Making the most of LinkedIn

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LinkedIn. Did you just do what we did and slightly grimaced when you remembered the last time you logged in and really made some new connections that might help you? How many of you use LinkedIn? And how many of you really utilise the networking and personal branding opportunities it has to offer? Do you have a profile which you don’t update enough? It’s ok, we’re all the same. Every day is off the charts busy, and trying to remember to consistently add to your LinkedIn profile on top of everything else, well it just seems to fall to the bottom of the to do list.

Here at the Global PA Association we know what busy lives EAs and PAs lead, and prioritising yourself and your goals can often go awry, but that’s where we want to help. By summarising what LinkedIn can do for you we want to maximise your potential, help you access a strong online network, and build your brand so that you are best represented as an individual in the workplace. Sound good? Read on…

Why should you use LinkedIn?

  • It’s a great way to showcase yourself and your skills online through a visible and professional platform
  • You can build a network with other professionals in your industry and see what the job market is like
  • It allows you to keep in touch with contacts, and these contacts might be able to open doors for you in the future
  • You can research future employers and companies and give yourself a heads up before any meetings which might benefit your career

Your LinkedIn Profile

  • Your profile should be descriptive, detailed, and always up-to-date
  • A clear photograph of yourself should always be included, so make the most of this opportunity to present yourself as a warm, open and professional person. A smile goes a long way!
  • Your job history should be detailed and informative. The more information, the more likely you are to appear in more searches, and the more an employer will understand you before they meet you, giving you a vital head start!
  • This is your chance to shine! Really sell yourself and your skills and don’t hold back. You’re the only one who is going to paint yourself in the best light and we know you’re more than capable. Show everyone what you really have to offer, we want to see the real you 🙂

Making connections and building your network 

  • The 3 tiered connection system is great news as it really opens up a whole host of people you wouldn’t otherwise connect with. Remember that networking happens on and off-line, and you should always maximise your networking opportunities everywhere you go. Once you’ve made a connection in real life, take it to LinkedIn, you never know where it might lead to next!
  • Group connections are even better as you can see what kind of people are in your industry, where they work, and what kind of connections they have, therefore you’re always expanding your network, even when you don’t realise it.
  • Invite people to connect, and respond to connection requests, just be aware of people you know and those you don’t.

Recommendations and keeping in touch with your connections

  • Recommendations really help strengthen your reputation and online presence. And being asked to recommend others is a great way to link to more people as you’ll be featured in their profile, thereby increasing your visibility even more
  • Keep yourself visible by posting short updates about your current work, what you might be reading, or thinking about. Keep these brief but informative and professional
  • Sending private messages helps to keep your credibility high and adds a degree of formality

Above all remember that networking on and off-line exists to help you broaden your possibilities, and keep you at the top of your game. It’s up to you how you brand yourself, and we know you have all the skills, so keep up the good work, you’re doing just fine  🙂

If you want to meet other PAs offline, the Global PA Association is showcasing at The Office Show. We have 4 speakers in Global PA Executive Education Theatre and Rosemary, our founder, is presenting a keynote on “Are PAs the Forgotten Workers”. It will be a fantastic networking event and we’re looking forward to welcoming old and new faces alike. It runs from Wednesday 28th February to Thursday 1st March.

Simply sign up here: https://www.officeshow.co.uk/Register for Office* 

If you visit our stand at the Office Show – Stand C100 – enter our prize draw and you could be in with a chance of winning £150 John Lewis Vouchers! You have to be in it to win it! See you there!

How To Market Yourself

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HOW TO MARKET YOURSELF

We’ve all been there: “How do I get that promotion?” and “How do I make myself stand out from the crowd?” These time-honoured questions are key to your career progression, yet most of us don’t know how to maximise our potential and make ourselves visible in all the right ways. That’s where understanding how to market yourself really comes into play, especially in this digital and throwaway culture, you have to really know how to make the best of all your attributes and capabilities in order to be seen for all the right reasons.

You possess a wealth of functional and social abilities, and tuning into what these are will help you to really understand and play to your strengths, so that you can get that job you’ve always wanted, work for a dream company, and climb the ladder to reach your fullest potential. Sound good? Read on..

Social abilities are your social and communication skills, understanding, listening, empathy and so on.

Functional abilities are the skills you’ve acquired through the workplace and education.

Combining the two effectively make you incredibly attractive to your current, and prospective, employers. You will naturally have all of these, yet you may also be stronger in: communication, teamwork, self-confidence, organisation.

