Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why my blog currently sucks!

So I started this blog thinking that I needed to start writing more. This I hoped would lead to thinking more and being more motivated in my professional growth. I also hoped this blog would inspire me.

I think my timing is bad.

So far I've had this post for several weeks, yet I barely have 5 decent entries.

My timing is certainly bad.

It isn't that I don't have anything to write about and it isn't that I'm unmotivated or not interested in continuing this blog. I just don't have time right now. Very key sentence.

I just don't have time right now.
Well, any determined person would tell me to make time. And I agree. I can make time for the gym, for sleeping, for seeing friends. So why can't I make time for this blog?

Well, instead of rambling off my excuses I'll explain something. Time is like money. You can only budget so many different things before you realize you don't have enough money for everything.
Here's an example. Say you have $5 and you were in a candy store. Now say you wanted to try 6 things, and you really really wanted to try all of them. They all looked enticing and delicious. But here's the catch, each thing or piece of candy is $1. You have to spend at least $1 on each piece. So you have to pick and choose. You can't have it all.
Another example. Your in an art gallery and you only have 30 minutes. There are 4 exhibits, each takes 10 minutes. Since you absolutely love all the exhibits and you want to check them all out, you either have to speed through all of them and not really enjoy any of the exhibits or you have to pick which three you will go to and thoroughly enjoy instead.

This is the dilemna I'm having. Only this isn't just applying to my blog. This also applies to my entire life. Even though I want to go to the gym 4 days a week I settle for at least 3 days and hope I find time for another day somewhere. I want to start practicing my clarinet several times a week but time doesn't really permit me to. I would love, absolutely love to get eight hours of sleep a night. That NEVER happens. Last night I got five hours. Five hours! And I still didn't get everything done.

So back to the subject at hand, I'm not trying to make my blog suck. The stresses of everyday life are overwhelming at the moment and as soon as I figure out a better routine for my life, my posts will either remain in my head or be very short and maybe not that great.

I've heard the phrase 'patience is a virtue'. Which it honestly is. Keep this in mind when it comes to this blog. Some of the greatest things in life take the longest to accomplish. :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Creating My Brand

I have a brand. It sounds odd and maybe a little more complicated than I'd like, but a brand is a brand. I didn't actually 'brand' my body. I also didn't create a 'name brand' for myself. I created a fabulous reason why I am essential to any office that is looking to hire an Executive Assistant.

For the last few months I've been reading a forum called Brazen Careerist. This is where I first heard of branding oneself. I thought it was strange and in no way applied to me. I'm not an entrepreneur, or self-employed (entirely). So why would I need to brand myself? Why would anyone need to brand themselves if they don't fall into the two above stated categories?

I discovered what my brand is yesterday afternoon after looking at some job postings (this is what I do in my spare time) and it just clicked. In order to become an Exec. Admin, within the next few years, I needed to give employers a good reason to hire someone who is young, slightly inexperienced, not necessarily polished in professionalism and a little quirky at times. My brand was going to do just that.

My brand takes any characteristics about me that might be negative and turned into a positive:

I'm a young administrative professional. I do not necessarily have extensive skills or knowledge in my profession, and I'm not seasoned in what we assistants do in our offices all day. But I'm up to date with what companies are looking for. I have a 'I'll figure it out if I don't know' attitude and I'm part of the generation that is leading business into a new decade. I'm self sufficient and ready to learn at my fullest potential. These are the qualities to look for an an Executive Assistant, proficiency tests are outdated, loyalty to a company doesn't add any value to a resume. If you want confidence, creativity and enthusiasm in an Executive Assistant, then look towards the younger generation. Look towards me.

Honestly, I'm not sure if this is what Brazen would call a 'brand'. Of all the posts on the site talking about 'creating your brand', I have yet to see anyone's example.

If, in a brand, we are supposed to present ourselves as our brand, I would say my brand would be presented with hair down and slightly styled, wearing a nice fitting black suit and a bright colored shirt underneath to standout. (Since I'm female) My makeup would not stand out in anyway and carry natural hues that highlight the best parts of my face, no lipstick. I'm a chap stick sort of girl. Pointy black shoes would meet the hem of my suit pants and flatter me well, no high waters. Upon greeting anyone I would offer confidence, lean into a handshake with a genuine smile. From there would begin the conversation. I would be well spoken and direct, but also add some humor and provide insightful, genuine information about myself.

Is that closer? Of course, during the conversation I would pursue why I'm perfect for the job. And that would relate back to my brand.

In the end, I think a brand is more for personal purposes. Now that I've discovered my brand, I will be able to focus myself in job interviews, and as my career grows. I don't ever see myself pitching my brand to an employer or any other professional that I would meet with. Knowing what my brand is will reflect in my personality, persistence and professionalism.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Three Important Functions to Everyday Survival

Every morning when I get to work at a bright and early time of 7:15, I do three things.

First, I must have food. Food, obviously, is my most important task. Without food I get crabby and when I get crabby, I suck at my overtly easy job. I also believe food is what can make or break a day. If I skip breakfast (which really is THE most important meal of the day), I tend to ‘graze’ on junk all day and not get anything done. So eat breakfast. I usually eat something light, like fruit. Today I have a craving for eggs and hash browns, but I don’t have time for that.

