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  • feedwordpress 16:15:15 on 2018/06/21 Permalink
    Tags: , Attitude, , , , , , , ,   

    Staying Energized Throughout The Week 

    As you know, I usually share tips on combating the Monday-morning “blahs,” especially after a nice, relaxing weekend. I recently met someone who says she has a different problem: “Monday, I am refreshed from the weekend and ready to tackle just about anything,” she explains. “But by Friday, I am usually struggling to finish what I started. I’m pooped!”

    That’s an interesting twist on the same theme and a challenge that some of you probably face as well. So this week, let’s look at a few effective ways to replenish your energy during the week:

    styaing_energized_throughout_the_week

     

    These ideas are just a start. What else can you do to stay energized all week long? Ask your colleagues and friends for their best ideas.

     

    joan_burge_signature

    The post Staying Energized Throughout The Week appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:30:28 on 2018/06/19 Permalink
    Tags: , Attitude, , , ,   

    Introduce Yourself to Yourself 

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    You’re not the person you once were. Times change. People change. You have changed, too. You owe it to yourself to make time for introspection so that you’re not a stranger to yourself. Don’t wait for quiet time to open up because it never will. There will always be a project to work on, family demands, another errand to run, another memo to write.

    Schedule time for getting to know yourself. When the time arrives, ask questions. As you search for answers, avoid knee-jerk responses, which tend to camouflage the truth. For example, if you ask yourself “Where do I want to go?” and the answer is “I  want to work for this company until I retire, and I’ll do my best to keep my job,” it may be the answer your spouse or friends expect from you. If so, you’re operating on automatic pilot! Perhaps you would really like to work for a top executive instead of a middle manager. If so, say so. Soon you may think about steps to take to groom yourself for the job. There’s a very slim chance that you’ll ever work for a top executive unless you know that is what you want to do.

    Are You Courageous?

    Don’t neglect to ask yourself about courage. Courage is that inner quality you possess that enables you to face challenges (e.g., change) and act without showing fear.

    Are You Easily Intimidated?

    This is another good question to ask yourself during a period of introspection. That’s because feeling intimidated is self-limiting.

    • It holds you back from being the best you can be or from offering good suggestions to improve work conditions.
    • It can lower your sense of self-worth.
    • It stunts professional and personal growth and doesn’t allow your star qualities to shine.

    You may not realize that this heavyweight is chained to your ankles. If you look down and find it there, get ready to break the chain.

    Such things as another person’s title or tone of voice intimidate some people. Some feel intimidated when a coworker is opinionated and speaks loudly, stands too close or is considerably taller.

    It’s likely that each of us feels intimidated on occasion, but it’s very helpful to combat the feeling because it’s plain old not good for you!

    After you tap into this reservoir of information about yourself, notify yourself that you’re in charge: “I’ve got five years of valuable experience behind me, and I can build upon that.” Find a way to do what you want to do. You may need others to help you reach your goals. Reach out to those folks. It’s impractical to wait and see if someone will come and take you by the hand. Moreover, the journey to attain your goal should fill you with excitement and bring you joy. (Did you ever hear the saying, “Getting there is half the fun”?)

    When life pitches you curves, conjure up creative ways to knock them out of the ballpark. You might get knocked down, but you don’t have to stay down. Pick yourself up and get on with it.

     

    joan_burge_signature

    The post Introduce Yourself to Yourself appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:30:36 on 2018/06/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , Attitude, , ,   

    Overqualified and Interviewing 

    Overqualified but applied anyway – NOT a desperate move

    I have applied for positions I was overqualified for and thankful for what I learned from them. There are a few reasons someone might be overqualified but apply anyway. Rarely, if ever, are any of those reasons a desperate move or because one simply desires contentment or lacks professional development desire.

    Some reasons include:

    • Job loss and/or need for employment
    • Returning after a career gap due to health, caregiving, education, etc.
    • Relocating and seeking employment in a new state or even a new country
    • Changing career field
    • Seeking better benefits; health, retirement, education assistance or flexible schedule

    My reason was a combination of a few listed above. Those reasons, although unseen at first, worked out perfectly and led me to my current employer, where I have been happily employed for almost five years. Without my ‘overqualified’ opportunities, throughout my career, I would not be career happy today!

