What a long, strange trip it’s been…

South Boston

Well, folks! It’s been a long, strange trip. What I love (and sometimes don’t love) about life is that there are plenty of twists, turns, trap doors and of course, lessons to learn.

About seven months ago my husband and I embarked on a journey to change the life we were living. I began by pursuing a new position. Something that would allow me to be me, 100%. During the process, we decided to try and move to our dream location in Maine. We want to enjoy life, enjoy the things that bring smiles to our face. We wanted to have more time together and more energy when we got home from work.

Although I hated to leave DC because of my life, my friends, my career peers were all in the region- we knew it was time to go. We embarked upon the sale of our home of 16+ years. My husband’s company approved for him to work remotely. Though the position I had been pursuing didn’t come through, we managed on his income and the money we worked to save.

The ensuing months were super messy and unpredictable. My husband and I managed by focusing on love. You know that bumpy and unpredictable force that flows through a longtime marriage?

Now, as I prepare for #ExecSecLIVE Wellington and Sydney, and IAAP Summit- I’ll be embarking on three and a half weeks of travel, and we are half-unpacked in our new home in Maine. Far away from DC life. Get away from the DC hustle and horrific commutes. Get away from the very real culture of constantly having to prove worth and value as an employee, and where many people upon meeting you, just want to know who you work for to determine if you have any leveraging value as an EA. DC is in the top five metropolitan areas of employment for Executive Assistants. It was hard to leave a city that offered me better odds for full-time employment.

Yep, it’s been a long, strange trip. Nothing in our life right now is organized, scheduled, nor tidy…which drives me NUTS! But, this too shall pass. I will gladly take the beach time with my husband and trust that the universe will keep us on this winding journey.

Thanks for being a part of the journey with me. I hope to see you soon at #ExecSecLIVE Wellington, Sydney or Atlanta or at my old stomping grounds, #IAAP Summit 2019 at National Harbor.

As always, #KeepLearningKeepGrowing ~ K.

The Best Part? You are not alone.

Tonight I came home from work and per usual, hopped on Twitter.

I knew things would be kicking off in Sydney, Australia for #ExecSecLive.  I immediately searched the hashtag and starting following posts from the conference.

Executive Secretary Live is a fantastic administrative conference that travels the globe.  So many administrative conferences: IAAP Summit, AIOP ACT, IMA, ASAP Annual Conference, AdminToAdmin, EPAA,Office Dynamics, AEAP, Be the Ultimate Assistant, and this list is hardly complete! For a complete list, visit /http://executivesecretary.com/associations for an administrative association near you. Or, visit http://executivesecretary.com/events/ for a full list of training events. [Self-disclosure, I’ll be speaking at Executive Secretary LIVE, Johannesburg later this year.]

I get super excited when I think about administrative conferences! We are NOT alone! You have had a crazy work experience, and I can almost certainly guarantee you that another attendee has had either the exact same challenge or something very close.  There’s an instant recognition. An instant acknowledgment of mutual respect.

That feeling is wicked awesome—and that’s a good thing! It’s such a relief and also a tidal wave of joy to meet our career colleagues.

If you are an administrative or office professional, I promise you with all my heart that you simply MUST find a way to get to an administrative conference. It will change your world, your perspective, and expand your network in ways you cannot fathom.

Here’s a tiny sliver of the friends I’ve made via admin conferences.  As Diana Brandl says, “We are in this together!”

 

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What’s Your Story?

Let me tell you about ExecSecLIVE London 2018.

My session this year is about storytelling, ‘ Amplify Your Voice Through the Power and Potential of Storytelling’ and how it relates to the work we do, and the world around us.

iaap-eslive_dc

I’m excited and filled with anticipation of how this session will unfold. It’s an amazing experience to see the faces of attendees when they reach that moment when they leave behind the ‘stuck in a session’ approach and fully invest in learning at the moment.  The opening dialogue can leave me feeling quite vulnerable.  As I mentioned in my promotional video this is going to be a collaborative and safe environment for learning.  No, it’s not about sappy stories! It’s about being honest with our challenges in the workplace, with the perception of our career field of choice, and sharing what we know to be our intrinsic strengths and qualities.

Most of all, I’m looking forward to the laughter. The joy. The synergy that occurs when like-minded, eager-to-learn dedicated professionals come together for professional development and networking.

Hope you will join us there. executivesecretarylive.com/london/2018.

~ Kem

 

Repeat This Phrase: To Thine Own Self Be True

It’s been a tough jet lag couple of days getting back from #ExecSecLIVE..but so worth it.

It was wonderful to meet my fellow speakers, spend time with attendees and build new relationships. But, I have to tell you (This is an Anel Martin phrase I’m stealing) the best thing  I took away from ExecSecLIVE was the validation. Validation in knowing how to share my experience as an admin, my point of view. Validation in how I tell stories, stories my peers can relate to.  They got it!   Lastly, validation that some stories I tell are, in fact, redonkulous and can trigger laughs from others.  I had been concerned that my style, my approach — might not be the most ‘serious and professional’ compared to the presentations of the others. Had I done my presentations any other way..they would not have been genuine. They would not be true to my style. I’m glad I stayed true to myself and that others could relate.

I’m hoping the fog will lift soon and I’ll be able to write more succinctly and share additional take-aways from the event. For now, I just want to say, ‘Thank you’ to Executive Secretary for this amazing opportunity to learn from my peers and the time to build new friendships.