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  • feedwordpress 19:00:47 on 2018/02/10 Permalink
    Tags: Career Management, ,   

    Creating a Brand Story – Part 2 

    training_for_administrative_assistantsBy Anel Martin

    You know that awkward moment in the interview when they ask you about your areas of excellence, or that moment you need to introduce yourself to someone new at a business networking event (and your response sounds a bit rehearsed) or you run into the CEO in the elevator and they want to know who you are and what you do at the company.

    If you have ever felt vulnerable or embarrassed in these situations you need a Brand Story and Part Two of this series is just for you!

    So what is a brand story?

    Well, it is like an elevator pitch, just not as robotic or plastic! It is a true story about your talents and gifts. It is something that can be recited at will without rehearsal because it is TRUE and comes from your heart.  So let’s get practical.

    Step 1 Make a list of what you are really good at/recent achievements (at least 10).

    I am being literal here, so write down your areas of excellence and recent successes. Doing this on paper or on your laptop takes it out of your head and makes it more concrete.

    Step 2 Stuck? That is totally normal. Time to consult with a friend or colleague.

    It is funny (but maybe sad) that I have done this exercise with hundreds of assistants from across the world and writing down their strengths is a major challenge, but on the flip side you can ask them about their development or problem areas and they can give you two dozen without missing a beat. If you are stuck, know that this is normal.

    The solution is to consult with a trusted friend or colleague to help you compile your list. This is very useful because they might mention things you have not even thought about and also help you do a reality check on your existing list.

    The key is to be open to the feedback.

    Step 3 Trim down the list to 6 (but NOT less than 4).

    Go through the list and pick your top 6. Trim it down for maximum impact. Eliminate similar skills or merge items that can be grouped logically.

    Step 4 Rank from 1 to 6 (1 being best).

    As the title suggests look at your list and prioritize. Again the help of a trusted advisor will be valuable if you are unsure.

    Step 5 Write a concise, strong, short and clear one-liner about this skill.

    Do a one-liner for each of the 6 skills/abilities. Keep it simple and direct (research has proven that people will rate you are more intelligent if you use simple language, so don’t try and be too fancy).

    Avoid clichés like I am an excellent team player, I work well without supervision, I am a perfectionist. All of these things may be true but if you can’t find a more original way of expressing the same idea then please omit it altogether.

    EXAMPLE OF A BRAND STORY

    1. If I commit, I deliver.
    2. I am not shy and I take big risks.
    3. I am a connector of people and ideas.
    4. I have passion.
    5. I am kind and enjoy people.
    6. I am a time management expert and I get things done.

    Step 6 Test this Brand Story on yourself and your inner circle

    Test drive your brand story. Does it feel real? Would you be embarrassed to tell someone your brand story, if yes, it needs more work?

    It should be true, it should be natural and easy to articulate. Get feedback from others once you are ready to share.

    Use your brand story to update your CV, Linkedin or to position yourself for the next opportunity that comes your way. This is a very powerful tool to “sell” your brand in an authentic way and I hope that you find these tips useful.

    If you have questions or problems with creating your brand story you are welcome to reach out to me via my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/PA-20-Upgrade-Yourself-530299150373650/ or Twitter @anelmartin I am always happy to help!

    Anel Martin is a former awarding winning administrative assistant from South Africa (now based in Dubai) who now works as a full-time trainer and Results Based Coach. Her goal is to help assistants to find their voices and their confidence. She is a published author and the book is titled “The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539535576/ visit her website for more free resources, information, and services www.anelmartin.co.za

    The post Creating a Brand Story – Part 2 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:00:48 on 2018/01/26 Permalink
    Tags: , Career Management, ,   

    How Do I Increase My Brand Value? PART 1 

    training_for_administrative_assistantsBy Anel Martin

    “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos.  I have to thank Jeff, as I have not found a better way to explain personal brands in all the years I have been exploring the subject.

    There are a few things we need to understand (from my point of view and experience) when it comes to brand:

    1. Your brand already exists (whether you know it or not)
    2. Your brand has value attached to it (actual financial and opportunity based benefits)
    3. A successful brand is not created by faking it
    4. The strongest brand is not the one that is sold the most aggressively
    5. Your brand is not your appearance (although it may influence your brand and how you are perceived)
    6. A powerful brand relies on confidence (not to be confused with arrogance)

    So how do we authentically enhance our brand value?