    Several years ago, I found myself in a position at a company that was facing budget cuts. My hours were reduced and benefits lost. I started my search for a new position and one of my own main requirements was benefits. I needed health insurance and retirement opportunities and wanted to stay within the industry I had most of my career experience in. When I started my search, I realized there were only a few local positions available with my requirements. One required a degree I did not have (and included a pay cut) another was a bigger pay cut; 20% less than my average income and I was overqualified.

    The latter offered great benefits though with paid tuition, 100% paid health insurance premiums and above average retirement matching. I knew with my experience and overqualifications the interview committee would want to know why I would be willing to take a pay cut and less work responsibilities. So, I did some research and prepared some answers to possible questions.

    Preparation tips include:

    • Research the company, the mission statement and core values also, research new projects and programs they are offering. When you can add comments during the interview that show you have knowledge of a mission statement or current project it indicates your interest and you’d be invested in the position/company even if you are overqualified

     

    • Be familiar with names of those interviewing you and department heads you’d work with

     

    • Be prepared to highlight skills and experience related to the specific position’s requirements. Connecting with the job description focuses on the skills you will bring and how they uniquely relate to the position. This can be a time-consuming task, but by breaking down each required skill with those that you have helps you not only prepare for the interview, but also creates a better vision of what the position most likely will be like and how you match to it…you might even decide that the position is not one you want to apply for.

     

    • Prepare answers for anticipated questions the committee might ask. For example, prepare a statement about why you are willing to accept a position that pays less than your past career opportunities. You could comment that the benefits and education assistance are key points that allow you take a decrease in pay. If asked why you are interested in the position, have a specific answer in mind. Connect at least one of your skills and one job requirement that is of most interest to you.

     

    • Ask questions during the interview. I know this is sometimes difficult, but by studying the company and the position details you are ready to show your knowledge and ask specific questions. For example, I noticed on your website that some board members are out of state, will I help coordinate their travel needs for board meetings? Questions specific to the company and position helps the interviewer see your professionalism and value you would bring to the company (which helps diminish the ‘what if they get bored’ thoughts, since you are obviously already somewhat invested in the position/company and not afraid to take initiative and ask questions). You almost say ‘I won’t allow myself to get bored here, because I will always be one step ahead, focused on timelines and researching the most efficient ways to complete tasks’.

     

    • BUT – Prepare an answer if asked about possible boredom. A possible response could be – I will utilize any downtime researching professional development opportunities such as free or low-cost webinars, training, conferences, etc. I will also develop a desk manual and evaluate best practices for policies and adjust as necessary. I will also look into opportunities to be active in company committees, keeping myself and the department updated on any company-wide changes.

     

    Creating educational opportunities in any position you accept benefits your future and the company’s. It allows you to make the position adapt to you and all you have to offer, not adapting to a position that you may not thrive in otherwise. Possible boredom is alleviated when you continue learning and create better procedures; your workday becomes the most productive it can be. Being prepared and highlighting the skills and experience you have developed, learned and made unique to you is a skill in itself, it shows your professionalism, demeanor, creativity and more…all traits employers seek.

    Even though that position with the great benefits that I accepted failed to work out due to circumstances out of my control, I refused to not learn from it. I learned interviewing skills, tips from a brief training period and one coworker in particular who shared her years of knowledge and experience with me during several lunches we had. I asked her a lot of questions and I’m grateful for the answers she shared. I learned additional confidence and to speak up when the position’s duties radically changed within days of being hired. And as a bonus, the day I left that position I applied for my current job and within one month was hired! True story; happy next chapter!

    I don’t regret the position, cut in pay or even the negative quick change it took. All career and even personal interests are learning experiences if you choose to accept them that way. Constant learning with gratitude is a state of mind. If that company had not reduced my hours, if the option that encouraged me to leave that position had not had a negative outcome…I would never have traveled my journey to my current position which has offered me so many personal and professional development opportunities, continued skill learning and so many chances to work with an amazing team and managers!

