ASAP: Has anything changed at work since you won the ASAP Eureka! Award?
APRIL: A couple of things have changed, especially at work. The Admin support staff all walk taller! They are very proud of the award. I wanted to make sure they knew it was OUR award. H.E.A.R.T (Helping Empower Administrative support professionals through Resources and Training) was my vision, but without my staff this would not have been possible. Everyone has benefitted from this recognition and gained credibility because of the ASAP Eureka! Award.
ASAP: Did you choose this career path or did it choose you?
APRIL: I did choose it. I realized my career path in high school, because of the traditional secretarial classes. I just instantly loved all my classes! I loved typing, stenography, and general office work. I knew I was going to pursue this as a career. I also attributed my career choice to my teacher, she was so proud of that scale of work. She influenced me to be proud too. After high school, I achieved an Associate of Arts in Secretarial Science.
ASAP: Is there anything you wish you’d known sooner?
APRIL: I didn’t truly embrace my profession until the last five years. I finally realized just how empowered and influential I am in the office. I always had it in me, but never accepted it. Early in the career my goal was to grow into a management position. My career has been a stepping stone, leading me to where I am now. I didn’t realize my full potential, until recently.
ASAP: Describe an “A-Ha” moment that had a big impact on your life or career?
APRIL: The “A-Ha” moment ties in with the answer above. I consider someone like myself a rare breed and realize just how important I am to my team. I also appreciate how critical it is to have someone in charge that fosters a great working relationship with the team.
ASAP: What has been the hardest leadership lesson you had to learn?
APRIL: Leadership is not about titles, it’s about people! It’s about motivating, influencing and encouraging people. I’m more about “seeing and feeling it”, and that has helped me in my leadership position.
ASAP: If you feel pressured or stressed at work, how do you handle that emotionally?
APRIL: I am a woman of faith, so I pray a lot. I also create positive energy in a space in my office space. I have positive quotes posted everywhere, and try to maintain a calm space that emits only positive energy. I also believe you need to be very organized, and I am. You become out of control when you don’t plan or aren’t organized. It’s important to me to have positive energy combined with spiritual strength when things at work become chaotic. Outside of work, I do life coaching and teach people how to take care of themselves in stressful times. I truly believe that serving others from an empty vessel isn’t helpful, so I keep myself “filled up” with positive energy.
ASAP: How would you describe your working relationship with your boss/supervisor?
APRIL: Awesome! We’re a team; I never worked for him but with him. Throughout ninety-nine percent of my career I’ve had that kind of blessing. I’ve been very fortunate. My boss values my opinion and treats me as a true confidante. That’s what I call an ideal working relationship!
ASAP: How do you see your career trajectory moving in the next five years?
APRIL: I’d like to move to a higher level admin role. I’d also like to do more speaking. In terms of “HEART” and the ASAP Eureka! Award I’ve had the opportunity to speak to several companies and I really enjoy that. I want to continue coaching, empowering and encourage administrative support to do their own version of “H.E.A.R.T (Helping Empower Administrative support professionals through Resources and Training) .
A big THANK YOU to April for all of her contributions to the profession and to ASAP. April will be presenting a session at the 2016 APC in Chicago about how to develop an Administrative Support Team in Your Organization.
Want to be the next Eureka! Award winner? If you or someone you know is an outstanding administrative professional who has made innovative contributions to their organization for which he or she works, nominate them for the 2016 Eureka! Award. You could win roundtrip airfare (up to $500), hotel accommodations for 3 nights and a Value Pass registration to the 2016 Administrative Professionals Conference in Chicago in September!