Aalaa Aljar shares her top tips to help you take control, counter your fears and worries
- Am I valued?
- Am I going to be a leader?
- Am I going to be promoted?
- What about my career path, training?
- Will I be the one fired first?
- What are my strengths and skills?
- What is my unique selling point?
- Will technology be a threat?
- Will I be heard?
The above are just a few of the fears and worries from the ocean of the 21st century Assistant’s insecurities. Whether you identify as an Assistant, a secretary, or an administrative professional, we are all in the same boat, wondering about our roles and our futures. Here are 10 simple tips that could help to inspire you and allay your fears:
1. Be Thirsty
Being thirsty is being open to new opportunities, new responsibilities, new applications, tools, and networks, and most importantly a new you!
2. Be Responsible
Responsibility does not only mean doing your work right, but also making sure others have the tools to do their job correctly. Responsibility is more about acknowledging this and finding ways to move forward.
3. Learn and Thrive
Continuous learning means to learn wisely, educate yourself and go wide with the curiosity of knowing different subjects. Be an expert in your job and be a curious child in life; with this, you can contribute and communicate with confidence. Sir Francis Bacon is often quoted as saying “Knowledge itself is power.” Once you acquire knowledge, this will be reflected in your confidence and self-presentation.
4. “Not in My Job Description”
A big request: please remember not to say to yourself or others, “It’s not in my job description.” This sentence is a limitation and will not allow you to stretch your muscles and build new ones. Remember that you create your own opportunities through accepting and filtering what you really want.
Communication is key. It is an important skill that an Assistant needs to gain and practice. With good communication skills, you will be able to communicate your achievements, knowledge, strengths, needs, wants, thoughts, ideas, passion, education, support, love and, most importantly, your value.
Ask the right questions in the right way at the right time and with the right tone. Try to be brave in your open-ended questions to get the right answers; try to be smart in your reflections about enquiries and to be confident in your closed-ended questions. Have your intuition button ON to be alert to the response, facts, body language, tone, gestures, interactions and distractions.
6. Develop the Right Mindset
Give yourself the full right to make a mistake, to be both a beginner and an expert. Give yourself the full right to stand up and admit your mistakes, and have the courage to overcome them and move forward. Give yourself permission to feel all human feelings towards your executive, colleagues and team members, BUT always remember to respect and know your limits. Respect yourself first and others will follow.
7. Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence
The general definition of Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions and recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. Emotions drive our behavior and impact on our own behavior and the behavior of others. Therefore, there can be many benefits to yourself, your team and your organization if you learn and practice EI, as it helps to resolve conflicts and motivate others and assists with collaboration.
8. Be Proactive
Be analytical; link events, subjects, news headlines. Read between the lines and be alert for possibilities in all surroundings, both internally and externally. This could help your executives and leaders.
An honest smile will attract people to you and provide satisfaction to yourself and others. For most people (including myself), the first thing we notice about others is their smile. Therefore, smile with love.
10. Maintain Confidentiality
Maintaining confidentiality is the ability to keep things private and secret. In other words, information is given in confidence, rooted in trust. Therefore, respect the trust and be responsible by keeping the secret.
I would like to invite you to try these tips, evaluate what went well and how you felt about the results, ask others for feedback and share your experience.