Biting Back- Was Your Office Ready?

One of my peeves has always been the inconsistent telework policies across organizations, especially within organizations.

Managers had plenty of leeways to work remotely, were provided with equipment and access to all necessary software and server and/or cloud access. Now we see or hear stories about companies scrambling to have their entire team work remotely. I even saw a post from an administrative colleague this week in which the entire team was told to work from home, but no one notified her! They all left the office and she’s sitting around wondering where everyone went. Oy.

My point is that many companies were ahead of the curve for this event. I’d be curious what percentage had to add extra equipment and capacity to accommodate their teams.

Please participate in the poll I’ve created to gather some insights on remote work preparedness. I’d love to see if my hunches are right. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CSS9T2G

Administrative Professionals Week 2017

Dear Administrative Peers,

I hope this finds you healthy and happy. I hope your week is full of demonstrations of employer recognition that is valuable to you.

I hope that you recognize and understand your true value, not only to your company, to your co-workers, but to the overall economic good.

I hope you are able to see that people count on you, your work, your ability to communicate clearly and honestly, and to deliver on tasks. I hope you have the respect of those you work alongside.

I hope your supervisor(s), your company, your co-workers can acknowledge your continuous effort to keep all the pieces moving in the right direction.

For those of you that hate being in the administrative field, I hope you can find a different employer, or perhaps a different career field, that makes you content.

Some may say this week of recognition is nothing but a  made up holiday in order to sell more flowers or cards. Some  say this week of recognition is just a small opportunity to make others aware of the work we do.  I see it as a week of pride, almost like a homecoming celebration. One time a year, we gather as a profession to acknowledge the hard work loads and  sometime challenging personalities we encounter in our daily work. I like to think of it as one big ‘Clink’ of glass as we toast one another for a successful year.

Best wishes to each and every one of you. I am so very proud to be part of this community- For the exceptional assistant, this is not a job. It's a vocation. They've dedicated their life to it, and it compels them to greatness in the role.- - Jan Jones, the CEO's Secret Weap.

~ K.

 

Cocktails & Connections- DMV Style

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My banner from 2016  APW

First, let me share a quick thought here about collaboration. I utilized the banner above on almost all my tweets, posts, pictures during this week. The hashtags represent APW themes from (in order) Office Dynamics, Executive Secretary Magazine and yours truly– all set to the IAAP background green! To bring attention to our career field, we must get the word out! More importantly, we must get the word out together!

So, what does collaboration look like? It means many administrative associations working together globally to represent the purpose and professionalism of our career field.  Funneling down, it also means communicating the value we bring to our companies to the organizations, suppliers, human resource and recruiting personnel within our business networks.

 Administrative Professionals Day – DMV Style

The DC Local Area Network for IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) was hosted by our local Cambria Hotels and Suites.[Disclosure: DC Cambria provided meeting space and appetizers for our event. They also provided a separate cash bar for the event.] The hotel is part of Choice International brand.Their sales/marketing staff has been savvy enough to reach out to the IAAP members in several cities because they understand administrative and executive assistants frequently fill the role of meetings/events planner for organizations. This is particularly true for our field when it comes to board and committee meetings. Many of us are frequently in search of a modern meeting room space that won’t break the budget. Would I have visited this site without being contacted by their sales/marketing staff? Not likely. After touring I was convinced that this property (because of its Metro-friendly location and board room space) would be a superb resource for local IAAP members. Thank you to Lee Callicut, Jeff McClain, Ayesha Aurora, Lois Goldring, and the entire DC Cambria staff for the wonderful customer service and fantastic event.

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Several attendees check out the roof top deck and bar at Cambria ( too cold for us to use it that day! boo hiss!)

Twenty-seven local executive suite administrative professionals and an executive assistant recruiting firm representative, representing corporate, government and non-profit organizations toured the property after a networking hour. We had two attendees join IAAP after attending. Door prizes for the event came from The Howard Theatre, ChocolateChocolate DC, and Clyde’s Restaurant. I hope you were able to catch some of my (@OfficeRenegade)periscope livestreams from the day of the event.

There’s an old proverb- Many hands make light work.  A heartfelt thank you to Joyetta Delaney, Janet Brake and Debbi Shaffer for your help during this event.

Thank you to my DMV (District|Maryland|Virginia) peers for coming into town and being part of our really fun Cocktails &Connections Event for Administrative Professionals Day.

#KeepLearningKeepGrowing

 

I’m Not a Gatekeeper, I’m a Timekeeper

I'm a Timekeepr

I have a fantasy.