Professional Image

Your professional image is absolutely vital if you want to market yourself successfully in the workplace. And we know you know the drill, always be well presented, always be on time, make a good impression etc. but we can’t emphasise enough how important these pointers are. Did you know that humans judge one another on appearance in under 7 seconds? That just proves how much your personal appearance and attitude count in any given work situation. Give yourself the best start by doing all you can to be the best possible version of yourself. The following pointers are great in guiding you in what’re the most effective ways to stand out:

  • Be well informed in all aspects of your job, and your boss’s!
  • Be prepared
  • Build your reputation
  • Be well presented, well groomed and well dressed
  • Keep your emotions in check
  • Be friendly and open to others
  • Be confident
  • Be consistent

Visibility

Have you ever wondered why you get passed off when it comes to a promotion or being recognised for your work? The opportunities always go to the same person? Being visible is an absolute must if you want to progress and market yourself. Being vocal about your capabilities and achievements is super important, as no one else is going to shout about you, other than you! Believing in yourself and your work is all part of your personal branding, and employers want to see a vocal and confident employee who loves what they do and who doesn’t mind telling the world!

  • Get involved with company events, activities and training
  • Always look to build your network, both in, and out of, the workplace
  • Keep up a dialogue with your manager on how you can develop and grow
  • Do your bit for charity on behalf of your work
  • Always keep hold of positive feedback in case you need it for the future
  • Stay positive when it comes to leaving your job – you never know when you might need them again, and vice versa!

You have the skills and personality, it’s up to you to really harness your qualities and be confident in all you can achieve going forward. We believe in you, so go get ’em!

How to build your personal brand in 6 steps

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Personal branding has become more important than ever when trying to stand out in the workplace and on social media. We’ve narrowed down our research into 6 easy steps to remember when trying to build your own brand and identify who you are, and what you have to offer.

The benefits you’ll gain from defining your personal brand are huge, just look at the list below:

  • it will increase your confidence and self-awareness, not to mention your credibility
  • your visibility will increase and make you stand out to employers and colleagues
  • your reputation will be enhanced
  • your goals will be clarified more clearly helping you to grow
  • your career prospects will flourish

By analysing the data and breaking it down, we want to make it possible for everyone out there to recognise how beneficial and worthwhile it is to develop your presence online, and we really hope you gain a lot from it.

So first thing’s first, here are the steps from 1 to 6:

  1. Understand yourself

This couldn’t be more important and it’s made possible by asking yourself some simple questions:

  • how would others describe you?
  • what are your strengths?
  • what are your skills and abilities?
  • what are your passions?
  • what’s your leadership style / work style / thinking style (refer back to our blog on the emotional intelligence leadership styles for help with this one)
  • what accomplishment are you most proud of?

2. Find your niche 

What do you want from work and life? And what’s unique about you?

  • How do you want people to identify you?
  • What do you want to be recognised for?
  • Have you added value? In what way?
  • What can you do that no one else can? (aside from run multiple diaries and the world at the same time! 😉

3. Improve your prospects

By promoting yourself and your achievements on your CV and social media you’re giving yourself the best possible chance to engage with employers during the hiring process. This could be anything from qualifications, training, and memberships, to voluntary work: and the great news is, it all counts!

4. Who’s your audience?

  • future employers
  • work colleagues
  • social media specialists
  • online communities

5. Build your presence online

Step 1. Google yourself to see what comes up when you type your name, this will give you a great start and allow you to see where your name sits in the online sphere

Step 2. Update your social media presence and pay particular attention to Linked In and Instagram. Both offer varying opportunities to develop your brand, with one focusing on your professional abilities, and the other showing your emotional intelligence and personality; both factors make you a fully rounded and saleable person

Step 3. Communicate with other people in your industry, and get involved in online communities and forums. This can then translate into real life when you attend events with others in your online sphere, and that’s where the networking really comes into play!

6. Walk your Talk

Always reflect your brand by the way you present yourself at any event or in the workplace. Keep developing your skills in communication, emotional intelligence and always stay true to who you are. And remember to enjoy the learning, it’s fun after all!  🙂

Emotional Intelligence: the six leadership styles

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Did you know that there are six leadership styles which exist in the workplace? These leadership styles come under the emotional intelligence umbrella and help you to understand yourself, your colleagues, and your managers:

  1. Authoritative: self-confidence, empathy, catalysing change
  2. Affiliative: empathy, building relationships, communication
  3. Democratic: collaboration, team leadership, communication
  4. Pace-setting: conscientious, drive to achieve, initiative
  5. Coercive: drive to achieve, initiative, self-control
  6. Coaching: empathy, developing others, self-awareness

Can you recognise your boss in the above styles? Can you recognise yourself? Your role at work will always include leadership and it’s really great to be able to recognise your strengths and weaknesses and understand how you might adapt your approach according to various different situations.

