Being proactive about advancing and strengthening your career is key to being professionally satisfied, confident and successful. To demonstrate this point, I'm going to share a little bit about my own journey as an administrative professional.
When I got my first job out of college, I didn't even know what a career was real. I moved from job to job advancing from receptionist to secretary to Administrative Assistant to marketing coordinator. I was advancing up the job title ladder, but I didn't have a plan. It was just a job, and things were happening to me instead of me proactively making them happen for me.
Then I was approached about an Executive Assistant position supporting the president of a national technology company that had just entered into bankruptcy. This job was the best and worst thing that had ever happened to me up to that point. I was working for the absolute best boss I'd ever had in the most toxic work environment ever. After nine months, I realized my executive wasn't going to be there very long. So I started looking at my life and my job from a different perspective and putting together a transition plan. I decided to transition from corporate life to working independently as a Virtual Assistant.
At this point, I finally had a vision of what a career and career planning might look like for me. For the first time in my working life, I had a plan and I could see how I was going to get to the next level and beyond. It was one of the most empowering and energizing shifts in thinking ever! That was when I became the CEO of my career.
Taking control of your career isn't something that will happen overnight, especially if you've let it slide for a while. However, I challenge you to do the same thing I did with your own career.
How are you approaching your career right now? What do you need to change about your approach moving forward to be more happy, confident and successful? What would it truly mean if you claimed the title of CEO of your own career? What would you do differently?
By answering these questions honestly, you can take the first step in taking charge of your professional life.
Innovate your way to success!
Innovation is key to the success of any admin – and being the CEO of your career – but to achieve it, you have to continuously evolve, improve and polish your professional experience, skills, and knowledge. You have to stay on top of your game and consistently engage in strategic activities that develop and advance how you think, work and approach your career as a whole. Failing to do this will make any admin obsolete – and possibly unemployable. So, how do you use innovation to advance and strengthen yourself professionally and get a grasp on your career? Think like the CEO of a company.
Develop your personal brand!
You probably wouldn't buy a product that was poorly packaged and marketed. Likewise, an employer isn't going to be interested in someone with a lackluster professional appeal. Your personal brand needs to fit your title as CEO of your career. This doesn't mean you need to wear a formal business suit every day, (although your professional wardrobe is part of your brand). Rather, it means you need to package yourself in a dynamic, informative and consistent way. So what exactly makes up a personal brand?
Here's a short list:
When someone hears your name, what do you want him or her to think? What's the first thing that will come to their mind? Developing your personal brand will allow you to differentiate yourself from other admins, demonstrate your commitment to your profession, increase credibility and bolster respect. Remember this: If you don't proactively brand yourself, others will do it for you. That's a gamble you cannot afford to take.
When you choose to be the CEO of your career, you'll find more success and job satisfaction in your work, and be poised and prepared for opportunities that come your way. It will take work, commitment and time. However, the process is a worthwhile one for any admin who wants to achieve their professional goals, remain relevant to their industry and employer, and improve their skills. Remember, you are the CEO when it comes to your career and nobody can make it successful but you!
This article first appeared in Executive Secretary Magazine, a global training publication and must read for any administrative professional. You can get a 30% discount when you subscribe through us. Visit the website at www.executivesecretary.com to find out more or to get your 30% discount email [email protected] and tell them we sent you.
About the author
Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, which provides training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to her role as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie's book, The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career, and download free templates at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.