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  • feedwordpress 16:53:27 on 2017/04/26 Permalink
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    Happy Administrative Professionals Day! 

    The post Happy Administrative Professionals Day! appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 13:45:08 on 2017/04/26 Permalink
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    Today’s Administrative Assistant Has Power 


    (Excerpt from Become an Inner Circle Assistant book, Joan Burge)

    For the first time in history, the administrative professional’s job description hints at the full engagement of cognitive powers. When the job description includes identifying goals for the coming year; meshing them with your executive’s goals and department and organization goals; being prepared to track progress at specific intervals; and being accountable for success or lack thereof, it’s easy to tell this is not a job for dummies!

    You’re not a puppet, and someone else is not pulling the strings. You’re in charge. You have power. And if you’re to attain the inner circle assistant spot and maintain it, your intellect plays a large part in your success. So if the best career advice you’ve received so far is to dress for success, get ready to think bigger. And “think” is the operating word.

    I am talking subtle power; not “walk-all-over-everyone” kind of power. As an administrative or executive assistant, your power will come from your brilliance! It comes from your thinking and fully engaging all your senses every day throughout the day. This is no easy feat but you can do it. Here are a few tips:

    Look for ways to add value to the company. Several years ago at the Office Dynamics Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence, we had 249 assistants collaborate on how an assistant could add more value at work when he or she is already adding value. The group came up with over 400 ideas which later became the now Amazon-best-seller, Who Took My Pen . . . Again?

    Don’t settle for “top of the mind” thinking. I often see this in my training classes. I assign various activities throughout the day and there may be one group who is always done first. They are so excited and “brag” about being the first ones to finish. However, what they don’t realize is that their ideas are not nearly as rich as the team who really massaged the question or issue and gave deep thought to it. Don’t be a surface thinker. Dig deep and you will find a treasure of great ideas.

    Powerful assistants self-manage. Remember power in the subtleties. Self-management is being very aware of your feeling, emotions, attitudes and knowing how you tend to respond to things. In what ways can you manage your thoughts, especially when you feel upset or work is chaotic?

    Commit to quality performance. There is no way around this one. In today’s casual world, people are becoming quite slack in their writing, set up of emails, and attention to detail. If you will take the extra time to dot every “I” and cross every “t”, you will be far ahead of the crowd. Being a top performer in the administrative profession is powerful. You will gain respect; be viewed as that person who goes the extra mile; who really cares. You will build a reputation of excellence that will take you places the rest of your working days!

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    Joan Burge


    The post Today’s Administrative Assistant Has Power appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 13:45:28 on 2017/04/25 Permalink
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    Strategies for Advancing Your Career Outside of Administrative Services 

    My good friend and fellow expert in the administrative field, Julie Perrine, has a saying that goes something like this, “In admin, you can start here and go anywhere!”

    Incidentally, if you don’t know Julie, you should. She’ll be at the annual Conference for Administrative Excellence this year and she is an absolute wealth of knowledge and insight.

    But back to the point: Being an administrative professional, the world is your oyster. This is a career that can, should you desire, be a fantastic stepping stone into a wide variety of other careers.

    Here at Office Dynamics, we focus a lot on those who have chosen administration as their career path. It’s a noble, exciting, ever-evolving world that can be incredibly fulfilling and lucrative. However, it’s not for everyone.

    Some people may find that it’s not a good fit. Others may enjoy it for a period of time, but eventually feel called to other fields.

    The skills you gain as an administrative professional can easily transfer to other roles. For example, here are a few of the most common roles that may be a great fit for assistants, depending on your skills and interests:

    • Project Manager
    • Event Planner
    • Training Coordinator
    • Virtual Assistant
    • Database Administrator
    • Graphic Designer
    • Human Resources Assistant

    Looking at this list, you probably already do many of these things on a daily basis!

    So, what are your next steps if you’re currently working as an assistant, but aiming for something different? Well, use your time wisely! Here are some recommendations.

    Take on “Future Focused” Projects

    As an assistant, you have many opportunities to stretch your skills and try on different “roles.” Take advantage of that by volunteering to own projects that leverage and develop specific skills you’d like to use in the future.

    For example, if you’re interested in graphic design, offer to redesign a PowerPoint presentation for your executive, or create a new cover sheet for reports. If you’re interested in database administration, get involved with the database systems at your disposal. Learn how to run reports and queries, or maybe offer to help creating procedures for others to do the same.

    Whatever skills you’ll need in your next role, find ways to develop them now. Get creative! But remember you still have to “sell” the idea to your executive, so always identify the value the work offers to the organization. It’s not all about you and your needs.

    Note Your Accomplishments

    Throughout your career, it’s important to keep a running list of your professional accomplishments. This is a tool you’ll use in many different settings including job interviews and performance reviews.

    As you prepare for the next phase of your career, you’ll want to be able to highlight the specific things you achieved using the transferrable skills you’re looking to leverage in the future. This will show others that you have what it takes to do the job, even if you’ve never held that specific title in the past.