    B –Build skill sets

    The working world has changed so much in the last few years and will continue to do so. In fact, the prediction is that in 5 years’ time, only 15% of what you know right now will still be relevant. So, continuous development is not a “nice to have” but a survival strategy. Development no longer has to cost money; there are tons of free resources available. It will now require time, discipline and commitment.

    We also need to be aware that in the future there will be more focus on what we called “soft skills” a few years ago (as it will be assumed that you already have the technical ability) (See WEF Top 10 Skills for 2020 ) so take that into account when planning your development.

    We have also just entered the Connection Economy (check out Seth Godin’s video for more information about this) which will bring radical shifts in the way we work and connect with others. Creating new skills sets and being able to apply them with generosity and enthusiasm will definitely give you the edge.

    R – Reputation management

    When we look at reputation management we need to think about how we communicate (in the real world and online), the standard of work we consistently produce, our ethics, how organized and punctual we are and most importantly OUR attitude.

    It is not what you do on the days you feel good that determines your reputation; it is what you do daily. The small activities, words and actions accumulate to form the picture. The old saying goes “Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard”

    These are major factors that influence not only our own brands but also the co-brand that we have with our manager/s, but that is a blog for another day.

    A – Authenticity

    No one likes a fake; it is true no matter where you go in the world. A truly amazing brand cannot be a projection, imitation or a mirage. It is ok to talk a good game but you MUST be able to back it up with consistent action. Find your own voice, your own unique talents and contributions and bring them into your work. Don’t be a copy. People pay good money for originals, not cheap knock-offs.

    N- Network

    In our roles “who you know” is extremely important.  Having a strong, reliable network helps you solve problems, find opportunities, grow relationships and organically enhances your brand (IF YOU ARE ADDING VALUE TO YOUR NETWORK).

    Networking should be done online (there is a very dynamic, active and diverse group of assistants online from across the globe and it is easy to plug into these groups via LinkedIn or Facebook) but importantly, networking should also be done in the real world. Take time to attend events, speak to people you have not met before in the office (even just a friendly greeting will do) and take opportunities to grow your circle. Your network = your net worth, it doesn’t matter how great you are if no one knows about you. I am not encouraging you to brag but to be confident and to OWN IT!

    D – Dependability

    A brand is nothing if you are not consistent. Being phenomenal today and poor tomorrow doesn’t serve you, as you are not dependable and you are therefore eroding trust. If you can’t be a star every day then pick a level you are comfortable with and stay in that zone until you are ready to level up. This applies to work that you produce; commitments made and kept, communication, your personal appearance, and emotional intelligence.

    If you are wondering how healthy your current brand is please feel free to do the FREE Brand Health Assessment at http://www.anelmartin.co.za/brand-health-assessment.html

    training_for_assistantsAnel Martin is a former awarding winning administrative assistant from South Africa (now based in Dubai) who now works as a full-time trainer and Results Based Coach. Her goal is to help assistants to find their voices and their confidence. She is a published author and the book is titled “The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539535576/ visit her website for more free resources, information, and services www.anelmartin.co.za

    The post How Do I Increase My Brand Value? PART 1 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:10:13 on 2017/12/12 Permalink
    Tags: , Career Management,   

    10 Myths About Professional Training – Infographic 

    professional_training

    “Have you ever heard someone say that earning a certification won’t make much of a difference in getting a job? Or that most employers won’t pay for off-site professional development courses or seminars? In the following infographic, findcourses.com dives into ten of the most common myths revolving around professional development and training in an attempt to find the truth behind the myths!

    Take a look at the facts and figures below, taken from some of the leading authorities in the world of training, and decide for yourself if there is truth behind these myths or if there are more opportunities for, and benefits to professional development than you thought!”

