How to develop Professionalism in your Career

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Maintaining professionalism every day in your career is very important to uphold and to cultivate. We so often get busy in our own lives that we forget to keep standards up in our career. Global PA Association wanted to share a few handy tips which might help remind us all how to stay as professional as possible in the workplace and in our approach to our careers going forward.

Tip 1

Behave in the right manner and always be on time: This might sound obvious but it’s more important than you might think. Keeping your standards up through great timekeeping and being positive, informed, and diplomatic makes a huge difference to the way people treat you and to the way you treat yourself. By maintaining standards you automatically value yourself and those around you, and will be treated with a level of respect which you have earned yourself, which in turn leads to more possibilities and doors opening which will escalate your position and career status. And the best thing? It’s really easy to do!

Tip 2

Always be discreet and maintain poise: Being the gatekeeper for your boss or colleagues is part of you role as an executive or personal assistant, and keeping information discreet is paramount. If you’re able to consistently and confidently represent yourself as a trusted source and keep your emotions in check you will gain trust and respect from your team and boss, and this will translate into greater responsibility within your role. We want you to do the best you can and get that promotion or pay rise, and reminding yourself of these attributes always helps with this.

Tip 3

Dress code and first impressions: Dressing accordingly can actually help to elevate your current position and has a vital impact on the first impression you make meeting a prospective employer, client, or colleague. A first impression is made in 7 seconds, that’s often before you’ve even spoken, so understanding the power of dressing is key to your own success. Comprehending the workplace code of dress, or how your outfit could really impact a new situation is important and if you get it right it gives you an automatic head-start, sounds good doesn’t it?

Tip 4

Preparation and objectives: In every career situation it pays to be prepared and know what your objectives are to achieve your next steps. Employers expect this and love when their employees take the initiative to develop themselves. You can always ask what is expected of you and being clear with your objectives helps your boss and colleagues to understand your capabilities and recognise your attention to detail when given a task. They then form a stronger opinion of you which will add to your reputation and grow your possibilities!

We hope these handy tips will help you take strides in your role and give you the confidence to believe in your own professionalism.

Advance your status and professionalism further with our Global PA Training Programmes – 7 Key Skills PA Management Programme, Advanced EA Programme & Project Management Programme. All 3 programmes are ILM recognised and you will receive ILM Certificates on completion of each programme and access to free 1 year study membership of the ILM. The ILM are part of City & Guilds Group and recognised by 90% of UK employees and in over 80 countries. This certification gives you the edge and showcases your commitment to lifelong learning.

Are You Happy at Work?

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Happiness at work. Do you feel happy at work? Do you think about your happiness levels regularly enough? Awareness of your happiness in the workplace has become increasingly important and you might be surprised to find that businesses are investing more and more in their employees happiness on a day to day basis, as it affects not just the individual, but the business, and most importantly whether you’re happy or not goes on to impact your home and personal life. Sounds logical that that might be the case right? In fact we’ve been living in a society which doesn’t put enough emphasis on the individual’s happiness levels for far too long, but it’s all looking set to change

Jessica Pryce-Jones has written a fantastic book called “Happiness at Work: Maximising your Psychological Capital for Success”. In an interview with Jessica, she details what it means to be happy at work and how you can maximise your own happiness levels. What we found interesting was the discovery that it’s about your mindset and that you have a choice in all situations at work and you must decide what you want and how you want to get it – giving you more power than you think. Sounds great doesn’t it?

By giving you back your power and learning that you have control of your thoughts and your environment we want to help you find your own happiness at work. We all know that thinking positively changes your attitude and energy, yet it can be tricky at times, especially when you’re in a state of conflict. Positive thoughts come from hope, courage, and optimism. By connecting with these thoughts you will more likely be engaged and satisfied.

And we know, it’s all very well thinking positively, but what if your surroundings and work colleagues aren’t positive and happy? Shouldn’t your employer make efforts to practically help you find this happiness? The answer is categorically yes. Perhaps your boss already asks your what makes you happy, or what do you really enjoy doing, or what has helped you build your confidence in your role? Or perhaps you’re waiting for this to happen. Communication is key, in every office and in every relationship, so if you want to action your own happiness why not talk to your boss and come up with a plan on how to build your happiness levels? No-one would ever say no to helping their employees, and you, as the PA/EA are so integral to your boss’s working (and dare we say it, personal) life, that your happiness should be at the top of their list. 

Jessica talks about the 5 C’s in finding happiness at work. By identifying with these you can see where you have strengths and weaknesses, and then in turn you can address what needs the most focus, therefore increasing your chance of greater happiness. The five C’s consist of “contribution, conviction, culture, commitment and confidence. These are underpinned by pride, trust and recognition and at the heart of the model is achieving potential.” Can you identify with these and which you want to work on?

The most important learnings from the book are that listening is the key component to happiness. Feeling heard and listened to are absolutely key, as are listening to others. It’s not as easy as you’d think, however next time you’re in a meeting, or in a conversation with a colleague, really try and listen and connect to that person and see if you gain anything in return. Connecting with one another helps to develop and deepen relationships, which in turn contributes to happiness levels and the feeling of being recognised for your worth.

Confidence is also key to your happiness. Try and sit down and think about what you have to offer, and what you already offer. You might surprise yourself with your capabilities. We know all of you are key to your company’s ability to run smoothly, but have you ever looked at yourself and realised all you have to offer? By tuning in and recognising your abilities you will naturally grow your own confidence and therefore happiness. Sound pretty great doesn’t it? We know you’ve got the capability, so enjoy rediscovering your confidence and really let yourself be your own champion, we believe in you!

 

Is your Executive lonely at the top?

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Worried BossAn Interesting article in The Times on Monday 30th November highlighted recent research that The Times undertook with Odgers Berndtson that C-level Executives are battling ‘burn out’.  The research findings show that many Senior Executives are being kept awake at night worrying about work to be done and finding it difficult to switch off and get a good night’s sleep. 60% of top bosses reported taking their phone or tablet to bed with them at night, 65% felt pressured to work at weekends and 92% responded to emails and messages at any time.

The pressure that C-level Executives are under will also impact on the Executive Assistants and Personal Assistants who work for them.  Many EAs and PAs that I work with tell me of replying to emails at midnight or 2am in the morning.  Globalisation and advances in technology play a big part in this evolving working environment.  So how can EAs and PAs support their bosses without suffering from the same issues?

Build a Communication Strategy between you

Regular communication with your boss is key to a successful partnership.  Setting firm guidelines with your boss on when you are working and when your phone and laptop is switched off is important.  I believe that EAs and PAs also need to play a key role in helping their bosses to learn to switch off as well.  The EA & PA role at C-Level is one of strategic business support to your boss and that includes managing communication between you clearly and with confidence.  Where you can, try and support your boss with health and wellbeing tips and when you see them doing too much, protect their diary and give them a chance to rest and restore.My relationship with my former boss, Sir Christopher Bland was one that developed over time into trust and respect between us and whenever I saw he was doing too much, not drinking enough water or had no time for lunch then I would intervene.

Evolving role of Executive Assistants & Personal Assistants

The EA & PA role in the 21st century is now very exciting with many opportunities. As C-level executives expand their companies across the world your role managing the complexities of their life is more vital than ever.  You are on the rise and developing key business knowledge and skills is vital for your career progression.  As your Executive rises so will you, enjoy the journey!

Feel free to leave your comments and questions below