Then, as my computer loads my inbox and I log in to every application I will need for the day I check my bank accounts. I’m not entirely sure why I still check this so frequently. When I first moved out on my own after college I was paranoid that I would run out of money. I think checking it once a day isn’t as bad as then, back then I was checking it multiple times a day (the balance never changed either). I’ve learned through my parents that money is very important when it comes to certain things. When I was younger, we never had the extra money to go to the mall. Now, I create a budget for doing just that. If I didn’t know that I had enough money for all of my bills and everything else I wanted to do, I would be punching my panic button in hopes for an emergency rescue. I’m not a fan of being poor, so I don’t intend on being that way.

The third thing I do, I put lotion on my hands. It keeps me feeling womanly; every girl has to embrace it some way. This is one simple way I do. (Pedicures are amazing for this as well)

One thing I avoid trying to do everyday is drink coffee. Caffeine can have two side effects; I am motivated and energized to get stuff done, or I become frustrated, crabby and shaky. So, unless my head is nodding, I don’t drink coffee. Diet coke is my weakness after 10 am.

I do not choose this because I think it will stunt my growth, I do it because without coffee I feel more energized and relaxed about stressful situations. I don't 'crash' in the afternoon and need to run to the break room to grab more caffeine. I don't need coffee, or caffeine for everyday survival.

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a routine girl. I live by doing everyday things a certain way. I believe a routine shows capability to be un-routine. It shows responsibility. It does not show personality or creativity. That is what the rest of your life is for. If you don't believe me consider this: During the holidays I have more time off work and I have more personal plans to attend to. During this time, my routine is thrown off course. Which, I enjoyed the break and it was very easy to do. Now that I am back at work and back into my routine, I'm having a difficult time putting it back in place. It's been three days and I still can't fall asleep early enough, I haven't gone to the gym and I've been napping every night after work (because I can't sleep, and I can't sleep because I nap). Its easier to throw out order and have chaos than to create order amongst chaos. Routine is good. Especially when it disappears for a while.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A New Year can create annoying Co-Workers

Am I the only person that doesn't have enough patience in the office? Usually co-workers are helpful and enjoyable. Since the 'New Year' it seems as though every co-worker wants to be on top of everything. In order for them to do so, they have to ask me a million questions about the simplest of things (things they don't and never have worried about before). Then when I tell them the answers, they look at me like I don't really know what I'm talking about. It is extremely annoying.

I know part if this skepticism is created based on my age. I am the youngest in the office. By at least 8 years. I understand that sometimes people judge others based on things like age, weight, sex and they don't mean to. It's how society has developed our judgement. But honestly, I'm getting tired of it. On top of the age, I also hold what some would think is a 'pointless position'. These are the people that think all I do is answer the phone and look pretty. One time I was assisting the owner while his assistant was out and he sat at my desk while I typed emails for him. A few people walked by and gave me a confusing look that could translate into a few different thoughts:
A. Is she in trouble?
B. Why is the owner talking to the 'secretary' (not my job title) or
C. She does more work than answer the phones?

This is an everyday struggle for an admin. I'm young, I'm in an entry-level (not even to some people) position. But what they don't see is that I have a lot of responsibility, I am ambitious, I'm intelligent. I want more and will get more. I am awesome.

People forget that everyone starts somewhere. I happen to be here. And until I decide where to move to next, I'm here. Learning and growing.

So what do I do to overcome this obvious judgement? Most of the time I ignore it. If I'm running low on patience I start to get that edge in my voice. It screams authority and confidence. Usually, that ends the dilemna.

I'm sure everyone will cool down once the month is over with.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Welcome to My Site

First and foremost, I apologize for the immediate lack of detail and direction on my blog page.  I came up with the idea today while I was waiting to leave work.  Which, is also what this blog will be circling around.  

Here's my story:

At the age of fifteen I had high hopes to one day become a famous clarinet player and be able to travel the world performing professionally.  During college I struggled with the idea of giving that up and teaching instead.  This was dramatically changed when I auditioned for the National Wind Ensemble, and got in!  After performing in Carnegie Hall at the age of 20 I decided I was not a teacher afterall and began my pursuit for a professional performing career.  At the beginning of my Senior year in College, I developed tendinitis in my arms.  This was the beginning of the end of my music career.  
Since I could no longer go to Graduate School and pursuit my hopes and dreams, I graduated college and went home.  I landed an administrative job at an amazing company and have been working there ever since, all the while still struggling with tendinitis. 
So how did I end up writing on this newly created blog?  Well, I came across a website called Brazen Careerist and thus began my desire to write my thoughts down for others to read.  I then developed my '5-year career plan' aka my desire to one day to assist the President of a Company.   In deciding this, I had no idea how hard it would be to gain the expertise and knowledge to obtain this goal.  So, I came up with a website to directly help younger admins develop their skills to one day be promoted.  

I must admit, I really have no idea what I'm doing.  But here is what I know;  this industry is based mostly on experience, and if I can share my experiences, than my followers can gain some insight and direction for their budding careers.  From there, this site will become a resource.  Hopefully a good one at that.

Sit back and enjoy, at least read any of the other blogs I've posted since this.