Monday Motivators: School Is Never Out for the Career-Minded Administrative Professional

Happy Monday! 

I am very excited about this week as it is the beginning of my birthday week. I love birthdays and I am especially grateful that I have lived another year. One thing I have embraced since I was a child is learning. I have been a “sponge” my entire life. That does not mean I spent years going to college. In fact, I do not have a college degree. I am a self-taught student and have enjoyed a successful career because I have paid attention to other people and situations in my work life. 

Once I graduated from high school and joined the workforce, school wasn’t “out” for me. I observed my managers and how they handled stress, managed conflict, kept all the balls in the air, and never missed a beat. I also observed the managers who weren’t so successful and avoided any of their nonproductive habits. I was blessed to have several fantastic high-level executives as my working partners. They mentored, coached, and encouraged me. They challenged me to strive for nothing but the best in my work and let me spread my wings. I learned a great deal from those executives. 

I also selected mentors throughout my career and, to this day, continue to have mentors. Throughout the 23 years of running Office Dynamics, I have grown. Every day I find something to learn. And while I am the “teacher” in the classroom training administrative assistants and executive assistants, I learn as much from them as they do from me. Because I am on-site at various industry locations, I am able to stay abreast of what is going on in the business world and at larger organizations.

Of course with having the Internet, none of us have an excuse not to learn. It is a matter of “wanting to” learn and be committed to daily growth. 

As you approach this week at work:

1.   Pay attention to the people around you. Don’t be so absorbed in your devices that you don’t notice human interaction. You can learn a great deal by watching people dynamics.

2.   Listen to the leaders in your company. What words do they use? How do they handle a difficult situation? How do they react when the pressure is on?

3.   Learn from co-workers.

4.   Observe visitors.

5.   Read USA Today at least once this week. It will broaden your horizons.

6.   Go to lunch with people outside your inner circle.

7.   Look into a class for fall. Check out free courses at www.coursera.org.

Joan Burge

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