The Future of the Administrative Profession

Future-Of-The-Administrative-Profession

The Future of the Administrative Profession – Surviving or Thriving?

By Joan Burge, Founder and CEO, Office Dynamics International
Changing the Lives of Administrative Professionals Since 1990

It’s important to recognize the difference between surviving and thriving, because the key to success is available to those who successfully manage to cross the bandwidth between the two.

The global economic meltdown brought sweeping changes across many continents as companies made drastic changes to many sectors of employees, including the administrative profession. So encompassing was the economic climate that no vocation was immune.

Before the crisis, the administrative profession operated differently. Training budgets were ample; opportunity for advancement sparkled like diamonds for the taking. Administrators handled many tasks, and had backups, cross training, and team-shared projects.

Post-crisis, many people lost their jobs, and took any available position, even ones they were far overqualified for. Others could no longer afford to retire. Single income households became dual income households, often due to pay cuts and shorter hours. Training budgets dissipated, opportunities dried up, and assistants had larger workloads without staffing backups. Single support executive assistants now juggled multiple managers.

We’ve come through and now, the economy is healing. Much has changed for the executive assistant and administrative professional, and in order to thrive in this new working environment, it’s up to both to operate wisely, using savvy to make the right decision regarding the right question at the right time.

It would be easy to simply throw up one’s hands and say, “It’s okay to just survive!” but we know that excellence goes far beyond the basics. Success is met when we exceed expectations; when we go the second mile, and when we work diligently to remain relevant and competitive. Thriving is where we find contentment, advancement and opportunity.

We must know and grasp the many changes in today’s workplace so we can leverage them to succeed and thrive in the profession:

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Growing New Habits

grow new habits

Good morning and welcome to the last week of April. Brian Tracy is a favorite author, speaker, and consultant who I have admired for two decades. I’d like to share something with you that he said and then build upon it.

“Success is 95% habit. Successful people are those who have developed good habits and follow them over and over. Unsuccessful people have poor habits or don’t have good habits. If you develop good habits, they become automatic. Your success and your happiness are virtually guaranteed.” [Read more…]

Peer Synergy: 5 Powerhouse Strategies For Creating Administrative Peer Power

administrative team attending conference

Coming together is better than fighting for your own agenda. When you are trying to create change, whether in a process or for the administrative community in your organization, it is much easier to be persuasive when there is a group. There is strength in unity. 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.

When administrative professionals work together, there is less duplication, resulting in savings to the company and increased profitability.

  • Learn simplification techniques from each other.
  • Gain a new perspective.
  • Add freshness to your ho-hum routine.
  • Share technical shortcuts.

[Read more…]

5 Best Practices for Boosting Your Resiliency

resilience

<Guest Post by All Things Admin, Julie Perrine>

Part of an admin’s job is knowing how to handle unexpected, uncomfortable and sometimes downright awful situations. This means being flexible, patient, and expert trouble-shooters. Yet even the best, most experienced, and innovative admins can get flustered or lose their concentration in times of extreme chaos.

We are admins. But we’re human, too. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when an unforeseen situation comes up. However, there are some best practices that can improve your resilience and help you weather difficulties in a proactive and productive way. [Read more…]

Take Your Seat … At The Executive Table

A-Seat-At-The-Executives-Table

<Guest Post by Debbie Gross>

Take Your Seat…At the Executive Table
Administrative Professionals leading in the 21st-century

Business today is changing so rapidly that it is hard to keep up or keep track! With new technologies (apps, devices, office environments) and globalization, restructuring, downsizing and flattening of top heavy organizations, as administrative professionals, if we are not careful, we could literally get run-over!

It’s time to reinvent ourselves and the roles we play.

I feel strongly that the administrative profession must evolve to continue to be seen as relevant to our organizations in this changing business environment. In a profession that is challenging for even the best of them, to be valued, recognized and indispensable to the organizations we support and to the companies we work for, we have to show our worth. When we walk in to the conference room, there should be a seat reserved for us at the executive table!

