Checking in with Your Goals

Remember those goals you set for 2021? We’re a few months into the year now, cautiously optimistic about how everything is going, and it’s time to check in with yourself about the goals you set at the start of the year. In this blog we will discuss the importance of revisiting goals that you set in the beginning of the year and how to revamp your goals after revaluation.

Possibly Revamping Your Goals

2020 was a rough year, and many experts advised individuals to make smaller, more available resolutions for 2021 since the mass majority of people needed to improve their mental health. Smaller goals are more likely to be achieved, which results in people feeling good about themselves.

Before revisiting your 2021 resolutions, you may want to revamp them to fit the global pandemic’s current, unusual circumstances. According to the article How To Set And Reach Goals In The New Year posted on a personal finance and lifestyle blog website called Making Sense Of Cents, “about 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals each year. And, only 75% of those who are setting 2021 resolutions will follow through with them after the first week of the year.” The post also reports that “25% of people will stop working towards their resolutions after just the first week.” Many people make the mistake of creating goals they are not motivated to achieve or do not have time to complete.

With these numbers as our reality, this blog post is probably the only way to remind busy Administrative Professionals of the importance of revisiting one’s New Year’s resolutions or what many also refer to as goals. Many may even need to start over entirely and make new goals because they may have forgotten to write the original resolutions down. Either way, it is essential to ask yourself the questions addressed in the article mentioned above.

  • Is your goal specific enough?
  • Is your goal achievable?
  • Is your goal realistic?

How To Revisit Your Goals And See Them Through

By visualizing your resolutions regularly, you will easily remember what you are working towards and gain more motivation. An Administrative Professional can practice visualizing their goal by creating a vision board one can see every day, starting a blog or a journal, and keeping a picture, a visual representation of your goal, on your desk or in your home. If you need a more blatant reminder, you can use post-it notes listing your resolutions around your office and house or put the due dates of your goals into the calendar of your computer or phone where you can set the alarm.

Going back to the original suggestion of making smaller, more available resolutions, facing an entire year of working towards your goals can be daunting. These goals will feel more comfortable to achieve by breaking them down into steps. Each month can mark the time you must complete one of twelve steps that make up one goal. For example, if you resolve to start a successful Administrative Assistant blog, you can begin by brainstorming blog post topics in January. Then, by May, you can set a step to reach a certain number of subscribers. Finally, by October, you can select the action to earn a certain amount of money from your blog, and by December, you will have a successful blog.

Finally, if you happen to know someone with the same goal, use them as an accountability partner and maybe even turn into a friendly competition. By consistently reminding yourself of the goals you set for 2021 and completing portions of your resolution, you will find yourself less stressed and more likely to get to the finish line.

The Conversation: What Your Boss Needs to Hear

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

You’re ready to address your promotion – how do you have “the conversation” with your boss? How do you address the compensation? What about negotiating? Let’s discuss all these important points that you cannot skip.

Ramit Sethi, author of the book and website I Will Teach You to Be Rich, offers a word-for-word script he suggests professionals use when asking for a promotion. Visit the article How to Ask for a Promotion and enter your information in the form at the bottom of the page.

How To Go Into The Situation

Let’s start with the “how” part of having the conversation with your boss about a promotion. First and foremost, make sure you go into the room with confidence. You have already asked yourself the three questions to validate that you deserve a promotion, so go in there believing it with your verbal and nonverbal display! We have already discussed when to have this conversation, but it is also essential to give yourself enough time to have the conversation. Similar to going in with confidence, having the right attitude will contribute to your case. Remember, this is not about you. It is about the company and how positive you are about your future with the company.

The other side of your positive attitude involves preparing yourself if your boss says no. Turn this into an opportunity for feedback and return to a promotion conversation with the Executive down the road. Along with your rehearsed script, go in knowing the monetary value associated with the position you are asking for. You can use this Salary Survey from PayScale.com.