It’s important to note that not all of the leadership styles are positive – in particular, the coercive style and the pace-setting style, have the opposite effect. The most strongly positive is the authoritative style, due to leaders encouraging their team to move towards their shared vision.

Understanding the styles help you to develop and grow as a leader, a colleague, and in your relationship with your boss. Can you recognise yourself and your boss the styles below?

1. The Coercive Leader

Branded the least effective of the styles, coercive leaders are demanding, inflexible and alienating. Not one to aspire to, recognising this style in your boss or colleague may help you to manage your relationship with, and actions towards them.

2. The Authoritative Leader

Flexible, open leaders, with an ability to encourage and motivate their team. Successful leaders, they will champion their team with courage and belief in their skills, to drive them to the same vision they have, all the while making each individual feel appreciated and given a level of autonomy.

3. The Affiliative Leader

Leaders who look after their team and put them before the work that must be done. Empathetic, trustworthy, and allow the individual freedom to experiment. A great all-round approach and really brings a team together.

4. The Democratic Leader

Understanding of their team’s ideas and input in order to help make their decisions, therefore creating a feeling of teamwork and morale.

5. The Pace-Setting Leader

The leader who sets a pace and expects all employees to follow and match up to. This can be a demanding and demeaning style of leadership if not all team members are of the same skill. One of the less effective ways to motivate individuals who need support and guidance.

6. The Coaching Leader

The least used of the all styles, but perhaps the most effective as this style has a huge impact on an individual’s motivation and self belief, and makes them feel listened to and respected. It works best when the team want to be coached and welcome support from their leader.

We really hope you have found reading about these styles of leadership useful, and hope you recognise yourselves in some of them. All attributes and styles can be learned, as with all emotional intelligence, and we would love to see you at one of our coaching days coming up in April where you can learn about emotional intelligence and more.

If you’re interested in learning more, our Executive PA Manager Masterclass explores Emotional Intelligence and Leadership. We are running a session on 19th April. If you’d like to book, simply email Amanda at enquiries@globalpa-association.com or visit our website for more information on the programme: Global PA Association PA Manager Masterclass

What is Emotional Intelligence?

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Have you ever wondered what Emotional Intelligence is? Do you hear the phrase commonly used around the office but questioned whether you use it yourself? Or have you wondered whether your boss truly understands you and if they use it in their approach to your working relationship? Emotional intelligence is a term that has become more frequently used, especially as we as a society are striving to understand one another and look a little deeper into our relationships, not only in the workplace but in our every day experiences, and quite honestly, it’s brilliant!

Emotional intelligence is the awareness and sensitivity to the emotions of the people around you, with an understanding of how to communicate and relate to one another in work and in life. In the office this form of intelligence is key, not only amongst fellow workers, but in particular for leaders nurturing a company, a team, or an individual. Understanding what kind of emotional intelligent leader you and your boss are, helps you to connect and communicate with clarity, and leads to a healthier, more productive and enjoyable day at work, all day every day. Doesn’t that sound like the kind of relationship you’d like going forward?

As you’d assume, most people interpret intelligence as problem solving, memory, and grasping new concepts and processing ideas, however these kinds of intelligence actually fall under IQ tests. Truthfully there are far more factors at play when predicting job performance, and the contribution of IQ has been estimated as low as 4% (!) and no higher than 25%! Doing well at your job therefore has a lot more to do with other factors, and thankfully emotional intelligence figures strongly among them.

There are four types of emotional intelligence that each person uses, which range dependent on each situation and they are called emotional capabilities:

  • Self-awareness – self-confidence, accurate self-assessment, emotional self-awareness
  • Self-management – self-control, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability, drive to meet internal excellence, initiative
  • Social awareness – empathy, organisational awareness, ability to recognise customer needs
  • Social skills – visionary leadership, influence, developing others, communication, change catalyst, conflict management, building bonds, teamwork & collaboration

Do you recognise these skills in yourself? Or in your boss? It’s great to learn that good leaders will use a combination of the listed skills and adapt their approach according to the individual they are nurturing and working with. If you’re reading this and wishing you could master all the skills, well guess what? The great news is that each one can be learned!

If you’re interested in learning more, our Executive PA Manager Masterclass explores Emotional Intelligence and Leadership. Our March session is full on 22nd March, however due to popular demand we are running an extra session on 19th April. If you’d like to book, simply email Amanda at enquiries@globalpa-association.com or visit our website for more information on the programme: Global PA Association PA Manager Masterclass

And sign up to our fantastic newsletter where we share our latest news on membership, training and events.

We’d love to see you at our next event, and in the meantime keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment which continues to explore emotional intelligence within different styles of leadership – it’s a fascinating read and we can’t wait to share it with you.