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Be True To You, No Matter Where You Are

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Dunkin’ Donuts at Dubai Ice Rink,  Dubai Mall, Dubai UAE

Just a week ago I was on a 14 hour flight home from ExecSecLIVE Dubai. Here I am sitting on the couch, trying to be succinct about what I saw, what I learned, who I met, what I ate. Or maybe that isn’t so important.

Okay, maybe it is.

Here’s what I really took away from my experience.

  1. Be you. Be yourself. Don’t worry about comparisons
  2. Know your stuff (content)
  3. Learn from the attendees. At the Q& A, be open to learning from attendee questioning and feedback
  4. Honor the jet lag. Each of us had jet lag in varying degrees
  5. Always keep an open mind. I particularly appreciated hearing the message about completely mastering our core job duties before taking on more. So true
  6. Try new things! I went ice-skating in Dubai. Try new foods. I tried some very interesting stuffed dates and figs
  7. Be courteous in your host country. (Well, you should be courteous all the time but that’s another blog post.)
  8. Stop and listen. When meeting other attendees, listen more than you talk
  9. Our perceptions are not always accurate. I’m honestly not sure what I thought Dubai would be like, but I know that I found it to be a wonderful mix of modern and ancient.
  10. Our preconceived notions and stereotypes can and should be shoved aside– meet people where they are, as they are
  11. The weekend in Dubai is Friday and Saturday.
  12. It was obvious that the hotel was well-prepared for guests arriving all day and all night from all over the world. Many options were offered to help guests until rooms became available at check-in, including resting in the hotel spa at no charge.

I didn’t take my laptop to this conference. I took my Kindle. I had my phone. My goal was to not take so many pictures that I missed out on experiences. I also wanted to listen to the other presenters. I know if I had my laptop with me, I may not have been as attentive. That’s just the truth.

One last thought. I used to show the speaker picture (see below) to my friends and say, “One of these things is not like the other.” This was my way of saying I felt like I was not like the other speakers and did not belong there.

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Dubai 2016 Executive Secretary Live – Speaker Team

I will no longer utter those words. After a bit of research last week, I determined that I’ve delivered more than 100 presentations, taught more than 20 classes and have presented at the four major administrative conferences. Of course I belong up on that stage. And, I know now, more than ever, that there is no better way for me to be true to myself than sharing my administrative professional career experiences and life lessons with others. That’s why my motto is #KeepLearningKeepGrowing !

PS. I was so happy to find a Dunkin’ Donuts in Dubai!

 

 

 

 

 

  • There's plenty goings on in the DC Metro region this time of year -- both to celebrate the the holidays and to get social. For administrative professionals, we invest a ton of time in organizing our company holiday functions. But what's new for us? Did you know there is a local admin group-- DC LAN - International Association of Administrative Professionals group? We ran out of room for our first social event at Union Station on the 2nd of December.  Our next event is already almost at capacity -- January 3 at the Champps in Arlington. You don't have to be a group leader to host an event. If your office has conference room space, we can get an educational or informational event to you. Professional development for administrative professionals! that is what IAAP is all about. We have tentative educational events scheduled for March, April and May. And, we're looking at offering webinars in early 2016. Want to learn more about IAAP?  Check out their site at www.iaap-hq.org. And, if you are looking for a great network in the DC Metro region, reach out to me. We'll get you on the mailing list.  I'm a volunteer for IAAP, not a paid staff member.  My goal is to help DC area admins create and keep a strong and resourceful network of peers. And on a personal note, here's wishing each of you a peaceful and joyous holiday season.  Hope to meet you soon. ~~  Kemetia MK Foley,  DC LAN Coordinator Volunteer - IAAP

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