Career Goals: Safe In The Harbor Or Setting Sail?

Safe In The Harbor Or Setting Sail? Guest Post by Debbie Gross, CEA to CEO, John Chambers, Cisco Systems

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“You are the Captain of your own ship!”

I am fond of the saying that we are all “captains” of our own ships. I fully believe that we are in complete control of our destiny – no one person or company has that control. We have choices in terms of whether we stay safe in the harbor or chart our course and set our sails in our careers and in our lives.

Certainly as captains we have to maneuver our ships through rough waters, be on the watch for rocky reefs and shoals, fight the head-winds or steer our sails so that the wind is at our backs. [Read more...]

Pause Now To Consider Your Success Goals for 2015

If you think it’s still too soon to start planning your professional and personal success goals for 2015, I want to encourage you to think again! As quickly as this year passed, so will next year. Your future will become the present sooner than you think. If you don’t set success goals and map out a plan, you will be at the same place next year as you are today.

Considering how busy the holiday season gets, it behooves us to take time now – and not minutes or hours before the clock strikes midnight on December 31 – to give serious thought and meaningful consideration to what we hope to accomplish next year.



Planning Your Success Goals

Perhaps you and your leader have already established the success goals you plan to achieve. Outstanding! Even so, year-end is a great time to pause and reflect – and to assess how close or far you are from the desired results of your efforts. What could help you get there? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Attitude. First and foremost, assess how you feel about the goal or situation. Can this improve – and if so, how will you change your attitude? Remember, no one else can do this for you!

Focus. Especially if you’re juggling multiple projects of varying priorities, can you say with certainty that you are focused on those that matter most to your employer and, by extension, your continuing success? If not, ask yourself where the focus should be.

Commitment. Sometimes we need to renew our sense of commitment to the goals we’ve established for ourselves. Discipline is easy to talk about – but difficult to practice without the right motivation. What will inspire you to continue on your path to goal completion and career advancement? Do that very thing, and keep your commitment true.

Define your goal in detail. It is not good enough to just think of your goal or jot it on a little post it. If your goal is to take your family on a cruise next year what kind of cruise? How many days? A high-end cruise or economical cruise? Do you want to go to the Caribbean or Alaska? Imagine you are on the cruise, what will it look like or feel like?

If your goal is increasing your skill as an executive assistant, what does that look like? Be specific. (Caution: this is not where you would write how you will get there, this is what will it look and feel like when you are there.)

These are just a few ways to keep you “eyes on the prize.” I encourage you to think about other opportunities or techniques to assist you in goal-setting or goal assessment as we approach 2015. Wishing you success in this and all your professional endeavors!


“Success is the ability to visualize what you want to do next with your life—what you want to be, do, and have in life—and to enjoy that process of moving toward that vision, achieving it, and creating new visions.” – Norma Carr Ruffino

Catch up on the “BIG Year” in Monday Motivators – every week has been archived for you here.

Do you share your career ambition with your boss?

Career Ambition

Career Ambition: How do you tell your boss that you don’t want a promotion?

Question: “Our company has performance plans based on the expectation that we’ll always be moving up the ladder—or at least trying to. I can tell my boss thinks it’s odd that I’m having trouble with this. The fact is, I’ve been an admin for four great years and I just don’t want to be promoted! How do I convince him that I’m genuinely happy where I am without sounding like I’m scared to take on higher responsibility?” - Fran, Marketing Admin

[Read more...]

Recap The Final Day of the Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence


This article is part 3 of our conference recap . . . click here for Office Dynamics Conference Recap part 1 and part 2.

After another delicious breakfast on the resort veranda overlooking the pool and the striking red rock mountains to the West, the morning plenary session of our final day of the conference opened up with a video montage highlighting some of the extraordinary moments from the Havana Nights Gala, generating laughs and smiles all around.


Next, Joan Burge took the stage with a strong message reminding us all why we’re really here, and how every professional can truly “Expand Your Influence.” As Joan explained, neither her career, nor this signature annual gathering, is about “training” — it’s about making work lives substantially BETTER for administrative professionals in every stage of their careers, and carving out the administrative path as a career of choice for high-performing and high-potential individuals. The training, speaking, coaching and writing Joan devotes herself to, as well as this conference itself, is how she achieves those goals. Ultimately, our progress hinges on the quality relationships and authentic connections we make together, and whether we can implement what we learn. [Read more...]

Living with Awareness

Hearing the Message. Guest Post by Kemetia Foley, Blogger, AdminRenegade:

You know that feeling you get… It’s not quite Déjà vu but really similar. You keep running into people talking about the same issue, or every news article you read seems to be dissecting the same issue. Then out of the blue, the topic crops up at work or at your kid’s school.  Eerily, you happened to have just picked up a book two weeks prior, again, dissecting the same issue.


