Administrative Assistant's Update

December 2018

Focuses on the training and development needs of admin professionals and features topics such as hard skills (software competencies, writing, communication, filing) and soft skills (teamwork, time management, leadership).

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DECEMBER 2018 P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T F O R C A N A D A ' S O F F I C E S U P P O R T S T A F F Administrative Assistant's UPDATE UPDATE PM #40065782 INSIDE Employee engagement � � � � � � 2 It's better done with side-by-side, rather than top-down, initiatives LinkedIn strategies � � � � � � � � 3 Your exec's online presence reflects on your organization Office holiday party � � � � � � � � 4 6 rules to guide behaviour, avoid online embarrassment Teach yourself to focus � � � � � � 5 Rhonda Scharf tells you how to get a handle on things A look at office fashions of the future Women's workwear of the future may be made of the same fabric that active-wear brands use in their high-performance gear, says Fast Company writer Elizabeth Segran. She cites the success of Joanna Dai, a former banking executive turned fashion designer, who recently launched her brand, Dai, in London, England. She is focused on high-tech, high-end workwear catering to female professionals still required to wear formal clothes to the office. But unlike most top- shelf silk, cotton and linen, her gar - ments, sold online, resist creasing, wrinkling and staining and don't have the shiny, stretchy texture often found in sports gear. Continued on page 4 By Shelagh Donnelly Why consider a governance support role? That's a good question, and I'll answer it with another one: Why not? If you're a career assistant accus- tomed to performing at a high level, there may come a point where you want more challenge and stimulation. That was my situation 11 years ago. I'd already enjoyed a good career, selecting roles based on fit and how well they aligned with different stages in my personal life. I'd worked in Kelowna since 1997, at what's now known as Okanagan College. Ultimately, I began to assess other career paths. LinkedIn wasn't an obvious job search vehicle at the time, and so it was through a newspaper ad that I learned about recruitment for an EA to the Board at another college. Hmm. Not only did this appear to be a stimulating role with a good compensation package, it also rep - resented a ticket home. We'd grown up in Vancouver; that's where our families were, and our kids were born there. Our two were both embarking on their university education, and we knew they wanted to return to the big city. Still, the decision to apply was significant; it meant leaving friends, colleagues and a garden we'd lovingly cultivated for years. Having made the decision, I got to work. I understood the sector, but knew little of governance or the orga - nization. Before updating my CV and drafting a cover letter, I scoured the internet to learn all I could about the organization. On being invited to an interview, I escalated my research to review the past two years' board meeting agen- das and minutes. I read all I could about the directors and the execu- tive team. I also spoke with a trusted colleague to learn what he could tell me about the organization's culture, because fit (alignment) has always been crucial to me. I landed the position, which was eventually reclassified and upgraded. I found multiple opportunities to apply skills I'd honed in earlier roles, and even more opportunities for profes- sional growth. For, while I definitely earned my salary before departing the college this year, my tenure with the board also provided incredible learn- ing opportunities. The same could be true for you. In- dependent of new peer networks and a myriad of professional development opportunities, consider the people with whom you surround yourself. Organizations recruit their board members ("directors") in great part on the basis of expertise. Board composi- tion can range in size from seven or eight to more than a couple of dozen But keep your peer networks in place Step up to a governance role Shelagh Donnelly

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