July, 2008

Going Over the Boss's Head: Like Swimming With Sharks While a T-bone is Strapped to Your Butt

On The Job

Before I get into discussing the issue of whether you can -- or should -- go over your boss's head, I'd like to share a little story with you. Once upon a time there was a young woman named Letitia Hood. Because her hair was a vibrant auburn color, and she was a bit vertically challenged, she was known in her office as Little Red Riding Hood -- or "Red" for short. Red was a diligent worker. So diligent, in fact, that she felt she deserved a promotion and a raise.

2008 143

Outlook Rules that Rule: Start to take control of your Inbox instead of it controlling you

Laughing all the Way to Work

I have finally taken the time to create rules for my Inbox. It was getting out of control. I knew the rules option existed, but I never took the time to check it out. What I discovered is a time saver and e-mail management tool that is a best-kept secret.

2008 130

Prioritization: A Colorful Outlook

Professional Assistant Blog

Do you receive quite a bit of e-mail in your Inbox each day, but have trouble prioritizing them? Do you feel overwhelmed with trying to figure out who you should respond to first? I recently added a post called "Outlook Rules That Rule

2008 100

Personal Thoughts…Feeling Loved & Appreciated

Denise Aday

I turned 43 years old yesterday. A non-milestone birthday, which I’m thankful for (40 with a freshly empty nest was hard). I can say I’m in my early 40’s for one more year. And for now people gasp and say “No way! You don’t look nearly old enough!”

2008 52

Does anyone know what time it is? Calculating time internationally

Laughing all the Way to Work

Here is a tip that someone from my office gave me for calculating time internationally. I am not a proficient enough blogger to know how to put these images in my post without you having to click to enlarge it, but I am learning.

2008 130

If You Were a Salad, What Kind of Dressing Would You Be?

On The Job

Anyone searching for a job knows the excitement of finally landing an interview. But just imagine how you would feel, after prepping for hours to make sure you're ready to answer questions about why you'd be great for the job, to have a hiring manager lean earnestly forward and ask: "If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?" Welcome to the whacky new world of interviewing.

2008 116

Ten Things They Never Taught You in School But you Gotta Know in Order to Survive on the Job

On The Job

Most new parents I know say that can't believe the hospital just let them walk out with their newborn child. The panic sets in as they realize there is no owner's manual to accompany such a momentous event in their lives. The same could be true of the workplace. Sure, some attend years and years of school, but nothing really prepares you for what the workplace is truly like. That's why I've put together this list. Tuck it in your pocket. Post it on your refrigerator. E-mail it to yourself.

2008 100

More Trending

The Future of the Administrative Profession: Where do I Think We Are Headed?

Laughing all the Way to Work

As a secretary I typed letters, answered the phone and did the filing. As an administrative assistant I manage my boss's practice so he can do his job. I draft letters, schedule his time, set reminders for deadlines, bring forward items, make travel arrangements, make some business decisions, arrange conferences, manage client relations and some bookkeeping. An administrative assistant can be indispensible to an executive.

2008 100

Mistakes: We all make them, but how do we survive them?

Laughing all the Way to Work

Early in my career, I made travel arrangements for my boss and had him flying into New York City to one airport, but the meeting room and hotel were across town closer to another airport. I got a geography lesson when he got back. I remember helping with a conference at another place I worked and as we approached the day of the conference we noticed that the attendance was low. It was discovered that someone in our Marketing Department forgot to send the invitations out.

2008 100

Watch Out for That Wrinkle -- It May be a Career Killer

On The Job

Recently, a friend told me about a party she attended called "Botox or Bangs." For those of you unaware of this trend (as I was), it means that when you get of a "certain age" you can either cut bangs to hide the wrinkles in your forehead, or you can get Botox to freeze your forehead so it doesn't move for months and it looks unlined. My friend opted for the bangs -- and the Botox.

2008 100

Office Lingo: Learning the language of a new office

Laughing all the Way to Work

I am starting a new job tomorrow and with every new job there comes the new words, phrases and the dreaded acronyms. We get used to some things and start referring to them by our pet names. We don't even notice it, because we all know what we are talking about – except of course the new person. When they are on the scene you start to realize your office talk is not as easy to understand as you thought. In both law firms I worked at we called the different files we worked on matters.

2008 100

A Teacher's Final Words to All of Us

On The Job

Note: I wrote this post last September, and wanted to re-post it as a tribute to Randy Pausch, whose death was just announced. For those of you who haven’t seen Randy Pausch’s final lecture to his students at Carnegie Mellon University, I urge you to take some time and watch it. In the lecture, Pausch , who is dying of pancreatic cancer at age 46, speaks of all the things he wanted to do in his life, and all the things he has managed to accomplish.

