Finding Inspiration for Your Career Journey

For people who know their career aspirations early on, a successful career path may not seem daunting. For others, self-doubt may crop up along the way. Whether on the first rung of your career ladder or have found yourself on the way to the top, here are a few tips to help you find inspiration for your career journey
This weekend, my grandchildren visited, and we went to the local park for some QTR (quality time realized). I joined in on a conversation with a group of young moms’ and one dad, as they discussed their jobs. I brought up the question to the group “Do you remember what you wanted to be you when you were your children’s ages (4 to 8 years old)? With a momentary pause, the answers came fast and furious – an inventor, a superhero, a doctor, a sports star – the boss! I asked that same group of parents “how many of you stayed with the same career choice today?” “Nope,” “nada,” “I wish,” were their answers, and all didn’t think they would be in the career they are doing today.

When I was 4 years old and Mom, then a secretary/office manager, brought me to work for the day, I immediately wanted to be a secretary as I watched Mom in action. She obviously was important, she had the doughnuts on her desk. For people who know their career aspirations early on, embarking on a successful career path may not seem that daunting. For most people, struggles & self-doubt may crop up along the way. Whether you’re on the first rung of your career ladder or have found yourself unfulfilled on your way to the top, here are a few tips to help you find inspiration for your career journey:

1.) Perform a “self-analysis.” Answer these questions and any others that are relevant to make up your “career wish list.” Do you enjoy what you do? Are you happy with what you have achieved thus far? Do you like where you work, or would you like to move on? Do you want more responsibility or added challenges in your current position? Is it time to ask for a raise or make a move to another company? If you find yourself stuck, ask trusted family members, friends or colleagues for insight, ideas, and suggestions. It’s amazing what others can “see” that we fail to notice!

2.) Get professional guidance! There comes a point, if you are having trouble identifying your career niche or how to take it to the next level, consulting with a career counselor or life coach may be in order. Unlike friends or peers, they can help you find answers. Often, they will offer testing to assess your skills, talents, values, and personality. If finances are of concern, search for free or low-cost career assessments online, or ask your local librarian for resources available in your community. They do exist!

3.) Self-reflection homework! Once you’ve gained the insight you need, being honest with yourself, find out what’s required to advance your career. Ask yourself, do you need more training or experience? Do opportunities for advancement exist where you’re currently employed, or is it time to consider a move? It’s always appropriate to talk to other people working in your field for a realistic perspective, and never stop learning. Additional training and knowledge will only enhance your skill-set and career prospects.

4.) Top Tip…Get a Mentor and Get Inspired! A good mentor is a person who represents experience, knowledge and an eagerness to help others thrive and succeed. Though sometimes hard to find in today’s busy work world, it’s not impossible, it just requires research and networking.

Good mentors can be your manager, executive, peer or person you respect. The beauty of a having a mentor is helping you anticipate the what-ifs and share your energy and passion for your current career path. They’ll inspire you to stay the course and give clarity, where before there was none.

Finding inspiration for your career journey can appear in many forms. You might start off as an office clerk, move up to secretary, then chief executive assistant to the CEO, and amazingly end up as president of the company. That’s not impossible, for example, former secretary, Colleen C. Barrett, was the first female president of a major airline, according to Southwest.

If you are an Administrative Professional eager to take your career to the next level and learn from a former successful Administrative Professional, enroll in the programs at AdminUniverse™. From Corporate Workshops & Seminars to Online Training, we’re here to make it happen!

 

Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer - AdminUniverseMeet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: joanne.linden@adminuniverse.com. https://adminuniverse.com

Administrative Professionals can take stock of what they’re given and come up with strategies to get the job done. AdminUniverse is all about developing this key skill to being successful in an office setting.

Conquering Common Workplace Challenges

Your relationship with your job is ever-evolving & in some cases, that may cause unforeseen challenges to arise. Have you been in the same position for a while, and are now losing interest? Does it seem like you’re asked to do more than your forty-hour week permits? Or maybe, your workload is finally taking its toll.

Your relationship with your job is ever-evolving, and in some cases, that may cause unforeseen challenges to arise. Have you been in the same position for a while, and are now losing interest? Does it seem like you’re asked to do more than your forty-hour week permits? Or maybe, your workload is finally taking its toll. Consider these questions and solutions:

Employee Engagement: A common workplace dilemma is not being challenged enough. According to a study conducted by Gallup News, a mere ~31.7% of 6,024 U.S. employees hold steady engagement at work. If you’re like the clear majority (68.3%) of the U.S. workforce, you feel disengaged.