Time to Address Compensation

An article from Girlboss.com entitled How To Negotiate… When You’re Already Getting That Promotion also advises Administrative Professionals to complete their research to incorporate into the conversation. The article states, “once you are appropriately armed, pitch for your desired compensation without regard to the percentage increase beyond your current salary. For example, if you discover that the competitive pay for your role requires a $50K bump, which happens to be much higher than the hypothetical 5-10% compensation increase aligned with company policy for a promotion, then lay down all the research and fight for it.”

Thinking outside the financial box is also important when negotiating your new role’s compensation. What are the other aspects of your new position you find vital? Remember to mention the answer to this question, which could be anything from moral responsibility to a new specific set of skills, while talking numbers.

Support your compensation request not only with numbers but also reasoning. Promotions often require an increase in responsibility, followed by an increase in the time you are giving to the company. Time is money.

Although going into the conversation confident will increase your success, remember to be flexible numbers-wise when it comes to your salary. Some departments have larger budgets than others. Again, research your company before going into this conversation. You can always ask for an alternative way to add to your compensation, such as additional stock in the company.

Remember the ultimate goal when asking your boss for a promotion. Set yourself up for success, and do not forget to celebrate yourself and your hard work when promoted and receive a raise in compensation!

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

Promotion Time: How Do You Know When the Time is Right?

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

You’ve been working to hone your skills and following your promotion strategy since Day One. Now, how do you know when it is time to have that critical conversation? Let’s talk about how to know it’s time to address your promotion.

If you feel like you have gathered enough experience and documented your progress, there are three questions to answer before approaching the Executive. According to a blog post entitled How To Ask For A Raise (And Actually Get One!) from The Interview Guys, a website dedicated to helping people get, keep, and grow within a job, they advise administrative professionals to make sure you know the answer to the questions below.

  • Do you deserve to be promoted?

Take a step back for a moment before confronting your boss and make sure this promotion, a significant life change, is what you want. Verify that you will be happy in the position you are working toward. Evaluate your coworkers and see if anyone else is working just as hard and has just as many skills as you do. Compare yourself to them. 

  • Have you done your research before asking for a promotion?

There are things to look into before approaching management about a significant change in their company. The article mentioned above states,make sure you know ahead of time exactly what you’re asking for and have a solid, well thought out dollar amount in your head. Don’t just make up a number; you’ll run the risk of asking for too much/too little.” Factoring in your current responsibilities and the tasks you complete above and beyond your experience level, use sites like PayScale or Comparably to determine salary ranges appropriate for the position you are asking for. You can also go on to job sites and see what other companies are paying individuals applying for the position you want.

  • Can your employer afford to give you a promotion?

Look into the company’s financial status and make sure you are not asking for something they cannot afford.

Strategic Timing

Once you are unbiased and confident about approaching your boss, several factors will set you up for success once you approach him or her. First, similar to asking your parents for something when you were a kid, ask your boss for a promotion when they are in a good mood. Second, if you happen to be offered a better position by another company that has noticed your workplace skills, this is the perfect time to ask the Executive to promote you. This particular circumstantial factor is not in your control, and that does not give you a right to lie that you have received another offer. Your boss will catch your bluff. Last but certainly not least, make sure you wait until the right time during the day to approach your boss. For example, if you ask for a moment with the Executive right before lunchtime, he or she may not be in the best mood due to hunger. The same thing applies to approaching him or her at the end of the workday. He or she may be tired and not have the patience to hear your case.

Now that you are positive that this is the right step for you in your next phase of life and the next stage of your career, please wait for the right time when everything falls into place and go for it!

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

Skills to Prioritize in Your Role

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

Summary: As an EA, there is a drive to learn and do everything. Efficiency and value within your role is the goal, so how do you get there? With all the skills you can learn, what should you be focusing on? Let’s talk about finding the best skills to suit your strengths and goals and how to create a plan to prioritize learning, honing and practicing them.

