I wanted to address how we are moving the needle on the role of Executive Assistant. One way is certainly through external conferences, workshops and summits offered all over the world, hosted by many qualified and good intentioned folks. A longer look at this would be for another blog and I’m not here to slice and dice that industry at all, I have participated in a few of these and found great value in many areas that have spearheaded my career.
However, I find with anything in life that we try to improve on, we must start within, we must move the needle on ourselves first, see where we, ourselves might be what is holding us back, where we are fearful or dissatisfied and do some work on getting that on track so all these events are the cherry on top to our essential selves. If we are somewhat off our true path, these events may help make you feel better on your trudge but then you go back to your desk and now what?
Writing business oriented blogs is not my thing to be honest, I’d rather write about cool stuff I have learned along the way and tell an authentic story to tie in the lessons I have learned and hope the reader that needs to hear what I am saying finds my story – and now that I have officially launched my Coach Practice – my marketing guru (so lovely and smart) has suggested a business blog to launch on LinkedIn – I have been taught, to thine own self be true – so here is my version of a business blog – because with me, that is what you get, my version of me…and this I encourage for all of you, which is at the heart of what I do….find your true North and go from there.
Your true North you say – tell me more…we all have an inner compass (aka: our gut!) that will help lead us to what feels right and what does not feel right – if, however, we are not connected to our true selves, our inner compass can knock us off course…when we are telling ourselves story’s that do not serve us, we will make decisions based on that (untrue) story and we are unable to listen to what we really need. This may come in the form of, “I should not say anything because its best to keep my head down, mouth shut” or “I can’t ask for that, I’m an EA and they would never consider me” or “I can’t launch a coaching business, it’s just too hard and there are so many out there!”
Let’s start with my experience with this first untruth that had me so physically ill from keeping my head down and mouth shut. I was bullied! Yup, straight up bullied…it was blatant, witnessed and wrong as the day is long…and it nearly had me leave one of the best jobs and boss’s I ever had…important note, the bully was not my boss – it was a manager in HR of all places…where do I go, who do I turn to, isn’t the HR department where we seek protection…doing something meant shaking things up big time, doing nothing meant I suffer, terribly in every way…this was not an option for me. I took the appropriate action and found support from some amazing people…and the problem was addressed. Hostile environments in the workplace prevent us from being able to do our job…from being able to thrive in our workplace, and there are policy’s in place to support the victims. Speak up.
My second example, “I can’t ask for that, I’m an EA, they would never consider me”. Most of us Executive Assistants are multi talented with knowledge of just about everything the company handles – from HR tasks, to office management, employee engagement, strategic planning and my favorite, Corporate Communications! I wanted to spice up my role a bit and always worked closely with corporate communications in my role supporting leadership executives, so I had a comfortability around what they do. I asked if I could take on some communications projects to add to my role and make me feel better about my day to day work life and bring value to the company…the answer was YES! This was a win win for me and the company – I felt great about my job and the company saved on hiring someone to do some of the projects I filled in on. I’m an EA and proud of it and we can do so much…but you usually gotta ask, they are not figuring this out for you.
Finally, “I can’t launch a coaching business, it’s too hard and there are too many out there!” This was something I know I didn’t truly believe but it was keeping the needle of my compass a bit shy of my true North – mostly out of fear…of what I don’t know. When I asked, what am I afraid of…I honestly didn’t have an answer…the only fears we are born with is falling and loud noises…the rest are learned along the way – I have learned through good coaching how to overcome the fears that keep us from our true North – and now I’d like to pass that on – that is how I move the needle, from the inside out…how about you?