No, not that kind.

The kind where I stand in front of the full roster of attendees for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference and I share my brilliant! understanding of the administrative profession.

You see, with all the moving parts of the economic world of HR, recruiting, employee engagement– the front line is being forgotten when it comes to updating and re-writing the job descriptions and expectations of today’s administrative professional. Mind you, I do fundamentally understand the challenges of what type of support the company requests vs. what the job really needs vs. what the pay scale is vs. the vast swath of candidate/applicants for the position.  Please allow me to first address the term: GATEKEEPER.

Let me be clear. Executive Assistants| Administrative Assistants|Receptionists are not gatekeepers contrary to popular belief and the delightful, sometimes patronizing, verbiage from unsuccessful sales calls to the office. We are not gatekeepers;we are timekeepers.

TIME IS MONEY- Benjamin Franklin

It is the administrative professional’s key purpose/raison d’être  to save staff time. Whether it be a cold call at the front desk in person or a caller that cannot provide exact detail as to what they need– it is my job, my peer’s job to do the right thing and SAVE time for our managers. It is not my decision as to whether you’ll be able to meet with my manager or speak with my manager– that call is his/hers. However, it is my responsibility to carefully measure the intent and value of the interruption, and to assist the caller or visitor in getting the best chance of getting their information to the decision-makers.

So, please do not call me a gatekeeper. I prefer to think of the members of our profession as timekeepers. Or, better yet, time savers. And by that correlation, we become money savers and companies would be better served to see the administrative profession that way.

Special Announcement – A Year-Long Series Dedicated to Admin Leaders You Should Know

IYOTSA- 2014 |  Admin Leaders You Should Know

I could think of no better way to celebrate the kickoff of the International Year of The Secretary & Administrative Assistant (IYOTSA) than to highlight ‘Admin Leaders You Should Know’.

That’s right!

For all of 2014, Adminrenegade.com will be dedicated to introducing you to administrative peers from across the globe. Sue France, FCIPD/INLPTA, will be featured in a two-part blog post to help us get an early start for the 2014 IYOTSA series.

To learn more about how you can be involved with IYOTSA, visit the Professional Association for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants website.

To be notified when a new blog post is available, follow me on Twitter – @OfficeRenegade or here on WordPress.

Continued Fascination with Social Media…

I can’t really say when it happened.. probably when I first started blogging.  Then one day, I logged in to join Facebook to follow my friend, JaneEllen (TheJaneEllen.com), it carried over to iTunes and then to LinkedIn, then to Twitter and Twitpic.
I can’t seem to stop.  I think I’m particularly enamored of Twitter.  Do you know Twitter?  Think it is stupid or another annoying site?  I encourage you to think again. There really is no other site that compiles my many varied interests with little tidbits of info like Twitter does.  I follow inspirational speakers like Rev Run, Ralph Marston. I follow my favorite sports tweeters- Peter King from SportsIllustrated, John Buccigross and various tweeters from the Washington Capitals.  And, get this.. there are many IAAP chapters that use Twitter to promote their upcoming programs and events. Some even use it to announce new members or fundraising efforts.  I also use it to follow many celebrities in comedy, film, theatre and music.  But, I must admit, my favorite thing to follow is the news.  So many sites.. I can add local  news, national news, international news, money news, sports news.. you name it.. it’s out there.

If you are an admin- this is a new educational content arena and, I might add- another opportunity to shine. How?  Start following Tweeters that are relevant to your company or your company’s industry (retail, banking, associations, etc).  You’ll find that  you may learn about some breaking industry news long before your executives do.. and..  you can forward them the link – which shows that  you are looking at the big picture.  You can even set it up as an RSS feed to your email.   Some companies block social media web sites.  The company I work for has a detailed and clear set of guidelines for social media use in the workplace.  More companies should embrace these kind of guidelines.  There.. that’s all I’m going to say about my fascination with social media.  I really do love it.
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On a different note: I’ve been investing a tremendous amount of time in IAAP this year.  I don’t regret it.  I think my disappointment comes from knowing that so many admins are missing out on one of the most important networking and professional development groups that impacts our field.  I suspect that larger and more demanding workloads are truly leading to admin burnout.  I can’t say I blame them.  I have a hunch that employee burnout is prevalent throughout the US workforce.  For me, I’ll keep plugging along.  I’m grateful for employment, grateful for my friends in the admin world and glad I can keep sharing and learning through the web with my friends and peers.