You walk into the office in the morning, what are the first things you do? Perhaps it’s open your calendar, rummage through emails, get on the phone with a vendor and make some progress on planning an upcoming event. From the moment you arrive in the morning, you are already utilizing some important skills – whether it’s time management on how to prioritize which tasks get attention first, or communication skills when you are interacting with a colleague or vendor. The question is, what skills should you focus on mastering and why?

Skills to Master And Ways To Implement Them into Daily Tasks

An article on Indeed.com titled Executive Assistant Skills: Definitions and Examples lists the skills customarily required of an EA to be:

Time-management Skills

The ability to organize and compartmentalize the tasks which need to be completed in an effective manner.

Organizational Skills

On any given day, an EA may need to juggle keeping track of company records, managing different projects, and completing pages of task lists the Executive does not have time to complete. 

Administrative Skills

There is always an opportunity to practice these skills in the workplace when taking calls, entering data, and filing company records.

Technology Skills

This article further describes the necessity of this skill set by writing “software and applications for scheduling, recording data, keeping client and contact information organized and other technologies are often essential tools that executive assistants work with. Therefore, employers may require this hard skill of their assistants, as well as the ability to learn and utilize new and unfamiliar software and technology.”

Problem-Solving Skills

Critical Thinking Skills – If something goes awry with a project your Executive needs you to complete by a specific time, you need to develop a creative solution fast.

Strategic Planning Skills

Analytical Skills – Executives often require Executive Assistants to manage projects or plan events by going through different scenarios to find the best approach to completing this task.

Communication Skills

Executive Assistants converse with numerous staff members, clients, and individuals in management every day through different mediums like phone calls, text messaging, direct messaging, video chats, and old-school face-to-face contact. Written and nonverbal communication is also essential. Messages always require proofreading for proper grammar and professional tone to get your message across clearly and confidently.

Networking Skills

Many Executives need their EA to represent the company when recruiting clients or onboarding more employees.

Interpersonal Skills

No matter what medium of communication you are using, interpersonal skills like empathy are always essential to display towards the other person.

Above and Beyond Skills

Solely incorporating each skill described above into your plan will not catapult you towards a promotion. It will make such a difference if the Executive absolutely cannot do his or her job without you. Each time you solve a problem with impressive critical thinking, make sure to jot down what resources you used to pull off the impossible. Eventually, you will have an entire arsenal of secret tricks. Maintain your calm in difficult situations where analytical and problem-solving skills are necessary. Working for an Executive with a high-pressure job often means feeling the pressure yourself, and modeling a calm exterior will prove you are indispensable. SnackNation‘s blog post 14 Easy Ways to Create a Zen Office Space on a Budget is a useful resource when composure is necessary for the workplace.

Becoming a trusted confidant and counselor to your Executive is vital to standing out on your way to a promotion. Take advantage of the people from various departments you can get in front of because of your relationship with the Executive. Learn as much about what happens in the company as possible by picking people’s brains. Take each task on your boss’s plate and prioritize the ones you cannot complete without his or her knowledge. The realization that the Executive Assistant has everything under control is priceless. Refer to another Snack Nation blog post called 17 Executive Assistant Skills In 2021 For Insane Effectiveness for more guidance on how to consistently learn and become an expert in all the skills best to focus on before asking for a promotion from the Executive.

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

Evolving: Learn Which Social Media Platforms are the Best

 

If you’re not familiar with social media, it’s overwhelming about where to start for your business. Does your business even have a social media presence? We can help you navigate the basics of each platform so you can provide the most value to that aspect of your role.

There are thousands of social media platforms on the Internet. To choose the right platform, or platforms, for your company, you need to ask:

  • What does management or the Executive you work for hope to achieve with social media marketing?
  • What platforms are the majority of your target audience, or the consumers, using the most? A good way to learn the answer to this question is to conduct a survey or go to the website for the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan organization that conducts global social science research.
  • What kind of content would your company like to share? A list of different types of content can be found in this blog post on the website of The Digital Marketing Institute.

