(Excerpt from Become an Inner Circle Assistant book, Joan Burge)
For the first time in history, the administrative professional’s job description hints at the full engagement of cognitive powers. When the job description includes identifying goals for the coming year; meshing them with your executive’s goals and department and organization goals; being prepared to track progress at specific intervals; and being accountable for success or lack thereof, it’s easy to tell this is not a job for dummies!
You’re not a puppet, and someone else is not pulling the strings. You’re in charge. You have power. And if you’re to attain the inner circle assistant spot and maintain it, your intellect plays a large part in your success. So if the best career advice you’ve received so far is to dress for success, get ready to think bigger. And “think” is the operating word.
I am talking subtle power; not “walk-all-over-everyone” kind of power. As an administrative or executive assistant, your power will come from your brilliance! It comes from your thinking and fully engaging all your senses every day throughout the day. This is no easy feat but you can do it. Here are a few tips:
Look for ways to add value to the company. Several years ago at the Office Dynamics Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence, we had 249 assistants collaborate on how an assistant could add more value at work when he or she is already adding value. The group came up with over 400 ideas which later became the now Amazon-best-seller, Who Took My Pen . . . Again?
Don’t settle for “top of the mind” thinking. I often see this in my training classes. I assign various activities throughout the day and there may be one group who is always done first. They are so excited and “brag” about being the first ones to finish. However, what they don’t realize is that their ideas are not nearly as rich as the team who really massaged the question or issue and gave deep thought to it. Don’t be a surface thinker. Dig deep and you will find a treasure of great ideas.
Powerful assistants self-manage. Remember power in the subtleties. Self-management is being very aware of your feeling, emotions, attitudes and knowing how you tend to respond to things. In what ways can you manage your thoughts, especially when you feel upset or work is chaotic?
Commit to quality performance. There is no way around this one. In today’s casual world, people are becoming quite slack in their writing, set up of emails, and attention to detail. If you will take the extra time to dot every “I” and cross every “t”, you will be far ahead of the crowd. Being a top performer in the administrative profession is powerful. You will gain respect; be viewed as that person who goes the extra mile; who really cares. You will build a reputation of excellence that will take you places the rest of your working days!
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
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