Professionals 

    The Gillie Watson Story

    May 21, 2018

    I will never forget Gillie Watson. Gillie attended my World Class Assistant certification and designation course in Las Vegas many years ago. I was impressed with Gillie the minute she walked in the meeting room as she was polished, professional, and friendly. She was an eager student even though she was a very seasoned executive assistant in a high-level position supporting a President in a large organization in Denver.

    During our World Class Assistant course, I teach the importance of a Career Portfolio. I go into great detail as to why you need a portfolio and what your portfolio should encompass. I also cover how to market yourself with the portfolio. During the class, I allow time for attendees to create the first hard copy draft of their portfolio. Everyone gets a three-ring binder and they assemble a draft. We also talk about resumes and a unique tri-fold marketing piece. Gillie had gotten her draft done and then when she went back home, she created the real portfolio.

    Thank goodness Gillie had her career portfolio, resume and tri-fold marketing piece done. Within a short time of our World Class Assistant course, Gillie went to work one day as she always did. When she arrived, she was told she could not enter the building or go to her desk for a few days. Her executive had been let go. Wow! Gillie was stunned.

    Being a World Class Assistant, Gillie took her CWCA credentials, career portfolio, and everything else she had learned in that class in Las Vegas and within one month found herself being offered a great position in another large organization.

    Over the years, Gillie stayed in touch here and there. She had one or two more job changes and once again armed herself with the right tools. I also need to say that Gillie is an outstanding executive assistant and has always maintained a professional, polished image. Gillie is a life-long student. After her live World Class Assistant course, she continued to learn from my webinars, books, Monday Motivators, and online courses.

    I had not heard from Gillie for a few years. Life got busy for both of us.

    Low and behold on Monday, May 14, 2018 Gillie called my office around 5:00 and said she really needed to talk to me. But I was not in the office. She told my assistant, Melia, that she had very good news to share with me and I would be delighted. Melia gave me the message and I immediately called Gillie.

    Recently the company Gillie had been working for was going through a merger and she was no longer going to have a position. Gillie told me that once again, she used all the tools she had learned from me, plus all her knowledge gained over the past several years and applied for a job in the morning on Monday, May 14. It was for a very high-level EA position to a CEO in Denver. Before the day ended, the CEO offered her the job with a six-figure salary plus stock options, plus, plus! She had landed the job of her life—and Gillie is about to turn 70.

    I was tickled to death when Gillie told me that when she interviewed with the CEO, she was like a mini-Joan. She used the language I had taught her years ago about being a strategic business partner, which the CEO loved to hear. I am extremely happy for Gillie. She deserves this as she has consistently pursued excellence and has continued her learning.

    Gillie said there were many lessons in her story that she wanted me to share with assistants and so that is what I am doing.

     

    1.      No matter your age, always be a student. Your career circumstances can change in a day and you need to be ready to compete. Gillie said this is especially important for baby boomers who may think they are at the end of their career and they don’t need to sharpen the saw. For years, I have told assistants there is no such thing as job security. You must keep learning. If you are not moving forward, you are falling behind and you will be left in the dust.

    2.      Gillie said it is very important for baby boomers to stay modern, look modern, and act modern. Gillie sent me her new materials which included her photo. I was blown away… Gillie looks fabulous! Whatever she is doing, I want some of it. She has completely changed her hairstyle, her face looks youthful, and she has contemporary eyeglasses that suit the shape of her face.

    3.      Gillie emphasized the fact that this CEO wanted someone who was very experienced and seasoned. There is something to be said for years of experience in the administrative field. If you are a young person starting in the profession, make sure you take this career seriously. Strive for excellence and learn from the older generation. Learn business etiquette and protocol. It does matter. Learn excellent communication skills and how to have human moments. You do not build deep relationships on a device.

