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

7 Key Skills of Exceptional 21st Century PAs – Testimonial

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By Ana-Valeria Burcea

“I flew in from Bucharest to London on a mid-November Day (this year 2015). My expectations were at that point very high, since I already had the chance to interact with Rosemary’s professionalism in the pre-training period through our e-mail exchange.

Arrived at the training venue I was welcomed by Rosemary, who immediately introduced me to the other ladies, who also attended this course (“7 Key Skills of Exceptional 21st Century PAs”) and we rapidly teamed-up.

The course itself was very well structured from the delivered content, latest academic researches, to the linked inter-domains connections – Human Resources, managerial skills, people management, psychology – to the practical role-play exercises in small groups of work.

The objective of the course manages to fill-in all expectations formulated as individual objectives by each of the participants at the beginning of the training. My personal expectations were to review my current skills, structure them and gain awareness in applying them more efficiently as well as to gain more independence in taking decisions.

It was a high quality time spent that day at the course. In the end I managed to establish new professional connections, as for Rosemary, she is a very inspiring personality as well as to be more aware of my key role in the Company, of my responsibility, of ways to make my work more efficient and of the fact that being aware of my key role in the company I act, performing in each working day accordingly to this set of 7 essential skills as well as accordingly to the set of values and beliefs of the Company I’m with, I’m able to make the way from personal branding to ambassador not only of my Company but also of my profession.

The course was actually about me, about you and about every PA around the world, who wants to improve and to add more efficiency not only her/his professional life but also her/his personal life.

I warmly recommend this training to every PA, who wants and seeks the right and best equipped start in her/his long term career and who also wants to get globally visible.

Moreover this one-day intensive training is not only about Rebecca, Amy, Lorraine, Linda, Debra or Valeria, it is also about every woman/man, who builds up her/his career with professionalism, dedication, efficiency, proactivity, agility, positivism and passion to perform.

A big  thank you goes to Rosemary for making me once again aware of this! Looking forward to the other two Master classes that you run. Hopefully I’ll be part of them.

A special thank you goes to my boss, who opened the door to a brand new world in front of me, when insisting to take a professional and up to date PA course with global recognition.”

Click here to find out more about our next masterclass