One of my goals for 2020 is to improve my networking skills in an authentic way. In today’s Stories From The Frontlines post, I sit down with fellow assistant Sarah Stankevitz to chat about the qualities and mindset shift necessary to see your network grow in an honest and genuine way.
Whether it’s a meeting with our executive or a cold call attempt to sell something, I’m sure we’ve all had an experience where someone tried to “network” with us that left us feeling walked over and used. I used to fear reaching out to people to expand my network because I didn’t want people to view me this way. As I’ve grown in this area I’ve begun to realize this fear is irrational and is holding me back. As I’ve chosen to set this fear aside, I’ve noticed my network begin to grow along with my sphere of influence and ability to genuinely help people. I believe this transformation is available to us all!
I was intentional in my...
I’m just going to say it. I love the holidays. I love everything about them. I love exchanging gifts and I love all the tasty treats that accompany Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.
I’m very excited about today’s Resource Corner post. I had the privilege of chatting it up with Priscilla Terrero who is not only a friend and chocolatier but also one kickass chick! She runs her Brooklyn based company, Morito Chocolate, sourcing her cacao from local farmers in the Dominican Republic. Priscilla makes her chocolate in small batches and I love how you can actually hear the passion in her voice throughout this interview.
And guess what? Priscilla has gift packs, you guys! She’s also offering 15% off for my Whole Assistant community. Seriously, if you are in charge of corporate gifts for your office then I strongly urge you to consider giving these unique gifts from Morito Chocolate. They were handcrafted in Brooklyn, made with love, and it...
I could not be more thrilled to present this month’s Resource Corner post with Karen Nanninga. Karen is a certified coach who has geared her business toward helping executive assistants & administrative professionals of all kinds find happiness and fulfillment at work and in their personal lives.
In this interview, Karen breaks down how we can all design our own contribution in the workplace while maintaining alignment with our executives and organizations. It was a definite treat for me to interview Karen and I’m certain you will find it equally engaging and helpful!
If you would like to learn more about Karen and her services please visit her website at Karen-Nanninga.com.
Karen Nanninga, after a career as Executive Assistant at Management and Board level, has been a Trainer, Consultant, and Speaker in the field of management support for over 25 years. She is also a Certified Business and Life Coach for...
Thanks for popping in for this month’s Resource Corner post! I’m VERY excited to have sat down with Monique Helstrom of MoniqueHestrom.com and OnPoint.Expert. Monique is a fairly recent transplant to Denver and it was an extra treat to sit down with her live.
In this interview, we get into the nitty-gritty of what it looks like to be in strategic partnership with our executive, as well as how to overcome some common hurdles when it comes to developing these unique relationships. Having worked for nearly 10 years as Simon Sinek’s “Chief of Simon”, Monique in uniquely qualified to speak on the subject. Not only was Monique able to develop a successful strategic partnership with Simon, but she also speaks and advises other assistants on how to do the same.
Monique is passionate about helping both visionaries and those that support them understand their essential and unique role in making...
Early on in my career, I worked as a receptionist. I might be biased but I’m a firm believer in anyone starting out in the administrative profession cutting their teeth as a receptionist.
Personally, I learned so much in this role. I learned how to stay calm and courteous under the pressure of visitors and constant phone calls. I learned the importance of knowing the delivery guys’ names and the nuance of sorting mail. Most of all, I learned how to field requests from multiple people, guests, and coworkers alike, simultaneously.
This was not without stress! I remember feeling frequently overwhelmed (dealing with this emotion is also good training) and immobilized by a list of tasks needing to be done immediately.
Since this time I’ve been a part of numerous conversations with fellow assistants who have found themselves in a place of overwhelm and panic. First of all, let me just say that I don’t think there’s an assistant alive who hasn’t dealt...
It takes a special type of person to be a successful assistant. It takes excellent people skills, an eye for detail and thinking 6 steps ahead.
It takes empathy, grit, tenacity, and the belief that everything is figureoutable. It takes the social and emotional intelligence so you can know when to pull back and when to push for what is needed. It also takes the ability to hold and maintain the big picture for your executive, department, or organization while simultaneously living in the weeds in order to get things done.
It is this last point which we will be discussing today. How to “hold the vision” while dealing with the logistics of execution. For me, this is harder than it sounds. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds when my to-do list is constantly growing and evolving. It’s not uncommon to reach the end of my day and wonder how I actually spent it when the truth of the matter is I spent it swinging from task to task much like a monkey swings from limb...
Back when I first moved to Colorado I landed a position at a local nonprofit. It was a fantastic fit at the time and the lessons I learned at this organization, I still carry with me.
It was here where I learned how to manage a very heavy workload and multiple competing priorities. I had 4 extremely busy people to manage and they all had different ideas of what my role entailed. Navigating and strategically negotiating these expectations was a big part of my role.
I also had outward-facing responsibilities to our constituents and became heavily involved in development and fundraising. This role was my “trial by fire” in terms of time management. Here’s the deal, I loved every minute of it! My role was weird (I managed crypts, yes, you read right, crypts) and interesting. The people I worked with were equally weird and interesting!
Then things began to change. The equivalent to the CEO left, and subsequently everyone else I had grown to admire and enjoyed...
For most of us, the path to being an administrative professional or executive assistant has been a winding one.
For me, I thought I was headed down a different path when I stumbled upon administrative work as a way to pay the bills. In the beginning, this work for me was just a way to pay the bills. It was just a job.
It was a job I was good at but at the time, I didn’t consider it a career path. Once this possibility was opened up to me by my mentor Marianne, I have to admit that I really didn’t have a clear plan for my career. All I knew was I wanted the relationship Marianne had with her executive, one of trust and mutual respect.
Getting an idea of what you want out of your ideal position is the first step to obtaining it. You either steer your career or you let your career steer you!
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Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing strategies for personal growth as well as ways in which to steer your career. As a precursor to these topics, I thought it would be great to interview a badass Chief of Staff as this role may be a path to consider as you start to envision what you want your career to look like. After all, how will you know how to steer your career if you have no idea of what to steer your career toward?
The role of Chief of Staff is relatively new in the private sector. As executives find themselves with more and more demands on their time and energy, they are finding the need to partner with a Chief of Staff in order to stay focused on items that are in their zone of genius. A Chief of Staff supports at the highest level, helping their executive not only execute their vision but also define, refine, and clarify it. They uphold the desired culture of the organization, effectively managing staff, and are able to keep a birds-eye view while still having...
I think we have all been there. We have all found ourselves, at one time or another, in a position where we feel undervalued, underutilized, and unheard. It’s not fun!
Nearly 6 years ago, I survived a life-threatening health situation. I won’t go into the details because they are not important here. After weeks of leave, I returned to work anxious to get back to my normal routine. I was still in the recovery process (a process I was told could take up to a year) and my boss didn’t handle the situation well at all.
I was demoted and told that I was no longer worth what the company was paying me. I was also informed that despite my hard work for several months prior, I would be denied my bonus. None of this was my fault. I had just survived a traumatic medical event. There was nothing I could do, and yet this was my reality.
During the weeks and months that followed, my boss made my life miserable in an attempt to get me to quit. Retaliation anyone? She knew she...
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