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  • feedwordpress 16:30:01 on 2018/05/29 Permalink
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    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 15:43:18 on 2018/05/17 Permalink
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    Lessons from ATD Convention 

     

    There was no shortage of information, lessons, best practices, and thought-provoking conversations at the ATD Convention my team and I attended last week in San Diego. In case you did not see my Facebook posts, there were over 11,000 attendees from around the world; 300+ concurrent sessions; 400+ exhibits in the big convention hall, and an amazing networking night aboard the USS Midway! ATD stands for the Association for Talent Development and is the world’s largest talent development association.

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    I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the notes I took. Beyond my notes, think about how you can apply this information starting this week or at least start planting the seeds in your brain.

    • Purpose matters. People want more out of work than money.
    • Millennials are bringing purpose to the forefront of today’s business culture.
    • Why does purpose matter so much today? #1 Empowerment (shortages in skilled labor; attrition of top talents; short tenures). #2 Engagement (is an effect, not a cause; engagement does drive outcomes). #3 Evolution of Human Consciousness (reinventing organizations)
    • Purpose and meaning are not the same things. Purpose means intention, objective, goals based on your deepest core values. Meaning is of value, significance, and important to me.
    • People with purpose are more comfortable with diversity.
    • Purpose helps us through tragedy and loss.
    • (From DDI research) There is no difference in skills between men and women. Women are better at focusing on their development. Men take on more international assignments; they are more confident.
    • To help increase focus: #1 Focus on an important task for 20 minutes (chunking). #2 Minimize distractions. #3 Take a break to mentally rest between focused tasks.
    • (Marcus Buckingham) You CAN find love in what you do at work. You will want to purchase Marcus’ book when it is released: 9 Lies About Work.
    • (Masie Productions) We have to break rituals.
    • (Rita Allen Associates) Emotional Intelligence in simple terms: #1 Identify your emotions. #2 Assess your emotions. #3 Control your emotions. We have to think of ourselves holistically—we have to take care of all parts of ourselves.

     

    I have a ton more information to digest. I will try to share more great ideas on my Facebook Fridays. You can join me on Fridays at 10:00 am Pacific Time.

     

    Make it an amazing week!

     

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    The post Lessons from ATD Convention appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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

    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

    be proactive

    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 16:30:00 on 2017/08/04 Permalink
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    5 Tools to Help You Automate Your Work 

     

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    One of the greatest advantages organizations achieves from automating various processes is saving time, among other resources. In the entire history of human development, the need to make work easier, faster and even cheaper comes naturally. This is what has led to various discoveries and developments of tools that automate work. Phenomenal examples include manufacturing, mechanized farming, retail, and many other sectors.

    It is also evident that automation will continue to get more advanced with time and will expand to in scope and nature to touch fields that have not as much to write home about in regards to automation.

    Social psychologists argue that the human brain tends to create short-cuts when it is faced with long and tedious tasks, for which decision after decision has to be made. Thus, by automating some tasks in the cause of the day, you make easier the processes that exhaust you mentally, physically and even psychologically. Choosing the right tool might mean selecting the best fax machine, which refers to choosing optimum working capacity for your work flow. The tools discussed here have the potential to give individuals and organizations a highly effective turnaround in work output and general achievement in tasks.

    1. Zapier

    Is described in some quarters as a third-party connector, for its ability to connect several web apps and eventually helping to automate various tasks. Zapier connects over 700 apps moving information across web apps automatically thus reducing the time and energy used hopping from one app to the other. An app such as Evernote can be linked to task running apps like Trello and Asana and even to your Google calendar. You can also link your PayPal to a Google spreadsheet making it easy for your calculations.

    2. If This Then That (IFTTT)

    IFTT is one of the tools that are making automation even more interesting. Just as its name suggests, one thing leads to another. For instance, you can post a photo on Instagram and in turn, it is downloaded in Dropbox. The flow is from one web app to the other. IFTTT has the ability to connect to just about any application and even has a platform that allows app developers to integrate new apps with the IFTTT system, making it easier for clients to see the new app, download and use it. One of the most revolutionary tools by IFTTT is Applets, which has the ability to perform numerous tasks across several operating systems and apps.

    3. RoboTask

    RoboTask allows repetitive tasks on your Windows PC to get easily automated. There is a host of tasks you can do with RoboTask including launching apps, checking emails, creating backups and moving files, downloading and a lot more. It is built for both simple and complex tasks automation, involving conditional IF/ELSE statements, loops, custom variables and other advanced options.