2008 100

How to Know When It's Time to Take Your Job Off Life Support

On The Job

You can't exactly put your finger on it, but somehow your job has started sucking the life force out of you. Every day you feel a little more depressed , a little more like maybe you should just call in sick and sit home and watch "Cash Cab." Still, the thought of looking for another job is even more depressing. There's the business of writing the resume. You know you'll face rejections. You'll have to go on interviews, and that ranks right up there with with having someone wax your entire body.

2008 100

Are we in the budget?

Laughing all the Way to Work

A good question to ask your office manager or HR person would be, “Is there a budget for the administrative staff?” Here are some things that I have often wondered about, but was always afraid to ask: Is there a budget for education for the administrative staff? Some organizations have this in the employee benefit package. At some places I've worked I was able to take work-related courses up to $500 a year as part of my work benefits.

Budget 100

Outlook Rules That Rule

Professional Assistant Blog

Editor's note: This is a guest post by Patricia Robb of Laughing All The Way to Work: A Survival Blog for Today's Administrative Assistant. I have finally taken the time to create rules for my Inbox. It was getting out of control

2008 100

Having a good working reputation

Laughing all the Way to Work

Some people say it is who you know that gets you the job. Networking and knowing lots of people is a good thing, but I think the reason some people know so many people and have good connections is because they have a good reputation and people think highly of them. The two work together. Having a good working reputation is important. You will be the first person that comes to mind when an employer is looking to fill a position.

2008 100

Ten Rules Guaranteed to Cause You Less Stress

On The Job

It's Friday. TGIF, right? You've put in some long hours, dedicated yourself to the job and figured out a way to whittle your lunch tab down to $1.25 (ketchup put into hot water makes tomato soup, right?). I know you're stressed. That's why I'm here to tell you that it's really OK if you: 1. See that when you're the only one getting on the elevator with the top boss you suddenly say: "Oops! I forgot something! You go ahead!"

2008 100

Five Reasons No One Wants to Listen to You at Work

On The Job

While we spend a lot of time these days using electronic communication, we can never forget the importance of that face-to-face communication that is so critical to our success. People make a snap judgement about you the minute you meet them. They check out what you're wearing, how your hair looks, if you smell good (or at least, not bad) and then they wait for you to open your mouth. And that's when many of us really screw up.

2008 100

Admins in the Spotlight: Assistant walking 60 miles to raise money for a cure for breast cancer

Laughing all the Way to Work

Marsha Johnson will be walking in a 3-day event in Tampa, Florida in October 2008 to raise money for a cure for breast cancer in memory of her friend, Cindy Craig, who died of breast cancer. She is going to walk 20 miles each day for a total of 60 miles. If you are interested in reading about it or sponsoring her, click here. All the best Marsha!

2008 100

The Crazy Days of Summer

Laughing all the Way to Work

Does this sound familiar? I find as an AA that my day is not mine to control. My boss e-mails me or phones me to do this or that so I have to pay attention to the pings that let me know I have another message in my Inbox. I need to check my voicemail when I see the red light is flashing on my phone. An AA does not have as much say about planning their day. We are "at your service" so to speak, which is the nature of the AA position.

2008 100

Seminars for Professional Assistants

Professional Assistant Blog

I am an Executive Assistant to the CEO/President. She is the largest share holder of the company, obviously. But she is very high strung and doesn't know how to relax even when among friends or on vacation

2008 100

The pronouns you use can reveal a lot about where your head is

Laughing all the Way to Work

One of my co-workers told me that I was already using "we" and "us" when referring to my new employer. I am physically still in my current job, but my mind is already on my new one. How do you keep focussed on your current job when you know you are leaving? Sometimes it has been hard. My mind is already planning the next Board meeting and how I will organize my desk and the filing at the new place. I have also had a lot of visits from my current co-workers as they hear that I am leaving.

2008 100

What's So Bad About Being No. 2?

On The Job

As Barack Obama and John McCain try and decide who should be their vice-presidential running mate, let's take a look at what's so great about being No. Hmmmm. You're not No. You usually get a good parking spot. See reason No. All right, all kidding aside, is it really so bad to be No. Well, it can be kind of tough to proclaim that you're really proud to be second-in-command in this country. After all, aren't we programmed from an early age that we want to be -- no, must be -- No.

2008 100

Is it ever OK to tell someone how much you make?

Laughing all the Way to Work

Someone asked me the other day what my salary was. I was taken aback. Then she proceeded to tell me how much she earned. I was even more surprised at that. What bothered me the most however was learning she was making more than I was for the same job. Years ago we were taught never to reveal our salary. We might be quite happy in our job until we learn someone else is making more money, then we suddenly are not so happy anymore.

2008 100

Career Blogging: A new way of marketing yourself

Laughing all the Way to Work

This August will be my one-year anniversary of starting my blog. It is hard to believe it has been a year already. Over 250 articles later and here I am still blogging. What I have learned as a blogger Blogging about your career is an excellent way to present yourself to a potential employer. I would recommend putting your blogspot on your resume under "Accomplishments" with a brief description of what your blog is about.

