While recently serving as panel moderator at an administrative professional’s conference, I had the pleasure of connecting with an inspiring group of executive assistants. These women work for CEOs, CFOs and presidents at organizations ranging from Microsoft to the NBA. My biggest takeaway from these seasoned admins? They never let their titles limit them or prevent them from taking action to support their executives, which in turn results in their own professional growth. For example, the executive assistant to an Ivy League university president sought a solution for handling the hundreds of daily requests for the president’s time and talents. She ended up hiring a communications team, which required her to deliver everything from the necessaryto their . Eventually this team was so successful, it was incorporated into another university department.
Another executive assistant gained kudos and recognition for her call sheet that took into account today’s world of cellphones and time zones. Her program was so well-designed, it was implemented corporatewide. Yet another travels worldwide with her executive and arranges events internationally, which has prompted her to learn additional languages.
These women exemplify the ideal that within this incredible profession, you can grow by challenging and implementing your strengths. Are you tapping into your highest skills at least a few times a week?
If you feel like you don’t have every skill set you need yet, don’t let that stop you. Too often, women feel they must have 110% proficiency before saying yes to the next opportunity, while research shows men only feel the need to be at 80%. You’re smart and can learn as you go.
Remember, for every area of interest, there’s a business and a leader that needs admin support. Ask yourself, who would you ideally like to work for? What industries excite you?
Yes, life requires that we play it smart and there are bills to pay, but are you thinking big enough? When we’re fully engaged in our careers, we’re happier, healthier and more productive. And that, my friend, gets noticed and leads to even greater opportunities.
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