Survey Questions:

  • Do you find yourself distracted while on the clock?
  • Have you outgrown your position?
  • Do you think you deserve a promotion?

Tips for Improvement:

  • If you’ve been in your current position for several years, you might find the role is no longer suited for your enhanced skill set. If this is the case, consider asking your manager for a change-up: different tasks and thought-provoking assignments.
  • Even if you’re the ideal employee, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be given a promotion. Most employers want you to show unmistakable interest. If you feel you’re deserving, plan your approach and ask!
  • Stay on your toes. Professional development workshops, conferences, and classes are a great way to spice up your routine and amplify your training.

Overwhelming Workload: It’s been reported that among industrialized countries, the United States takes the gold medal in terms of hours worked per year. Annually, the average American employee puts in 1,800 hours. That’s 400 more hours than the average Norwegian and 330 more than the average Frenchman. Is this because we’re asked to do more, or do we have poor time management skills? Truthfully, it’s likely the latter.

Survey Questions:

  • Do you find yourself rushing to finish an assignment in time?
  • Are you forced to break commitments?
  • Do you feel unhealthy or overstressed because of your job?

Tips for Improvement:

  • Create a to-do list. So simple, yet so effective. This will allow you keep track of things that need to be done and prioritize the impending tasks.
  • Work smarter, not harder. Managing your time isn’t about squeezing as much as you can into eight hours, it’s about simplifying how you work, and doing things faster. We promise, there are enough hours in a day, but it may take some rearranging to get the job done.
  • Some jobs are inherently more stressful than others. Not everyone is cut out for that environment, but if you’re willing to persevere, consider finding an effective outlet to avoid burning out.

For every challenge, there’s a solution. Map out yours and utilize the provided solutions or think outside of the box and customize your resolution.

 

Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer - AdminUniverseMeet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: joanne.linden@adminuniverse.com. https://adminuniverse.com

Administrative Professionals can take stock of what they’re given and come up with strategies to get the job done. AdminUniverse is all about developing this key skill to being successful in an office setting.

Confronting Workplace Challenges by Focusing on You

Unfortunately, outside factors can create internal struggles. Good preparation includes thinking about the “what-ifs” that work-life hands you. Common in many organizations is the question of how to effectively plan to confront the people or things sabotaging your enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, outside factors can create internal struggles. As an Administrative Professional, I had to resist giving challenges the power to impact my work and/or dampen my enthusiasm. Over the years as an Executive Assistant to a powerful Silicon Valley CEO, I learned from him that preparation is good…but good preparation includes thinking about the “what-ifs” that work-life hands you. Common in many organizations is the question of how to effectively plan to confront the people or things sabotaging your enthusiasm.

Common Workplace Challenges:

Whether you’ve been at your company two days, two years, or two decades, challenges arise. Here are three common examples:

1) Unpleasant Work Environment

It’s one thing to dislike your job, but when you feel uncomfortable or physically ill walking into work, the environment may be toxic. Your bad boss, rude coworker, failure to qualify for a promotion, lack of recognition, or any combination of the four can be to blame.

2) Hierarchy/Bureaucracy

For years, various groups of people – in the realm of business or politics, have voiced their frustrations with hierarchy. Because of the connotation, it may seem like a bad word. If you’re at the bottom of the food chain, it may feel like your voice falls on deaf ears. If you’re in the middle of the food chain, well, you’re in the middle of everything—higher ups project demands, and subordinates look to you for answers or changes you can’t provide. If you’re at the top-level, you have the most responsibility—you make the big decisions and give the last word. Everyone looks to you, and that alone is difficult.

3) Difficult Clients or Peers

As an Executive Assistant, I would sometimes have to deal with demanding clients. I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, “the customer is always right.” The outdated maxim provides clients or peers a sense of entitlement, impacting your ability to do your job.

Tips for Conquering Dragons and Demons:

Whether your light is being dimmed by the environment, process, or customers, you can overcome workplace challenges by focusing on yourself:

1) Boost Self-Confidence

In the business world, your confidence may gradually deplete as a result of errors made when accomplishing tasks. The difference in levels of confidence comes down to how we react to criticism from those mistakes. Take control of how you feel by implementing these top-three habits:

  1. Criticism hurts and letting the criticism roll off your shoulders is easier said than done. Try this: if you hear something negative, keep an open mind and try to clear the ego. If the criticism is emotional at all levels, try not to let it bother you or destroy how you feel about yourself. Take a breath before you react because good criticism is constructive, listen and learn from it.
  2. Increase your knowledge: knowing how to handle issues of all sizes can increase your confidence. Seek out inspiration by attending a workshop or conference, take a course, watch a TED talk, or read a book.
  3. Celebrate your successes: self-acknowledgment reminds you that you are meant for the position. It’s okay to give yourself a “pat on the back” when no one else does. Famous comedian and author Milton Berle stated: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

2) Setting and Achieving Goals

There’s nothing more satisfying than accomplishing a goal or task. With the New Year, one topic that rings out to everyone is that of goal setting. Whether short-term “to-day lists”, to longer-term life goals or even those great “bucket-list” items, goal setting works because it provides a platform for success.