    4. Pocket

    This is an interesting App used to schedule tasks for later reference. With Pocket, articles, videos, photos and more can all be viewed later. The app helps you save media directly from a browser and apps such as Twitter and Flipboard, and once you are ready to read them and view, you do not necessarily have to be connected to a Wi-Fi. It is one of the efficient tools that automate work especially for later review without internet enhancement.

    5. Mint

    Mint is an app that is highly effective for integrating your accounting system. With Mint, you are able to manage your savings, credit cards, your checking system, neatly organizes and display transactions and formulate graphical representation. In addition to this, Mint sends reminders of pending bills and those that are due.There is no doubt that automation integrates systems and makes it easier for you to access items that are of greater priority. It is, however, important to look out for tools that work best for you. Although most tools that automate work can do most tasks with minimal errors, it is important to counter check, to be sure that the tasks performed are up to your expectation. Automation is meant to make work flow easier to manage and enhance the outcome so that more is achieved within a given time.

    The post 5 Tools to Help You Automate Your Work appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:27 on 2017/04/21 Permalink
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    How to Reignite Your Enthusiasm for Work 

    At some point, in any professional’s career, there comes a time when enthusiasm wanes. It’s natural, after all. Even as an assistant, a role where “no two days are exactly alike,” the day-to-day operations can eventually become monotonous.

    When you feel a lack of enthusiasm for the work you do, it can really take a toll on your quality of life. You feel more tired and discontent. Ultimately, it can also impact your quality of work. When you’re not energized by what you’re doing, you tend to cut corners and settle for “good enough.”

    So, what’s an assistant to do when he or she feels that lack of enthusiasm? How do you get back on track? Here are some simple, but effective, recommendations.

    Tackle Stretch Projects

    Nothing is more exciting than a project that challenges your capabilities. These kinds of projects give you goals that are outside the normal, everyday realm. They’re risky, no doubt. But hey, risk is exciting! It gets the blood moving. It forces you to think differently and deeper. It pushes you to see things from new perspectives.

    Volunteer to do something you’ve never done before. Suggest an innovative solution to a problem that’s been plaguing your team for ages. Offer to own that project that no one else wants to do.

    You are capable of much more than you (or your manager!) probably even realize. The feeling of growing is, in and of itself, a great energizer. Plus, as you tackle these challenging items, you’ll enhance your reputation and contribute more meaningful in your role. It’s a win-win.

    Shake Up Your Routine

    Routines are useful because they make us more productive. However, it’s easy to shift into autopilot when you’re doing the same things, in the same way, every day. Sometimes a minor shake up can help you re-engage. Even something simple, like taking a different route to work in the morning or climbing the stairs instead of using the elevator, can help you feel more awake and alert.

    When I’m feeling a lack of enthusiasm personally, I rearrange my to-do list. I move the tasks I enjoy most to the end of the day, that way I can look forward to them. I’m able to power through the more unpleasant work with the knowledge that my afternoon will be filled with more enjoyable items. Or, I save the best stuff for Fridays. These are simple tricks that I find helpful when I’m struggling.

    Optimize Your Environment

    This is another strategy that I rely on personally. The physical environment can have a dramatic impact on your mental perspective. When I need a good hefty dose of renewed energy, I reorganize and redecorate my workspace. It never fails to lift spirits. I can find new ways to enhance the functionality of even a tiny space, and when all is said and done, I can enjoy a fresh new perspective.

    Try this and see how it feels: Remove all the clutter from your space and re-evaluate why it’s there. Exchange your personal pieces of flare for more recent photos or important mementos. Switch up the location of your computer, your phone, and your work-in-progress files. Empty your drawers and find new places for your stockpiles.

    In my experience, a few minor adjustments can have a powerfully positive effect.

    Reconnect with Your Value

    Finally, one of the best things you can do to reignite your enthusiasm is to remember why your work really matters. Consider the impact you have on your executive and the organization as a whole. Imagine what things would be like if you weren’t there. Remember the overall goals and mission of the organization.

    You are an essential part of something that is very important to many, many people.

    Remember that work is not the same as play. It’s okay if you aren’t filled with an overwhelming sense of excitement each and every day. Save that for your trip to Disneyland. However, it is absolutely possible to find something at work, each and every day, that brings you a sense of joy, enthusiasm or fulfillment. It takes effort, but it’s worth it.


    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.

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    The post How to Reignite Your Enthusiasm for Work appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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