Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Company Perks and Showing Appreciation

If you’re a new reader to my site, you may not know that I also write over at under Hollywood Executive Assistant. Last week I answered two questions and will paste them below. They cover appreciation and company perks. And since we are on the topic of appreciation...

I usually try to mix it up by writing about work and also personal stuff. Granted, the work stuff is always easier to digest and apply in terms of tips and suggestions. But I like to address the personal side too. As that’s where inspiration or enlightenment strikes because of what I read, saw, or through interacting with others. I try to keep the blog mostly work related for my readers’ benefit, so I was extra delighted by the comments I’ve been getting about my personal new year’s resolutions post last time. It was such a nice reaction! Sometimes I don’t want to talk about work either, as much as I love my job and working! :) Anyway, I hope you enjoy the post today and find it helpful. And thank you to new readers who are following my blog! I do check my stats almost every day! I acknowledge your presence! :)

Do you have experience or ideas for encouragement and continued motivation for upper level management? Our valuable leaders don't appear on the outside to need this but I think we all need rejuvenation.

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Year’s Resolutions, Pacing Oneself, and Staying Curious

One of the more difficult things about growing older is losing that child-like sense of wonder and awe. Very rarely am I truly surprised in a good way anymore. The older you get the wiser you hopefully are becoming and if you are very curious like me, there are less and less things to discover. I think this is why I like trying new hobbies, films, and reading so much. At least in reading, there are endless worlds to discover.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Answering Reader Mail: 7 Tips on Attire, Scheduling & Etiquette

“Hello – I feel like I found my life vest now that I found your blog. I had 11 years as an Administrative Secretary to an IT Director at my local municipality. It was good at my job because the tech stuff came easy and I became the “go to” girl in the village. I left employment there when a union was successful in organizing the clerical staff. I jumped around 4 other jobs and then landed my dream job. I am the EA to the CEO of a global conglomerate. This company is so ginormous I am having a dizzy time of trying to wrap my brain around what all they do – various forms of power, civil engineering, and then the IT services side of it. My CEO is new. They brought him on as the CEO of Industrials and then there is another new CEO at the headquarters who is in charge of Services. I am learning time zones and currencies and every day I am shaking in my boots that it might be too much but I want it so dang bad! I am in my mid-40s and my daughter is 21 and in her senior year of college so I have the time to devote 100% of my days, nights, and weekends to being always on call and at the ready. So far the only mistakes I’ve made have been minor. For example, I set up a sales dial-in call with about 40 people from every continent on the call. Only I used the US guest code and host code while inadvertently providing the international dial-in numbers which aren’t compatible! I sat at my kitchen table watching my phone blow up while people were emailing and IM’ing me all at the same time wanting to know why they couldn’t get on the call. Because I believe God Himself is watching over me for some good deeds I have recently done, my boss decided that the mistake was a blessing because we should really have a more global system whereby anyone organizing a dial-in call should all use the same company to avoid this ever being an issue in the future. He’s now got the IT guy overseas working towards that end. It’s sort of a neat role too because the company has no other support roles in the US. The mother company, overseas, does, but I am one of only two EA’s hired in the US and so we are sort of pioneers and developing the roles as we go along each day. I am copied on highly confidential information and I read emails that seem to be written in a new language – sales speak. BI’s and verticles and things I don’t even understand, but I am just bobbing and weaving and trying to take it all in and fake it until I make it. I’m doing this thing I learned at one of the four other job jumps I did. I open up a Word document and every time I see something in my emails that needs to be taken care of – I put it on that Word list. I then review the list and organize it by priority and then copy and paste it into a “touch base” email I send to my CEO. When I first started doing this, he wrote back, “Very clear, concise. Nice.” So I’ve kept up this tradition and he’s now making statements like when he introduces me to someone in an email he’ll say, “My EA, she keeps me honest and always has my back.” So, I think I am “hitting the ground running” and off to a good start. So much so, that they are flying me out to NJ for the really big sales conference! I suggested it to the person organizing the event so I could help out and work it, but also to meet the direct reports of my CEO and the rest of the team at the headquarter office there.

I’m going to keep reading your blog regularly. I love your style of writing and have taken away many great tips I’ll use again and again in my work. One question I would like to ask you is how to set up meetings when schedules constantly change? For example, I’ve been working on this one client who wants a 30 minute call with my CEO and two of his direct reports, her CEO and one of his direct reports. The time zones are US CST, EST and then overseas. I had the call aligned once, but someone from our side ended up having a flight so I was asked to reschedule the call. Now the client tells me how about January 30th at 6:30 pm for the overseas time zone? The problem is I don’t know where in this world my Boss will be on that date. I think along with this question I would also like to know if you have etiquette tips about emailing with the other EA’s on the client side of things. For example, if we are pursuing them, asking for the meeting and then they agree – who is to send the invite, me or the EA on their side? Things like this and if you have to cancel a scheduled call or meeting like one I had arranged but the flight got canceled are there proper ways to do these things I might not be aware of? Any books or reading up on this would be helpful too please. Do you use a Blackberry or an iPhone? Do you wear a full suit every day to the office or any tips on dressing for success? In my other job I got to wear cargo pants and was one of the “guys” so in this job I am feeling sort of like a tomboy who doesn’t know how much to spend on my shoes or if I can get away with pantsuits from Ross, etc. Many days I am the only one in the office as our staff are all salesmen and women and on travels or working from home.

Gosh, I know this was a lot. I feel like I could talk to you for hours. You should talk your bosses into doing a reality show about you! With all the reality TV shows of late, I think a show about you running the show would be wonderful! :)

I hope I haven’t bored you. Thanks again for taking the time to write your blog. I think someone who goes out of their way to help others is a sign of a truly good soul!”

Thursday, January 3, 2013

7 Defining Traits the Most Successful Executive Assistants Have - Part 2

Here are more tips on how to set yourself apart. As mentioned previously, the most coveted executive assistants that appeal to senior management and recruiters are the ones that have either worked for a Fortune 500 CEO, reputable talent agency, or the ones that show great promise because they are hungry, smart, and can be easily managed. While it goes without saying that every EA should keep things confidential, be organized, and reliable, the best ones stand out for these additional 7 reasons below. This is part 2.