31 October 2009

A twelve step program to survive as an Admin

My grandson has started walking. He turned 1 year old on October 8th and shortly after that he just took off. He has a unique way of walking. He takes about 12 steps, squats and rejoices in his accomplishment, then he gets up and walks another 12 steps and squats again to repeat the process. He loves his newfound freedom and spends his days going back and forth from one end of the room to the other exploring as he goes.

I know the newness of it all will be gone soon and it will just be a normal thing that he is a little walker, but for now it is cute to see him learn this new skill. When I told my boss he said it must be my grandson's version of the 12 step program. I laughed, but started to think how the 12 step program has been such a help to so many people. There are 12 step programs for many groups designed to help people, so why not for us. I recently met with another administrative assistant and as we were discussing an upcoming admin conference, we started to talk about our role and how we are the do-all and go-to position in our offices. How do we keep it all together? I wrote what I thought would be a good 12 step program for our profession:
  1. Be clear on what your role and responsibilities are and if you have questions about your job, ask to get clarification.
  2. Respect your boss as a person, but also because of his or her position in the orgranization.
  3. Make a decision to listen to and hear what your boss has to say.
  4. Regularly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Admit your mistakes and try to learn from them.
  6. Schedule meetings with your boss regularly, but at the very least annually, to identify areas that need improvement and also for encouragement in areas you are doing well.
  7. Come up with a plan on how you are going to improve in the areas you identified as needing improvement.
  8. Treat your co-workers with respect.
  9. If you have treated anyone unfairly, take the time to apologize and try to make things right.
  10. Accept that you can't do everything yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for help and guidance from others.
  11. Maintain a good work/life balance.
  12. Review these steps regularly and practice them in your day-to-day work life.

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