It is an exciting time and an opportunity for us to grab hold and embrace the strategies that will elevate our profession.

How?

I would like to share with you what I think will be some of those key strategies we will need to have to be a 21st Century Administrative Professional. It is a unique role that only we can play, and requires bold moves.

To gain a seat we will want to embrace qualities like critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation. We will need to be entrepreneurs, risk takers, more importantly results driven.

What are the new skills admired and soon to be required of administrative professionals:

  1. Digital Savvy: learning semi-tech and self-publishing skills
  2. Data Analysis: learning how to collect, analyze and synthesizing information to create solutions
  3. Virtual Engagement: learning how to be an effective virtual partner
  4. Leadership: stepping up and out of comfort zones
  5. Critical Thinking: using information to innovate and create win/wins
  6. Collaboration: going global
  7. Communication: embracing and encouraging change
  8. Adaptability and Resiliency: constantly reinventing ourselves
  9. Innovation: harnessing creativity
  10. Global Citizenship: identifying ourselves as part of a global community
  11. Entrepreneurship: running with new ideas

Some of us are doing these things already. Are You?

If not, are you making plans to develop yourself in some of these areas? This might involve making yourself visible or mentoring with others who are already subject matter experts. It could mean that you gain the experience by asking for a project that takes you out of your comfort zone. Maybe there are training programs or webinars that can give you the educational edge?

What a wonderful opportunity we have ahead of us! Just imagine the new fundamental growth opportunities we can embrace as students of the future!

The administrative professional should be considered one of a company’s most valued assets.

In the 21st Century let us change the view others have of our roles and the perception of the Administrative Profession – let’s gain our seat at the executive table and be welcomed there!

 

Debbie Gross, CEA, has over 20 years of experience in the administrative field. She joined Cisco Systems in March, 1991 as the executive assistant to John Chambers, then Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations. As the company has grown from $1.2 billion in annual revenues to $46 billion, her responsibilities have grown together with Chambers’. In 1995, when Chambers became President and CEO, Debbie Gross assumed the lead role leading Cisco’s broad 1000+- person administrative team. Learn more about Debbie Gross.

See Debbie at The Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence this October. Learn more at The Resilient Assistant.

Accepting Feedback (The positive kind!)

feedback

<Guest Post by Judi Moreo>

How are you accepting feedback? Positive feedback, that is.

It’s amazing how few people know how to handle positive feedback.  Actually, it’s as much of an art as handling criticism. And, how you handle it will determine how much more of it you receive.

If someone says thank you to you for something you went out of your way to do for them, for goodness sake, don’t say, “It wasn’t anything,” “It was no big deal,” or ”Oh, anyone could have done it.” It will seem as though the thank you that was given wasn’t really necessary, so next time the person may not feel the need to say thank you.   Say instead, “Thank you.  I am so glad you noticed.”

If the person writes you a letter, memo, or email thanking you for something you did, it is good manners to acknowledge it with a card, return email, or phone call and once again, all you need to say is, “I received your letter and would like to let you know that I so appreciate you noticing my efforts.”

We all like to hear when we are doing well.  It lets us know our work is appreciated.  Unfortunately, we tend to receive more negative feedback than positive.  That is why it is so important to acknowledge the positive feedback when you receive it and reinforce its importance to the person who gave it.

Is accepting feedback difficult for you? How do you respond to positive feedback?

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Judi Moreo is one of America’s foremost Personal Development experts and the author of the best selling book, You Are More Than Enough:  Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power and its companion, the Achievement Journal. Click here to learn more about Judi.

Judi Moreo will be speaking at the 22nd Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence: The Resilient Assistant.

Happy Administrative Professionals Week! An Admirable Profession

Administrative Professionals Week

Administrative Professionals Week – Celebrating An Admirable Profession

 

First, I want to thank my incredible administrative partner who grew into a Vice President at Office Dynamics . . . Jasmine Freeman. I always say an executive assistant will make or break an executive and Jasmine has certainly allowed me to be successful.