It’s a message, folks! Are you hearing it? Do you hear the ‘Ring, Ring’ of the Get-a-Clue phone? I think the universe is trying to get a message to you.  Are you hearing it? [Read more...]

Honored “Best Book” In Best of The Best Office Products and Services

Become_An_Inner_Circle_AssistantDeskDemon Announces the Winners of “Our Favorites – The Award,” A Prestigious Award Honoring the Best of the Best in Office Products, Services and Vendors

In recognition of quality products and services used by corporate America every day, DeskDemon launched “Our Favorites – The Award” the first award program honoring the best of the best in office products and services voted on by those who know best, the administrative professional.

Redwood City, California (PRWEB) September 18, 2014

Every year corporate America spends billions of dollars on office products and services that are necessary to run and maintain offices. To most employees the office supplies and services are seamlessly stocked in the supply cabinet, or there is little to no thought to how that package they drop in an outgoing box always makes it to its destination on time. It is the administrative professional that sources and purchases the products and services that keep the office running smooth. Administrative professionals are the backbone of the office and know what the best products and services are. There is no one better to recognize and honor the companies that provide quality products and services. [Read more...]

Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence: See What You Missed


This article is part 2 of our conference recap . . . if you missed part 1, you can read it here

Thursday proved to be the peak day of the 21st Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence, beginning with yet another series of breakthrough plenary sessions and then culminating in the fabulous Gala Dinner.

After a continental networking breakfast on the resort veranda, Peggy Vasquez kicked off the general sessions of the day with her workshop on “Creating Authentic Business Relationships.” Peggy is an author and motivational speaker, on top of being Chief Executive Assistant at PNNL. She helped us understand how creating and developing a lasting business connection takes time and skill, and delivered unique tools for surmounting awkward moments, starting conversations effortlessly, and the art of follow up.


Next, attendees were given a privileged insight on the Executive Perspective, exploring how leaders can best partner with their administrative assistants and what they most value and look for. For this special session — unique to this conference — Joan hosted two dynamic executives — Steve Forst, CEO of Performance Matters, and via telepresence, Cisco executive Alistair Butler. [Read more...]

Choosing an Optimistic Attitude

What’s your attitude look like today?

I’m taking a break from writing the weekly Monday Motivators to nurture my Wellness Pillar. Thank you for understanding and it is my hope you’ll enjoy today’s throwback message.


It only takes one obstacle in an otherwise perfect day to make you feel less-than-your-best. Especially in these hectic times, when every employee is pressed to achieve more in less time with fewer resources, a single hiccup can make you feel like everything is in upheaval.

Let’s face it: Instability or chaos of one form or another is everywhere. We cannot control that. But we can control our attitudes. [Read more...]

Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence Recap Part 1

After so much anticipation, the Office Dynamics Conference, titled the 21st Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence, opened on Tuesday evening September 30th with the Social Fusion Mixer. We met for cocktails outside on the resort veranda overlooking the turquoise pools and red stripe cabanas, with a Western view of the Red Rock National Preserve.

Administrative Professionals Conference

Attendees mixed and mingled eagerly, re-connecting with old friends and quickly making new ones. The weather was sweet and the atmosphere ideal for conversation, with background music soft enough to easily talk and share. Meanwhile, the Office Dynamics team including Joan Burge and the conference’s featured expert presenters like Julie Perrine, Chrissy Scivique and Lucy Brazier flowed through the space, helping connect people with industry peers and mentors, sharing stories and smiles. The group was a mix of returning attendees and first timers, all excited about the days to come, with participants having traveled from all corners of the US, Canada, and even Israel! Professionals hailed from a diversity of industries [Read more...]

How to deal with workplace communication breakdowns

Hello, Motivators!

I’m taking a break from writing the weekly Monday Motivators to nurture my Wellness Pillar. Thank you for understanding and it is my hope you’ll enjoy today’s throwback message.


Communication is key, have you heard that one? The truth is, it really is. You can make or break your career by your ability or inability to communicate. Today, I am going to share with you some simple tips that you might very well be aware of. They are simple. The question I have for you is, how often are you practicing these communication skills? Remember, you can easily blow your career by losing your cool at work. It’s important to know ahead of time what might cause such incidents and think about ways to deal with them with civility and compassion.

You feel left out. Lack of acceptance among peers provokes anger and hurt feelings, potentially limiting your effectiveness on the job. What can you do to feel more a part of a team effort? [Read more...]