Developing your idea, or completing tasks needs a road-map, and is the start of the goal-setting process. Keep it simple, set the goal, what is the start date and end date? What’s your objective? What’s your action plan; how do you intend to get there? To achieve your objective, you’ll need an action plan. In doing so, prioritize your tasks and responsibilities before the deadline. Ask for help if needed.

Work/life challenges can render even the best-planned goals useless, especially if you stray away from the plan or strategy. Adapt to change but commit to your vision. You can achieve your goals!

While you can’t always control outside factors, you can focus on something equally if not more important, yourself. When you choose to enact positive changes, nothing can get in the way between you and success. AdminUniverse™ offers some wonderful career enhancement programs. Now is the time to find out for yourself how we can help by checking out our latest programs at http://AdminUniverse.com.

 

Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer - AdminUniverseMeet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: joanne.linden@adminuniverse.com. https://adminuniverse.com

Administrative Professionals can take stock of what they’re given and come up with strategies to get the job done. AdminUniverse is all about developing this key skill to being successful in an office setting.

Five Ways to Express Your Servant Leadership

Often referred to as “Servant Leadership”, executives create company and team cultures reflecting sincere respect and service to others.

As an Executive Assistant, I learned early on from the executives I’ve worked with, that they set themselves apart from other executives, in that they demonstrated leadership through service to others. Often referred to as “Servant Leadership”, they create company and team cultures reflecting sincere respect and service to others. Don’t assume that leadership qualities must have a natural charisma or a college degree. Far from anything like that, administrative professionals who really want to shine, look on their role as serving peers and community with an ability to support their efforts and objectives successfully and doing so without wanting the spotlight or necessarily recognition. Like anything, changing your perspective and attitude in becoming this type of leader requires work. By refining your skills, you’ll garner your team’s respect and cement your authority in the company. To assist, we’ve compiled a list of five steps to enhance yours.

1) Actively Listen: Active listening is more than passively hearing. It’s taking the time to validate your co-workers’ thoughts and opinions. This tool serves as a crucial skill in a collaborative work environment. By utilizing it, you’ll build bonds with your peers and gain valuable insight.

2) Respond Decisively: Servant Leaders maintain their composure, never showing any signs of doubt. When you speak, do so with conviction, confidence, and compassion. Your delivery will provide your team the sense that everything is under control.

3) Remain Fearless: Servant Leaders fear just as much, if not more, than the average employee. What sets the two apart is who is noticeably listening and not talking. Whether you’re working your way up or already at the top, remain fearless. It’s impossible to throw someone off who’s prepared for everything.

4) Learn from Your Manager: Along the way, you’ll encounter different types of managers—take advantage, you can learn a great deal from each one. For those who you admire, mimic their skills and styles. For those you deem ineffective, learn what not to do.

Sometimes, it’s easy to know right off the bat a type of leadership style. Ask yourself if your manager inspires or deflates? How does their interaction with employees motivate? Do they provide guidance, or practice a more hands-off approach? Do employees feel comfortable bringing concerns to their attention? How did they make it to the top? What is their creative inspiration?

5) Lead by Example: With time, you’ll have a greater responsibility serving a team of managers or key company executive. They’ll likely look to you for guidance, and that’s a part of what being a Servant Leader is. A big part of your responsibility is to lead by example. Keeping in mind strategy four, you’ve probably realized leaders who say one thing but do another, erode trust—a paramount element of effective leadership. So, acknowledge failure, create solutions, and realize you’re not perfect. When you preach what you practice, others will be inspired to follow, and your higher-ups will take notice.

Every Servant Leader has their own style and strategy. It’s okay to mimic your favorite leader keeping in mind respect and trust for others, will eventually turn your Servant Leadership into your own style and success.

 

Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer - AdminUniverseMeet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: joanne.linden@adminuniverse.com. https://adminuniverse.com

Administrative Professionals can take stock of what they’re given and come up with strategies to get the job done. AdminUniverse is all about developing this key skill to being successful in an office setting.