As a multi-faceted, amazingly-organized Super Hero (a.k.a. Administrative Assistant), you’re uniquely skilled at orchestrating the minutiae of behind-the-scenes details, implementing ways to make things better than how you find them, and ensuring your boss always shines in the spotlight. You’re really great at finding solutions to challenges and conceptualizing new ideas -- especially when others believe all options have been exhausted. You meticulously manage multiple, concurrent priorities with ease, confidence, and grace. While you're a lead-by-example professional committed to serving as a collaborative, resourceful member of an organization’s team, sometimes you need administrative support beyond simply an assistant assisting you. To sustain your enthusiasm for your chosen career, and because your role as is both exciting and exhausting, it’s imperative that you identify, embrace the wisdom of, and incorporate three key individuals into your career – a Mentor, a Coach, and an Advocate.
A mentor is a colleague who can guide you, teach you, and help you overcome hurdles and squash seemingly-impenetrable obstacles. Your mentor is someone who has accomplished in his/her career what you seek to accomplish. It’s that person at your office whom you admire, want to emulate, and am inspired by. Your mentor can either serve as your overall role model, or can be that “go to” professional who excels exceptionally well at one thing you want to master. For example, maybe there is an established executive assistant at your company who is talented at orchestrating and launching special events without a hitch. They would certainly have necessary, high-valuable skills that, as your mentor, they could help you hone. Being personally mentored by a colleague who can show you the nuances of navigating decisions with your executives will enable you to glean priceless pointers you’ll never find in a book. Here are some things to keep in mind regarding a mentor:
On those hectic days when it seems like you have a million things to do and no time to get them all accomplished, your joyful, upbeat, and motivating coach will cheer you on and encourage you not to get stressed out or to panic. Your ideal colleague-coach will keep you grounded, keep you laughing, and keep you moving forward. A coach can objectively see things about your work habits or disposition that you might not readily be aware of. He/she can give insight into areas you might want to tweak and improve upon to help you move forward in your role and career. Here are some traits to look for in a coach:
Just knowing that someone at work is looking out for you when you’re not there creates a sense of calmness and confidence that can’t be experienced by someone who works in a silo. Your advocate can help raise your profile internally (and, would come to your defense if needed). Your advocate rallies for you and your ideas when your initiatives warrant praise or support. It’s wise to look for someone “up” in your organizational chart, and whose executive style and work vibe matches yours (or where you want to be). Here are some things to look for in an advocate:
As awesome as you truly are and strive to be, there is always room for an inspiring Mentor, Coach, and Advocate in your life. By understanding the differences in how these individuals may support you, you can get the most out of the relationships, and your opportunities for growth.