    Remember: It’s one thing to tell people you can do something. It’s an entirely different thing to show them you’ve done it successfully in the past. Capture those accomplishments now and you’ll use them later.

    Get Involved in Professional Associations

    Many professional groups allow “outsiders” to attend events, especially if you’re exploring the field as a potential career path. This is a great way to get insider information regarding what it’s like to do the job you’re considering. It’s also useful for making connections! You can get to know people in the field who might be able to help you in a future job search. Having a personal referral can help you overcome the barrier of transitioning from administration to a new field.

    Regardless of where you’re going in the future, remember that being an assistant is an important role. Take it seriously and respect your job duties. Don’t get so focused on the future that you let your primary responsibilities fall by the wayside. That can give you (and the administrative field in general) a bad name.

    Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach and corporate trainer who believes that work can be a nourishing, enriching part of the life experience. Her website, EatYourCareer.com, is devoted to that mission. You’re invited to join the FREE Eat Your Career Resource Library where you’ll gain immediate access to dozens of tools to advance your professional skills and achieve career fulfillment.

    Chrissy also has an amazing book called The Proactive Professional and some incredible ebooks and guides.

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.


    The post Strategies for Advancing Your Career Outside of Administrative Services appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 17:00:16 on 2017/04/24 Permalink
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    Tips for the Traveling Administrative Professional 

    travel_tips_for_assistantsAdministrative professionals are the superheroes of travel planning. Admins use their telepathy to know what brands their travelers prefer, time travel to get days of work done in mere hours, and teleportation to support their travelers, even when they are halfway around the world.

    Their only kryptonite? Themselves. Admins spend their days prioritizing other’s needs and often forget to think of themselves. Then, when it’s finally time to take a day off and relax, or travel for business, they’re starting from scratch and the planning process suddenly feels more stressful than ever! The checklist below is split up into different sections of the trip: booking, planning, packing, and flying! Use the checklist to help organize your travel planning superpowers so you can feel the joy of a stress free trip.

    Calling all admins: celebrate admin day and treat yourself!

    Booking Your Trip

    Booking your trip is probably the most stressful part of the planning process. By taking these steps, you will be able to find the best options within your budget so you can travel in style.

    • Create Your Traveler Profile: In your traveler profile, add your preferred airlines, hotel chains, and rental car companies. If you haven’t had a chance to do a lot of traveling, use your travelers as a reference point. Recall the countless horror stories of delayed flights or sub-par service to your advantage and craft your own “no-fly” list.
    • Know Your Budget: Before you start creating your itinerary, check to see what your budget is. There is nothing more frustrating, as you know, than going through the entire itinerary creation process only to find out that there was a pricing limitation and having to restart.
    • Search for Loyalty Programs: Most admins know their traveler’s date of birth, phone number, address, and loyalty programs by heart but couldn’t even guess a digit in their own loyalty programs. Search for your loyalty program before you book. If you haven’t signed up for a program yet, sign up for one now! They’re totally free and as you start to travel more often, you’ll be able to collect more points and get perks, including free nights at a hotel!
    • Book Hotels Direct: Most hotels don’t allow you to collect points through online travel agencies and websites. These sites can be a little tricky because they say you can earn points. However, these points can only be applied to their website and you miss out on collecting points through your hotel’s loyalty program. Also, you are more likely to get a better room and have more leeway for upgrades.

    Create an Itinerary

    It’s easy to fill an itinerary with meetings and events, but don’t forget to schedule some fun for yourself! Even if you are going to be traveling for a conference, look for an open window where you’ll be able to get out of the hotel and do a little sightseeing.

    • Add Meetings and Events: If you’re traveling for business, start your itinerary by adding your meetings and events. This helps you visualize your free time.
    • Use Social Media: Reach out to the incredible network of admins just waiting to help you! Post on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to see if people have tips for sights and restaurants in your destination. And as a bonus you can see if anyone will be in town at the same time for you to schedule an in-person meet up!
    • Reserve on Open Table: Start making reservations through Open Table if you don’t already. Every time you make a reservation for a traveler, you get to collect Open Table points from the comfort of your office. Then, check to see if there are restaurants in your destination where you can redeem your points and treat yourself to an extravagant meal!

    Packing Your Bags

    Before you leave, there are a couple things that you should always throw in your bag.