The Administrative Profession Is An Admirable Profession

Happy Administrative Professionals Week! Wow, I can’t believe it is that time of year again. Of course this profession is near and dear to my heart since I worked in the administrative profession for 20 years and Office Dynamics has been dedicated to administrative training and development for 25 years. This truly is very special and you have been a big part of our success.

One thing I wanted to talk about today is the many skills you develop when you work in the administrative profession. When I think back to my 20 years, all the different companies I worked in and people I supported and met, it is incredible. I can do what I do today because of what I learned during those 20 years.

Assistants manage crazy schedules that constantly change, create order out of chaos, plan complex trips, book hotels, deal with difficult people, prepare meeting rooms, greet visitors and ensure their needs are met, run a busy executive’s life, manages stress, is a gatherer of information, deals with complex systems, interacts with hundreds of personalities, has to be organized, be a leader, be assertive and so much more.

Those are all skills that transfer to your personal life and skills that you will take with you the rest of your life. I am a business owner, CEO, speaker and consultant. I have to be extremely organized, deal with multiple personalities, manage my time, gather and process tons of information, be a leader, be assertive, tactfully communicate with other CEOs, consult with CEOs, teach others and the list goes on.

I remember when I started speaking, other experienced speakers (who had never been assistants) came to me to help them set up and organize their client files. They weren’t great with their follow-up systems and managing their travel. I was excited to realize all the skills I developed by being an executive assistant would be fully utilized in my new career.

It’s Administrative Professionals Week. As you live out this special week in honor of your profession, I hope you see it as a worthwhile career. You get to work with the movers and the shakers; you know and learn things other people in your company are not privy to! It is an admirable profession and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Why did I leave after 20 years? Because I had tremendous exposure during my career. I was pretty mobile and had numerous experiences. I felt quite passionate about providing in-depth training and learning opportunities to assistants to fill a huge gap that I saw as an assistant. It made no sense to me that executive and administrative assistants did not get the caliber of training and learning that their executive got. So I am still very involved in the profession.

Be proud of the path you have chosen. Celebrate you this week! You don’t need to wait for someone to take you to lunch or buy you flowers. (Although that is really nice.) Even better is being supported in your professional development.

How will you be celebrating Administrative Professionals Week this year? 

Have a fantastic week!

Joan Burge

P.S. Be sure to participate in our April Blog-a-Thon dedicated to you, celebrating the administrative profession. Comment below and on any blog posted this month, as often as you wish and you might win a great prize!

Living Your BIG & Bold Life [Upcoming Event]

Living-Your-Big-And-Bold-Life-Webinar-Banner

Announcement: Our next free webinar in our celebration series is open for registration.

Living Your BIG & Bold Life with Joan Burge

May 7, 2015

10:00 – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Register Now, It’s a free event! [Read more…]

Put A Lid On It: Venting Is Bad For You

venting

<Guest Post by Courtney Clark>

Don’t you hate that feeling when stress starts to build up, until you reach your boiling point and you feel like you just can’t take it any more?  When most of us get to that point, there’s a solution: venting.  You vent to your friends, your family, or other administrative professional colleagues, who understand the pressure of your job.

Venting makes us feel like we can take action, in a situation where we really don’t have any power.  Since we don’t have enough control to change the situation, the only thing we can do is vent.  Besides, venting makes us feel better.  Or, at least, we think it does… [Read more…]

What Makes You Proud?

admins-rock
<What Makes You Proud? Guest Post by Kemetia Foley>

Seems like each year that Administrative Professionals Day rolls around that there is a frenetic discussion about what sort of recognition is appropriate for Administrative Professionals and it ranges from ‘Why recognize?’  to the overkills of obligatory ‘flowers and lunch with the team’, and everything in between.

And, you have the Administrative Professionals that lament that their employer does NOTHING for them. I mean, nothing. As in Zilch. Zippy. Nil.

This post is for you. I have an assignment for you. STOP WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO RECOGNIZE HOW FABULOUS YOU ARE!!!—DO YOU RECOGNIZE HOW AWESOME YOU ARE? [Read more…]