Administrative Assistant's Update

March 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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By Jennifer Lewington AAU Associate Editor Admin professionals, at their best, are central to the success of a smooth- running organization. The boss throws in an unexpected task with a short deadline. Without cause, a disgruntled colleague blames you for a problem. Or perhaps an unhappy customer takes it out on you in the absence of your boss. In pressure-filled situations like these, do you manage the stress or are you controlled by it to the point of burnout? A new report concludes there are ways to handle stress – seen as a major health concern in the work - place – by developing positive habits and coping mechanisms. "People think of the word stress as being something bad and some- thing to avoid," says Bill Howatt, chief research and development officer, workplace produc- tivity, for Morneau Shepell, a leading provider of em- ployee and family assistance programs and retirement and benefits plans. In reality, he says, "there is good stress and bad stress. What defines it as good or bad is us." In a new report, "The stress factor and its impact on employees' mental and physical health," Howatt and his research colleagues identify the types of pressures that come with daily life in an office. Acute stress, for example, arises from day-to-day interactions from temporary conflicts. Chronic stress may be an ongoing work-related issue (such as a conflict with a boss) that wears down an employee and leads to possible illness or absence. Traumatic stress, such as an accident, bullying or disaster, is an extreme incident be - yond a person's normal coping skills, according to the report. Knowing how to handle various types of stress begins with awareness. For example, say a demand- ing boss snaps at the admin on a pressure-filled day of deadlines. As the recipient of the boss's ire, says Howatt, "I sit down at my desk feel- ing like I am a failure and feeling ter- rible. What can you do? Number one, recognize that it is stress and identify the signs and symptoms." After awareness – perhaps this inci- MARCH 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 Changing things up � � � � � � � � 2 There's little time in our lives to feed our curiosity, to experiment LinkedIn tips � � � � � � � � � � � � � 3 Resume Assistant turns your profile into a curriculum vitae Word's hidden features � � � � � 5 Keyboard-mouse moves save time, make docs impressive Business writing � � � � � � � � 6-7 Is yours up to date? Does your organization have a style guide? Job candidates turn the tables In job interviews, admin profes- sionals should ask probing ques- tions of a prospective employer, according to a blog posting by staff- ing experts Robert Half Canada. In doing so, candidates find out if they are a good fit but also send a strong message about their desire to join the company. For example, asking about an employer's core values reveals how employees are rewarded. Ques- tions about the career path of a potential boss "can spotlight the personal attributes and non-tradi- tional skills the firm values," states the blog author. Source: Robert Half Canada Continued on page 4 Coping mechanisms can break stress cycle Credit: Kubko (Shutterstock) Bill Howatt

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