Catch a Groove to Get into a Groove

Music plays a huge role in my life.  Music was always on in our house or a sibling was practicing their instrument.

Early on I can remember my parents introducing us to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. My brothers all played instruments: trombone, trumpet, drums. My sister used to blast Rod Stewart through the house. My late mother played the piano. My Dad loved Jazz. My father’s mother, Florence—god bless her, believed she was the next Kate Smith (aging myself here!) and had an electronic organ at her home. My father did NOT succeed in getting my sister to try the accordion!

When I grew older, I took up the flute because my father would not let me try drums. Pretty certain that was because we lived in an apartment, not because he didn’t want me to ever try.  Or, it had something to do with being Irish. Marching Band, TC Williams (yes, that TC Williams) Marching Titans—was my favorite thing about high school. For a very short stint, I got to be part of the percussion section, playing cymbals. Absolutely one of my favorite memories of high school.

Off to college, and soon enough I was a deejay at WMWC 540am—though my good friend JaneEllen, who actually works in broadcasting, reminds me that it’s called an ‘On-Air personality’. I had two shows. One focused on Funk music and the other focused on album-oriented rock.

What in the world does this have to do with being an administrative professional?  In my experience, music is energy. It calms me down. It brings me joy. It changes my entire mindset. When I catch a groove, I can get into a groove. It’s that simple.  So here’s a very small sample list of the artists I utilize to change my mindset in the workplace. Would love to see yours!

Need energy?

  • Bruno Mars
  • Avicii
  • Jax Jones
  • Janelle Monae

Need help calming down?

  • R.E.M
  • Paul Simon
  • Sounds of Blackness
  • Luther Vandross

Need help focusing?

  • Stan Getz
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • John Mayer
  • David Gray

Need to change a mood fast?

  • Foo Fighters
  • Sheryl Crow
  • David Guetta
  • Janet Jackson

Each day I settle in with my coffee, open up the mailboxes I monitor, put in my earbuds and start to get my work groove on. Happy listening!

 

 

 

Day 5- Countdown -ExecSecLive- My Tribe of Career Teachers

My career started in academics where I was working for a law school in New York out on Long Island. I directly supported the Dean of Records– and he was not only a Dean, but he was also a Rabbi. Little did I know he would turn out to be my first career mentor. He helped me navigate the college policies and procedures as well as took time to explain the meanings and history of many Jewish holidays and customs as I was not raised in that faith.

Move forward to last month when I was working on a gratitude list — a list of people who had been part of, or had crossed my career path over the last 25 years, and a pattern began to emerge. I considered this list of people (and it’s a fairly extensive list) to be my career tribe.

Each person I consider to be a part of my career tribe has had most, if not all of the following qualities:

  • A significant amount of volunteer time dedicated to serving others
  • Had a hobby or interest that brought them great joy
  • A history of traveling to and/or living in multiple countries
  • Spoke at least one additional language
  • Was interested in learning what made other people feel good about themselves
  • Was interested in improving communications and work relationships — even if it made both parties uncomfortable
  • Did not mince words about their concerns
  • Kept in touch with colleagues that they no longer worked alongside
  • Actively participated in social and business groups for personal and professional development
  • Acknowledged their own career challenges

Now, I’m not in touch with the entire list on a regular basis, but I can tell you that I still have a connection at almost every single company where I have been employed.  I have been diligent about keeping a contact at each employer, even if it is purely a courtesy.  And my single most important work lesson from each of these persons has been key to shaping my career perspective – best phrased by The Rolling Stones.

See below:

NOW PLAYING

 And it’s true…  I didn’t always get what I wanted, but I always got what I needed, whether it was a tough lesson, a superb review, thoughtful suggestions for improvement or a department transfer.  Do you have a tribe of career teachers?  Some of mine will be at #ExecSecLive in London. Can’t wait to give them a hug and tell them ‘Thank you’.

Day/Eve 13- Countdown to Executive Secretary Live 2015- London

day13
Yes. Yes, I am happy. I’m usually smiling like this with a coffee mug in my hands!

It’s a cold Friday evening here in Virginia. I’ve got a cup of Barry’s tea in hand. (I’m out of Bewley’s.) Our teenage daughter has just returned home from work. I’m doing what I do best. Make lists.

Isn’t that how it is for admins? we’re list-centric, list-addicted types? I adore lists. Hand-written lists on paper! (Scandalous!) Sure, I have tasks on my Outlook calendar at work, but at home I prefer paper. Nothing like the feeling of crossing items off a to-do list to make one feel incredibly productive. I love that lists have the ability to get clutter out of my head and allow me to focus on important things like paying attention to my kid and husband at dinner rather than having my mind wander and wonder.

So on my to-do list for London? I’m not missing out on that afternoon tea, that’s for certain. And the dinners and a few of the tours. I didn’t have a long enough stay to do any sight-seeing during my last visit and this time I’m making up for it.

And on my list for tomorrow? Completing the domestic Saturday ritual of doing laundry, cleaning house, running errands and a tiny bit of shopping for a few DC centric things I want to bring along for a few friends.

By the way, I’m loving the responses to my post. And, thanks for sharing it on Facebook. I do appreciate it!  Goodnight, folks!