    10 Myths About Professional Training 10 Myths About Professional Training by findcourses.com

    The post 10 Myths About Professional Training – Infographic appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:45:01 on 2017/11/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , Career Management, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    6 Ways To Feast On Learning 

    feast-on-learning

    I decided to pull out this Monday Motivator from 2013 because it is a favorite of mine, still holds true and in fact, I believe it to be truer than ever before. Since I wrote this in 2013, I have expanded my mind to the worlds of:

    • Focus instead of multitasking
    • Engagement instead of entitlement
    • Being revolutionary
    • Being resilient
    • Collaboration
    • Creativity and innovation
    • The dangers of a digital world
    • And so much more!

    I have dug deep into each of those topics and am excited about every one of them. But I’m not only the student, I am an advocate for each area and firmly believe in the concepts. I hope you enjoy reading the following.

    I have always been hungry to learn. Or I should say, once I finished high school I gained an appreciation for learning. I went right into the workforce after high school and fortunately landed good jobs early in my career. I was exposed to and worked with some very bright executives. I was intrigued by the business world and how people acted and interacted. I observed their behaviors and listened to how they spoke. My hunger for knowledge grew stronger and stronger. I was also blessed during my younger working years, to have 3 outstanding executive mentors who I supported in various industries. I was a sponge and soaked up everything they had to offer. I was off to a very good start.

    Well, that continued as years passed and I am still hungry to learn. As the saying goes, “The more I know, the more I need to know.” I learn from the savvy executive assistants who attend my training programs, the executives who hire me, and from anyone I come in contact with as I travel the country. My vision is broadened as I meet people when I travel and attend industry conferences.

    I hope you will be an every-day student; don’t ever be so full of yourself that you stop learning.

    I know Thanksgiving is right around the corner so for this last full week before the holiday, here are some actions you can take.

    1. Observe the people you interact most with at the workplace. What actions do they take that you admire? What don’t you like that they do or say? What makes them shine above other employees? Is that a trait or traits you can work on?
    2. Listen! Stop all the distractions when people are talking to you or are in near range. What words do they use that make them stand out? Do they use creative language or ho-hum talk? Are they clear and concise as to what they want to communicate? What can you learn from them to enhance your own communication skills?
    3. Purchase one book this week that will expand your mind and vow to finish before the end of this year.
    4. Every day this week, use one new word that you want to add to your vocabulary.
    5. What can you learn from your immediate executive? What does he or she do really well that you need to improve upon?
    6. Are you staying up on the current trends in your organization?

    I wish you a great week and a very Happy Thanksgiving.

    Joan Burge

    Feast on learning and take advantage of our Black Friday Sale!

    Star Achievement Series Trainer Kit – $1,295 (reg. $1,495)
    Online Learning Programs – 40% Off
    Executive and Assistant Partnership Bundle – 50% Off
    Purchase any of Chrissy Scivicque’s products and receive the webinar Setting Healthy Boundaries in the Workplace for FREE ($49 value).
    Word Trippers Subscription – 40% Off

    Use promo code BLACKFRIDAY17 at check-out.

    BONUS! Make a purchase during our Black Friday Sale and be entered to win 2017 Conference On Demand ($499 value). 

    The post 6 Ways To Feast On Learning appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:27:11 on 2017/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , aggressive, , , , Career Management, , , , passive, , , workplace communication,   

    7 Tips for Executive Assistants Who Want To Be More Assertive 

    Assertive_vs_Aggressive_Communication

    Do you want to be more assertive?

    Learning how to tactfully voice your opinions and assert your needs as an executive assistant is important. Many assistants have crossed the line from assertive to aggressive. So what is the difference between assertive and aggressive? Isn’t being aggressive good?

    Many people confuse assertive and aggressive behavior. This is especially true of women, who until recent years, were often taught to associate passiveness with femininity. As a result women often are reluctant to take the initiative in the workplace – whether to resolve a conflict, solve a problem, or present an idea—for fear of being labeled pushy or obnoxious. 97% of administrative professionals are female.

    What’s the difference between being assertive and aggressive?

    Before I go on, let me clarify the differences between passive, aggressive and assertive. By explaining the 3 of these, it will help you better understand the differences.

    Passive: A passive person only cares about others and what they think and making sure everyone else’s needs are met. You might be thinking, “Isn’t that a good thing?” No. Not when we sacrifice ourselves or what we need to get done for the sake of others. Passive people can become resentful or blow up later, which then becomes aggressiveness.