    What have you experienced lately that seemed potentially negative at first, but led to a positive impact on your career?

     

    dana_buchanan

    Dana Buchanan is a 20 plus year professional assistant with a passion for writing and offers a unique and professional perspective to projects and brainstorming sessions! She enjoys helping others discover key steps toward their career focus, job search, or self-employment exploration by creating or editing resumes, researching a particular type of job search, discovering business ideas and the action needed to succeed and loves sharing interviewing tips! Dana is also available to speak to small groups.

    www.danabuchanan.com

     

    The post Overqualified and Interviewing appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:30:01 on 2018/05/29 Permalink
    Tags: , , Attitude, , , ,   

    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.

     

    joan_burge_signature

     

     

    Certification_Designation_Administrative_Assistants

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

     
  • feedwordpress 15:30:47 on 2018/05/23 Permalink
    Tags: Attitude, , , , ,   

    Insights from a “Rock Star”: A Conversation with Joan Burge 

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    OSU Administrative Professionals Hosted Joan Burge

     

    Ohio State University Administrative Professionals Group hosted Joan Burge April 23, 2018, in an informal session called Insights From a Rock Star: A Conversation with Joan Burge. Many of the professionals attending had questions about Joan and her accomplishments, however, there were several questions during the event that were asked that are often asked by our own readers.

    We thought we’d share some of those questions that were posed to Joan.

     

    How does one enhance his/her value in a partnership with an executive who has challenges delegating work?

    My number one is don’t ask for permission. Just jump in and engage in the change and do it. As far as the value the second place you can add value is by looking within your own area of the work. Identify the areas in which you excel and leverage them. If you have a good leader, they should be observing your talents and sending work your way that play to your talents.

     

     

    What are a few key strategies for “managing up” when one’s new manager is resistant to change?

    Number one, focus on selling the benefits of the change to your executive. Number two is to ask your executive to try this new process or idea that you are recommending for at least 21 days. The reason for that is because it usually takes us 21 days to feel semi-comfortable with something new. After 21 days, you can ask your executive their thoughts on the new process. Is there anything that should be changed or tweaked?

     

    What challenges do administrative professionals face today compared to ten years ago?

    There is a huge lack of information. Years ago, before all the technology, everything had to cross an assistant’s desk. Therefore, we saw everything, we had to read everything, and we had access to information. Today, information is out in space or in the cloud and assistants don’t have access. That makes their job more difficult. So, my advice for an assistant is you have to ask questions, you have to pull information out of your executive, and you have to get your nose in their business in what they’re doing so you can do your job better and be more proactive.

     

     

    Of all the skills and talents that an Administrative Professional must have in today’s world, which are the most critical and why?

    The most critical skill is resiliency today. You absolutely have to be resilient with all the changes that are taking place. You have to be adaptable, agile, and go with the flow. You also have to be resilient to whatever your executive dishes out to you. Executives need it done now and they need it quick. They are not always going to cushion the words they use or worry about how they say it. They are just going to tell you what they need. So you’ve got to be resilient, you can’t take it personally. You can’t get offended because your executive is not wording their request exactly like you want.

     

    What piece of advice did you not receive that you wish you had?

    It’s not personal. Business is just business, work is just work. The decisions your executives and managers make are just decisions they just make. It’s not personal! It doesn’t have to do with you personally even though it affects you personally. It’s just business. You’ve got to toughen up.

     

     

    Joan Burge has been speaking to small and large groups for over 25 years. Her passion and drive for the administrative field, the women, and men that are involved in it continues to fuel her desire to improve the overall standard of the administrative and executive assistants around the world. With creative teaching techniques, powerful lessons, and high-impact training Joan and Office Dynamics continue to lead and set the standard for all administrative training.

     

    Joan is available to speak at your events. Please call 800.STAR.139 to get more information.

     

    The post Insights from a “Rock Star”: A Conversation with Joan Burge appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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