    4.      The fact that Gillie had a professional designation did matter. For those individuals who attend our World Class Assistant course and complete specific objectives, they can earn their CWCA designation. CWCA stands for Certified World Class Assistant. Credentials do count today. They show you went the extra mile and take your career seriously. If you are interviewing for a position and you and the other candidate are pretty much equal, the credentials will set you apart.

     

    In closing, you are never too old to achieve the job of your dreams! Life is constantly surprising us. You will want to be ready.

     

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    The post A Story of Inspiration for all Administrative Professionals appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:00:25 on 2018/05/04 Permalink
    Tags: Admin Assistant Training, admin skills, , , delegate, efficiency, organization systems, , , , , , , ,   

    9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills 

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    Organization skills are the one thing most successful business owners have in common.

    Without the ability to organize your work and your resources, you could be twisting in the wind in no time. You may have been able to muddle along back in the day, but in today’s competitive environment, you need to work any advantage in your favor.

    Fortunately, there are at least 9 ways to improve your organization skills without too much effort on your part.

    Be proactive

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    Most people take the work one day at a time, coming in ready to take on whatever happens. However, that means you are reacting to a situation rather than preparing for it in advance. The best way to make the most of your day is to prepare for it in advance. Know what you need to do for the next day and make preparations for them before you leave for the day. This not only takes the guesswork out of your workday, it might even give you some insights or ideas of how to do the work better.

    Make a list

    Part of being proactive is making a list of all the things you need to do for each day. The benefits f this is of course so you don’t forget anything. An added bonus to making a list is crossing it out. It gives you not only a concrete way to keep track of the tasks you need to do, but it motivates you to keep doing it because it gives you such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishing crossing each item on your list. This is putting all your ducks in a row, and you shoot them down one by one, metaphorically speaking.

    Make a schedule

    At the same time you are planning the day and making your list of tasks, you should make a schedule, giving each task a prescribed time to do each one. You can ensure you meet all your deadlines, and nothing is left by the wayside.

    Be an early bird

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    You are more likely to get more things done, and in time, if you start early. Of course, this should reflect on the work schedule you make, but getting started early also means there are other things you can do to keep you on your toes, such as daily exercise and a good breakfast. Starting early also means you avoid stress by having plenty of time to get to work and do anything else you need to do.

    Establish a filing system

    Most of your files are probably going to be digital, but you still need to know where everything you need is stored. Looking for lost files will take up as much of your time as looking for misplaced items. You need to make sure all your files are in its proper place. You should also have a master document of all your files, and the location of those files.

    Make the most of your prime time

    Everybody has a certain time of the day when they are most productive. Some work better early in the morning, while others work best in the evening. You should schedule all your most demanding or challenging work during this time. Of course, if your business involves meeting with other people, you need to coordinate your prime time with theirs.

    Minimize interruptions

    You may think it is obvious, but you waste a lot of time dealing with interruptions to your work. This is why it is important to make a schedule. Follow the schedule and avoid distractions as much as possible. Turn off your mobile phone, close the door to your office, and avoid useless meetings. If you travel frequently, you should travel in as comfortable surroundings as you can so you can do work.

    Learn to delegate

    learn to delegate

    You might think you are saving money by doing everything yourself. The fact is, you can save a considerable amount of time and effort by delegating tasks to the right people and focusing on core activities that will make you money. Bookkeeping, web administration, content creation, and marketing are just some areas you should outsource to professionals like Scholar Advisor for example.

    Organize your workplace

    Whether you work alone, or you have employees, you want to arrange your work area so you can be more efficient. You can minimize the time and effort it takes to get things done. Even putting the photocopier next to where you keep your paper supplies can help save a few steps and trips that ultimately increase your productivity, and that of your employees.

    Organization skills are crucial to the success of any business. Some people are naturally organized, but you even if you aren’t, you can develop them. These 9 ways can help you improve your organization skills in practical and workable ways.