Read moreEvolving: Learn Which Social Media Platforms are the Best

Evolving: Admin Superhero Balances Work and Parenting

This is a challenging time, not only for Administrative Professionals working from home but especially for those with children. WFHSAHPs are the real MVPs.

With the public spread of COVID-19 putting the health of mothers, fathers, and their kids at risk, almost all Administrative Professionals with children have been forced to telecommute. On top of this, the possibility of a child contracting the virus from school has forced these working parents to enroll their children in virtual school while they work. 

Read moreEvolving: Admin Superhero Balances Work and Parenting

Evolving: Keeping up with Modern Tech

 

Let’s put on our marketing hat and talk about social media – a technological “MUST” for Administrative Professionals to understand, especially if there is no one else taking care of that task in the office. Let’s talk about the strategy for managing social media for your workplace.

According to the 2020 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Michael A. Stelzner, Founder of Social Media Examiner, “A significant 86% of all marketers we surveyed indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. Increased traffic was the second major benefit, with 78% reporting positive results.” Traditional methods of marketing businesses like billboards, commercials, and sponsorships are now commonly accompanied by social media marketing strategies. 

Since this is a relatively new practice for established companies, Executive and Administrative Assistants may be asked to do this on their own. In a way, the person in this position already knows more about the inner workings of the company than most employees do because of his or her ability to work closely with the Executive. By learning, practicing, and honing your skills in content creation, marketing to a specific audience, and using both SEO and analytics, you will be able to successfully use social media to reach consumers, increase a following, and increase sales.

Read moreEvolving: Keeping up with Modern Tech

The New Office Holiday Party: It’s Not Too Late to Throw a Virtual Holiday Bash

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

This year I think we could all agree that things are looking a little different around the office. Some of us have gone back into a quiet building, spaced accordingly and masked, while many others are working remotely from their home offices. Even still, we deserve a holiday gathering of sorts, to spread cheer and connection – perhaps we deserve this even more this year! The fact remains that whether you are working at a physical location or are safely tucked away in front of your screen at home, one party option proves to be the safest: Virtual Parties. 

Now this could sound like a bit of a bummer, but if you dive into these helpful tips we believe that your virtual holiday office party could be an absolute hit, and an incredible morale booster to the rest of your workplace community. We have put together this little guide to planning and executing the best virtual party “…this side of the nuthouse” (reference from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation).

Read moreThe New Office Holiday Party: It’s Not Too Late to Throw a Virtual Holiday Bash

Investing in Continued Education For Your Role

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

Give yourself the gift of education this year and prepare yourself for 2021 by curating a list of workshops, tutorials, and events to participate in to stay up-to-date and ahead in your industry. 

Change is inevitable and all around us. This year has thrown a few curve balls at all professionals, administrative or otherwise. We have had to educate ourselves about the latest teamwork, document sharing, and communication applications with work becoming almost completely virtual. Americans are now anticipating changes made within the government for the next four years, which can impact businesses. With all this change, it is important to stay knowledgeable in your field and become the most efficient Executive Assistant you can be. Many careers mandate continued education, so why not make it a priority in yours? 

Read moreInvesting in Continued Education For Your Role

The Balancing Act: Organizing Your Work/Life Time Management

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

The stress of 2020 can be a bit overwhelming, and as an assistant it may seem like you are running in a million directions to keep everything organized, but taking control of your work/life balance is the greatest gift you can give yourself this year.

All full-time professionals can benefit from a healthy balance in their workplace and home life even in a time without COVID-19. According to Ellen Kossek, a professor of human resource management and organizational behavior at Michigan State University, “It’s a partnership, but management has the bigger responsibility for admins’ work-life balance, because how work is structured affects the ability of admins to have balance.” There are several ways to ensure that the Executive you work for prioritizes your time management, a major factor that goes into a healthy work/life balance as an Executive Assistant.

Read moreThe Balancing Act: Organizing Your Work/Life Time Management