10 timeless truths for admins

administrative assistantFor just shy of 10 years it has been my job and joy to write this column. As it’s my last, I’m sharing timeless truths that collectively influence your professional and personal success. Thank you, readers, for coming along on the ride. – Colette Carlson

  1. Embrace change. The pace of change is only going to accelerate, so the quicker you adapt to new technologies, protocols and even office design, the saner you’ll stay. Better to be an early adopter than a constant complainer who gets left behind.
  2. Everything counts. Every thought you think, every decision you make and every email you send either moves you toward or away from becoming an exceptional em­­ployee. Do you choose to judge another’s comments or assume positive intent? Engage or refrain from gossip? Quickly send or carefully proofread emails for clarity and understanding?
  3. Your network is your net worth. Connect with individuals that can hire you or help you get ahead, gain a skill or introduce you to a person of influence. Don’t just think locally, but regionally, nationally and globally. Add diversity to the mix in age, gender and talent.
  4. Be a go-giver. Give of yourself, your talent and time. Share your expertise and skills with new admins, lead a meeting or provide unexpected backup to struggling departments. Givers give generously without conditions or expectations of anything in return.
  5. Be interested vs. interesting. The greatest gift you can give another is to truly listen with your eyes, ears and heart. Listening fully tells another person they matter and you genuinely care.
  6. Dare not to compare. Comparing what you’re feeling inside to what another is feeling outside is an unfair comparison. The only person you should ever compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.
  7. School is never out for the pro. Do you choose to be educated through biographies, business or self-help books? Or, do you choose fast and easy entertainment? To go to the next level, you have to grow to the next level. Read nonfiction books, take online classes and attend conferences.
  8. The answer is always no if you don’t ask. Do your homework, build a case and go ask for what you need to succeed. Even if the answer is no, you’ll know more than before.
  9. Feedback is a gift. We can’t change what we don’t see or acknowledge. Rather than resist feedback, use it to adjust your behavior and go further faster.
  10. Speak your truth. Your success demands you get comfortable with uncomfortable conversations. Say what needs to be said with respect and candor.