    Image Credits:
    Team Silhouettes https://pixabay.com/en/team-silhouettes-personal-965093/
    Early Bird https://pixabay.com/en/grouse-sunrise-scotland-birding-1107407/
    Team Spirit https://pixabay.com/en/businessman-team-spirit-teamwork-1492563/

     

    We want to hear from you, what are your favorite tips for better organization? Share some of your organization skills, tips and tricks in the comments below.

     

    Stacey Marone is a freelance writer and adviser who helps individuals and organizations get better results in leadership and time-management. In her free time, she also does volunteer work and organizes activities for children. Her passions involve painting, reading, and writing. You can follow her on twitter.

     

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    The post 9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:30:14 on 2018/04/13 Permalink
    Tags: Admin Assistant Training, , , , , , ,   

    Why Good Writing Skills Are Important In The Workplace 

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    Do you ever find yourself asking “Why Good Writing Skills Are Important In The Workplace? Why home in (or is it hone in?) on the technicalities? Who notices? Who cares?

    Those who care about productivity, for one. Studies show that 6% of productivity in corporations is affected by poorly written communications. And that number is probably low. Still, it reflects the time wasted going back and forth, back and forth, to clarify messages that should have been clear, concise, and complete in the first place.

    Who else cares?

    Those who sign your paycheck. If your written missives are riddled with errors, you will likely fall short of getting the results expected and could be (or should be) forced to redo the work. Incorrect grammar, misused words, long-winded sentences—all too commonly found in business writing.

    Who else cares?

    The recipients of your message. Perhaps you expect them to take action on something as straight-forward as “attend this meeting,” but your message fails to convey the when, where, and/or why clearly. They’re not sure what to do; you’ve left them wondering about the meeting itself—and about your competence.

    Being impeccable in your writing is essential to doing your job well. The credibility and reputation you arduously build into your career is undermined when sloppiness gets through.

    As you strive for your best during this Administrative Professionals Month, take to heart the importance of a high level of competence in your written communications. You are judged by it constantly. The effort you make perfecting your grammar and writing skills will pay off in increased influence among those who do care.

    Be impeccable in your writing … always.

    Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks.

    To celebrate Administrative Professionals Month, visit www.wordtrippers.com/odi during the month of April for a $30 discount on Word Trippers Tips.

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    The post Why Good Writing Skills Are Important In The Workplace appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:28:14 on 2018/03/16 Permalink
    Tags: Admin Assistant Training, , , , , , ,   

    Do You Have A Problem Saying No? 

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    What are your tips on the best way an assistant can overcome their problem saying no.

    “I have a real problem saying no at work. How do assert myself when I can’t take on any more?” This is one question I frequently here from administrative and executive assistants. I’m sure you many of you have encountered this, so I’d like your advice.

    “I have a problem saying ‘no’ to anyone. In the past, climbing up to the position I presently hold, it was an asset and it helped me to get noticed and promoted, but now I find it has labeled me as the go-to person. With all the duties I am expected to perform, I just can’t help everyone, yet I find myself doing it anyway. How do I decline without sounding difficult or rude?”

    Assistants all over the world have struggled with how to say ‘no’ at work.

    My question to my readers: How have you handled or would handle a similar situation?

    We encourage you to share in the comments below.

    Are you an assistant who doesn’t have any trouble saying no? What has that experience been like for you?

    Are you an assistant who has a problem saying no at work? Does that spill over outside of work? What are some of the biggest obstacles for you in saying no when you simply can’t or shouldn’t accommodate a person’s request of you?

    Do you simply being the ‘go-to’ person and yes is your favorite word? Let’s hear it! Please share below.

    Need more help in the area of asserting yourself? We’ve got your back. Check out my entire series of blogs and webinars that can help you build your assertiveness in the workplace.

    Do you think that saying no to someone means you are a terrible assistant? Check out our article: Qualities of a Great Assistant (spoiler – Yes Man/Woman isn’t on the list of qualities).

    Related: How Well Do You Communicate? A guest post by Judi Moreo

    Why Being A People-Pleaser Is Bad For Your Health

    The post Do You Have A Problem Saying No? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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