    Aggressive: An aggressive person only cares about themselves; therefore, they don’t care what they say or how they say it as long as they get what they want.

    Assertive: An assertive person cares that their own needs are met AND cares about others. So they think about how they will communicate in a caring way and get what they need.

    We all have needs to be met in the workplace so we can do our job and finish projects on time. We also have to make sure people do not walk all over us or be a cupcake! Assertiveness is the way to go because it is the happy medium. You care about yourself and your care about others.

    Benefits of Being Assertive

    • Reduces anxiety.
    • Provides a feeling of control.
    • Increases self-esteem.
    • Builds confidence.
    • We get resolution of the situation.
    • Less stress and wasted time.
    • You choose when to push a situation or not.
    • Protects you from being taken advantage of.

    We all know the famous Mayo Clinic. Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about being assertive. “Being assertive is typically viewed as a healthier communication style. Being assertive offers many benefits. It helps you keep people from walking all over you. On the flip side, it can also help you from steamrolling others.”

    Risk is Involved
    Being assertive involves some risk because you aren’t guaranteed of the outcome. You have to be willing to take a chance, knowing the situation may not turn out like you hope it will. However, you have a better chance of having your needs met with assertive action than by being passive or aggressive.

    When communicating assertively, it’s a good idea to start at the end—what you want to see happen and then work back. Make sure you clearly communicate your needs or desires. When these are communicated in a direct, tactful manner, you most likely will see the result you expected in the beginning.

    Weigh the Pros And Cons
    If you are doubtful as to whether to assert yourself in a particular situation, you should weigh the pros and cons. It is not the number of pros vs. cons that is as important as the impact of each pro and con.

    7 Steps to Be More Assertive

    1. Outwardly confront something instead of holding it in or stewing over it. Passive people hold things in. They keep their feelings buried and do not like confrontation. Therefore, they are walked over and stressed out. While you may want to take some time to think about the situation and how you want to respond, do not sit on it for days and weeks. In fact, the sooner you confront a situation or something someone said to you, the better. Just choose your words carefully.
    2. State their opinions clearly. You are entitled to your opinion. We are not clones of each other. When communicating with others take time to be clear when expressing your opinions and especially do not say anything that would hurt another person’s feelings.
    3. Walk away at your choosing. Passive people walk away because they feel intimated by a person or the situation. An assertive person walks away because “it’s” just not worth their time or energy.
    4. Are active, not reactive. Assertive people take action but they also stop and think before they take action. Again, they craft the message they want to deliver so the other person will be open to what they say.
    5. Establish deadlines. You can start this today! Many executive and administrative assistants will ask, “When do you need this?” Of course, the common answer is, “As soon as you can get it to me?” Or, “As soon as possible.” Learn to ask people, “By when do you need this?” Get the people who assign you tasks or special projects to commit to the latest date by which they need something, not the soonest. This helps the person giving you the assignment set their own priorities and helps you prioritize your workload.
    6. Do not accept inappropriate behavior. If there is anything that does not feel right or appropriate to you in the workplace, you must tell the offending person their action or words are not acceptable to you. A very simple example for assistants is the person who always comes into the assistant’s workspace and takes pencils or pens or whatever. If you don’t like that, then say something. That is a very simple example. My point is you do not have to accept behaviors that make you frustrated, stressed, or uncomfortable. My favorite saying is, “People will continue to treat you as you allow them to.”
    7. Go to the source. People have a tendency to complain to their friends or co-workers about someone at work who upset them or who they don’t like. That does not change the situation or how you feel—at least not permanently. When something arises with another person, you need to go directly to the source. Again, use positive communication skills. If you hear something via third party, make sure you have all your facts before going to the source.

    “We are learning to find a balance between being too passive and/or too aggressive, instead, learning to be assertive when presenting ideas and/or suggestions.” – World Class Assistant Part 1 Graduates (For more wisdom from these class participants check out the slideshare below by my World Class students.

    Joan Burge

    Benefits of Attending the World Class Assistant Certificate Program (as shared by course participants)

     

    Find More Information About World Class Assistant Training

    The post 7 Tips for Executive Assistants Who Want To Be More Assertive appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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