    • Cardigan: This is number one thing to pack when going on a trip, especially if it is going to be for a conference. If you’re deciding between your favorite pair of shoes or an extra cardigan, always go for the cardigan. Hotels are notorious for keeping their meeting rooms cold and you’ll regret not coming prepared with an extra sweater.
    • Battery Pack: You’ll most likely be out of your room all day and traveling in a new place can be very tough on your phone’s battery. Using your phone’s GPS, searching for things to do, and taking countless selfies can drain your phone faster than you thought possible. Invest in a small battery pack that will keep you going all day. You can find plenty of options that will fit in your bag and are so light you won’t even notice it.
    • Dryer Sheets: This might seem like an odd item to bring on its own, but they can be a total life saver. Pack a couple dryer sheets in with your clothes. These can prevent wrinkles from forming in your suitcase, and your clothes come out smelling laundry fresh rather than like a stale airplane!
    • Tylenol: Always bring a Tylenol or your painkiller of choice. It is very easy to become dehydrated when traveling and that leads to painful and pounding headaches. Before you get on the plane, take a Tylenol and drink plenty of water so you can hit the ground running rather than searching for a convenience store.
    • Basics: And of course, don’t forget the basic. Shirts, pants, business clothes (when appropriate), socks, underwear, pajamas, sunglasses, shoes, and swimsuit.

    In the Air and On the Road

    Traveling can be unpredictable. No matter how much you prepare and plan, there are always going to be snags along the way. Use these tips to help maneuver around these twists and even get a couple extra perks along the way.

    • Befriend the Concierge and Front Desk People: They are like the hotel admins. Not only will they be able to give you some amazing recommendations for restaurants and activities, they will also be able to make sure you are better taken care of than any of the other guests.
    • Schedule Changes or Delays: Dealing with a delayed or canceled flight is something every admin has done for another traveler. But being in the chaos of the airport while it is happening can be a totally different beast. As soon as you know your flight is going to be canceled or delayed, hop in line. Then while you’re waiting in line, call the airline directly so you can see which line will move faster.
    • Don’t Be Afraid To Complain: Remember! This trip is all about you. Admins rarely get to have a selfish moment. Make the most out of your trip away from the office. If something doesn’t feel 100% right, chances are it is an easy fix and if it isn’t most companies are more than happy to give you a credit for a future flight or hotel stay.
    • Create a Contact System: Even when you’re out of the office, a little part of you is always wondering what is going on at home. If you’re not able to unplug entirely, change your ringtone on your phone to be different for calls coming from your boss. This way your heart won’t skip a beat every time your phone rings. You’ll be able to focus on having fun and you’ll only need to respond when you hear that specific ring tone!

    Long story short, make sure that you take as much care of yourself on personal trips as you do when planning for others. Even superheroes need the day off and our goal is to help you make the most of it. TRAVO is a trip planning and booking tool created specifically for administrative professionals. We have spent the past 2 years talking to thousands of admins and collaborating with the most prestigious organizations, like Office Dynamics, to address some of the most common pain points in travel planning. TRAVO corporate rates allow admins to easily sort through flight options across all major carriers. Admins can instantly create end-to-end itineraries including flights, hotels, ground transportation, meetings, forecasted traffic, and estimated Uber pricing. After creating an itinerary, send the trip for approval and book in an instant. Best of all, TRAVO is completely free: no booking fees or subscription fees.

    Happy Administrative Professionals Week and Day to all you office super heroes! Go out and treat yourself, you deserve it!

    About the Author:
    Tae Lee is the CEO and Founder of TRAVO, the trip planner for administrative professionals. Prior to founding TRAVO, Tae served as executive vice president of Operations and Technology at the leading video advertising technology firm, ZEFR

    The post Tips for the Traveling Administrative Professional appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 13:45:26 on 2017/04/19 Permalink
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    Teamwork Strategies for Administrative and Executive Assistants 

    There is no great month than April to talk about the power assistants create when they work together. In April, we honor administrative around the world for one full week. What does that tell you about the importance of the role?

    For more than two decades I have been teaching assistants about the benefits of working together. While I often hear about the challenges and issues assistants have with their peers, assistants can find strength in community and unity.

    When administrative professionals work together . . .

    • There is less duplication resulting in savings to the company and increased productivity.
    • You can learn streamlining techniques from each other.
    • Gain a new perspective. (Provided you keep an open mind.)
    • Add fun to your ho-hum routine.
    • Working together can mean consistency for out of office coverage.
    • Expansion of what the team together can accomplish that one person alone cannot do.

    So what can you do to promote teamwork and collaboration across your administrative community?

    1. Put the company first. Let co-workers know that your concern is for the success of the company—not just successful fulfillment of your job responsibilities or career goals.
    2. Share your ideas. Make suggestions whenever appropriate.
    3. Welcome input from others. Respect the ideas of others, just as you would like them to respect yours.
    4. Ask for help. If someone in the office is an expert in an area, ask for his or her advice.
    5. Remain committed. Problems and frustrations may arise, but don’t give up. Be supportive of your colleagues—you need them as much as they need you.
    6. Trust your colleagues. You and your co-workers are working toward one common goal—a successful company.
    7. Remember no man is an island. Whether there are two administrative professionals in your office or 200, joining forces with your administrative peers will contribute to greater success for your organization.

    What do you or your peers do to create administrative unity and synergy?

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    Joan Burge


    The post Teamwork Strategies for Administrative and Executive Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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