Choosing a career as an administrative professional can be a thankless and demanding position at times. Managers, coworkers, and customers can constantly be tugging at you for requests and asking for what seems impossible to be made possible.
When I chose the career of the administrative professional, I knew I would be choosing a career in the service industry where my role would mostly focus on supporting others and helping them to achieve success. I knew my days would be filled by saying, “Yes, I’ll get right on that.” “Sure, you bet.” “Can I help you with that?” “What can I do to help you today?” I fully understood that this could be a very demanding position both physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, I also was mindful that the person responsible for taking care of my career success, my health, pursuing personal interests and hobbies, and connecting with my family was ME.
More often than not, administrative professionals can lose sight of achieving professional and personal goals, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying hobbies, because at the end of the day they are too exhausted to nurture and support their own interests.
There are many areas in life not within our control such as: traffic, the weather, and people’s opinions. However, there are many, many things in life that are within our control. In the book Take This Job and Love It!, we learn that more often than not “there are no victims, only willing volunteers.” The victim role sucks energy, keeps us powerless, and stuck. There are many options to resolving challenges and conflict in the workplace, but it requires confronting the issue(s), some creativity at times, and being willing to implement those options.
Here are some ideas to help you feel more supported in the workplace:
- Delegate. Many tasks and projects that land on our desks need to be completed quickly. Don’t lose sight of all the resources available to you in the workplace. People are your greatest asset in the workplace! Look to build and nurture relationships with your coworkers. You might say to yourself “I don’t have anyone to delegate to.” Here’s my answer: “Start a volunteer program, an internship program with your local high school or college, or request a new position for a part-time or full-time assistant.” Yes, sometimes assistants need assistants! Stop thinking you have to do it all.
- Initiate Crucial Conversations. Sometimes it’s necessary to talk with your manager about your workload and the priorities hitting your desk when your work weeks begin to become unmanageable. When appropriate, do you push back when your manager needs something done right away? Ask questions. “When do you need this request completed by?” “Is this more important than Task A that you gave me earlier today?” “Can this wait until next week?” My managers have always been aware of my career goals and aspirations. We talk about them all the time. Do you?
- Choose To Be Your Own Hero. What actions can you take today to empower yourself to think and act differently? Choose to be brave. Choose to become stronger. You can do this!
- You Are Not A Victim. Own Your Role. Step outside your comfort zone and create a new mindset. Accept personal responsibility for addressing the challenges you are facing in the workplace. Complaining and asking for sympathy from others does not get positive results. Be proactive and identify the challenge or problem, brainstorm some solutions, and take action to resolve the situation.
We each have the ability to create a new mindset in how we see our role as an administrative professional. Seek to live your professional life with career satisfaction. Empower yourself to ask for help, to initiate conversations, to become your own hero, and to create a new mindset.