Sunethra Jayaratne Nugawela shares the address she gave at the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Association of Secretaries and Administrative Professionals in Asia Pacific (ASA)

This auspicious occasion provides a timely opportunity to share my thoughts and insights on a topic that I am deeply passionate about.

Education, both formal and informal, serves as a critical impetus for personal and professional development. It is an indispensable tool that enables individuals to stand out and make a meaningful impact in society. Quality education is pivotal in fostering a broader perspective, facilitating adaptation to change, and cultivating essential skills such as empathy, creativity, and adaptability. Education is a continuous process that encompasses formal, informal, and non-formal learning. It enables us to acquire knowledge, gain experiences, and develop life skills that are essential to becoming better individuals.
Education plays a critical role in overcoming challenges and developing harmoniously across all four dimensions of life – physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. It serves as the key to unlocking our potential, enabling us to think differently, innovate, and take initiative. It fosters optimism, coherence, creativity, situational adaptability, and a people-centric mindset. Education is, therefore, a fundamental prerequisite for personal and professional development and is instrumental in helping us achieve our dreams and goals.

Administrative professionals play an important role in ensuring that organizations function smoothly. Their ability to collaborate and work together as a team is crucial to the success of any organization. The stability and sustainability of the administrative profession has been proven over time, and administrative professionals are indispensable in any situation. As they strive to grow with education, focusing on lucrative opportunities is essential to achieve career success. They mastered a certain set of skills in their earlier years which paved their way.

The Skills of Yesterday and the Skills of Today

Although today may differ greatly from yesterday, the insights and expertise we acquired from the past remain applicable when combined with fresh, innovative strategies. The future brings forth a unique set of obstacles that necessitate the attributes and mentality detailed below. Administrative professionals must transform into strategic collaborators within the business realm, as this is fundamental to securing a sustainable future.

The Skills of Tomorrow

I credit my personal success to my unwavering passion for continuous learning. This drive has allowed me to excel both professionally and personally. I approach challenges with a never-give-up attitude, am unafraid to challenge the status quo, and maintain a laser focus on my goals. I am grateful for what I have and prioritize tasks with a sense of urgency, never procrastinating. My determination is never shaken, and I always act ethically, undeterred by distractions. I take constructive feedback to heart, not allowing irrelevant criticism to affect me. I believe that perseverance, persistence, patience, passion, and purpose are the keys to success. These core principles guide me in the past, present, and future. Most importantly, I believe in living a meaningful life and serving others. Creating a people-centric atmosphere is critical to achieving fulfilment in life.

The importance of education cannot be emphasized enough, particularly in its ability to inspire and foster joy. Those who are entrusted with the task of encouraging and motivating others through the sharing of knowledge must approach this responsibility with great care. Accomplishment is attained through a resolute commitment to consistently acquiring and imparting knowledge. A mentality that values education and fosters a love of learning, within both oneself and others, is a priceless treasure that should be pursued with uninterrupted dedication.

Dr Sunethra Jayaratne Nugawela is the Chairperson and Executive Director of the Academy for Administrative Professionals in Sri Lanka and an Executive Secretary at SDB Bank. She is a trainer, coach, mentor, examiner, visiting lecturer and associate of the ... (Read More)

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