2008 100

Hitting the Mark on OfficeArrow

Laughing all the Way to Work

I recently found an excellent site for administrative professionals called OfficeArrow. It is written for office professionals, by office professionals and you can tell because the articles are very relevant to what we do every day. I have been browsing the site recently and discovering just how much there is on it. Today I found a section called Templates and Documents. What a helpful tool for admins. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

2008 100

You're Such a Total Dumb**s for Not Taking That Promotion.Or Maybe Not.

On The Job

If your boss walked up to you today and offered you a promotion, with quite a substantial pay raise, would you take it? Well, duh," you might think. "Of Of course." Now let's say that your boss offers you more money, but you will also be required to relocate -- or work more hours or perhaps take on tasks you don't like. So, do you still take the promotion? That's the dilemma many people face in their careers.

2008 100

Having a good outlook when it comes to Outlook

Laughing all the Way to Work

Organizing someone else’s calendar can be challenging. It involves communicating what you have scheduled, and in most cases without direct contact with the person you are scheduling appointments for. In other words, you will probably not be able to speak to the person, but you have to communicate to them in some way that you have updated their calendar. It involves an understanding that you have to look ahead and see what is in the calendar.

2008 100

The little company that couldn’t.

Laughing all the Way to Work

I once worked for a little start-up company. It was a great experience as I got to try a lot of things I had never done before. I was the President’s secretary and in that role he delegated me to create and type up a job posting, which I advertised in the local newspaper. I conducted interviews and hired my first employee – the receptionist. I had to supervise her as well as run the office. I took minutes at meetings and hosted out of town potential buyers as they came to look at our technology.

2008 100

Cutting the apron strings: Gaining confidence to venture out on your own

Laughing all the Way to Work

If you are in a job and have come on as a junior, then you need to accept the role as student and learn as much as you can from the people around you who have been on the job for a long time. But when is it time to take control and venture out on your own? It is sometimes easy to stay in the student role because it is safe and if you have a strong mentor to live in their shadow, but that is not good for your career development.

2008 100

Warning! Have You Become a Toxic Sponge?

On The Job

I once had a job where the boss was a toxic leader. You know the kind: arrogant, small-minded, belittling, etc. (In In short, what Bob Sutton refers to as the "asshole boss.") But no matter how miserable she made my life, no matter how unhappy she made the lives of everyone in the office, I kept a smile on my face. Good morning!" I would chirp at the beginning of every day to my co-workers. How are you? Great day, isn't it?"

2008 100

Where is everybody? Setting up an office vacation calendar

Laughing all the Way to Work

It is important for management to know who is going to be away from the office, especially during the summer when everyone is planning vacation time. But it is also important for assistants to know who is in or you may find yourself being the only assistant in the office with six managers all scrambling and needing something done urgently. Keeping an up-to-date vacation calendar is important so these overlaps are anticipated and in some cases vacations have to be re-scheduled.

2008 100

Hello Washington.

Laughing all the Way to Work

I am guest posting on IAAP's Capital Chapter blog site so I wanted to say hello in case any visitors head over my way. I have been keeping in contact with the newly elected President in Washington (of IAAP that is) over the last year and she asked me to write a post on being a legal assistant. She tells me it will be posted tonight, so you can read it on their blog tomorrow. I will be out of blogging range as I continue my vacation, but wanted to touch base and give you the link.

2008 100

I am on holidays, but.

Laughing all the Way to Work

I just got back from a nice boat trip on the Rideau Canal , which for those who don't know is a scenic waterway that runs through Ottawa and the Valley. In the winter it is the world's longest skating rink. Apparently in 2005 this was made official by the Guinness Book of Records. Who knew? My friend and I had a nice swim off the boat and a BBQ at one of the docks near the beautiful Village of Merrickville.

2008 100

Educating the Virtual Assistant Marketplace

Denise Aday

I had a wonderful phone conversation with a prospective client today. Unfortunately, even though we seemed such a good fit otherwise, I may not be able to work with him due to an after hours access issue. As an entrepreneur, I often work many – and odd – hours. As a small business owner and service provider to a number of clients however, I have set office hours M-F. If clients call or email outside these hours, they don’t expect to hear from me until the next business day.

2008 40

Join me at the Third River Summer Success Summit

Denise Aday

Beat The Summer Business Doldrums! How Would You Like to Invite eight Ten Small Business Experts into YOUR Home or Office to Teach You Exactly What They Know About Strategies To Grow Your Business? Announcing the. Third River Summer Success Summit. A Virtual Seminar Series Designed for Small Businesses Who Want to Dream Bigger , Prosper More Abundantly , and Share Generously. Claim Your FREE Event Pass Today – (A $297 value).

2008 40

VANetworking Blog of the Week

Denise Aday

Congratulations to me for AdayVA.com being named VANetworking.com’s Blog of the Week! I love my VANetworking colleagues and the wealth of other resources. Thanks guys!

2008 40