Let’s face it, we all know that sometimes you can have the best day at work when you feel on top of the world and you are high-fiving your teammates and CEOs… and sometimes you want to throw your resignation at the first person you see in the office and run as fast as you can out of the building. We all have ups and downs but sometimes in any role you can feel that you are not quite getting the motivation that you once had, you are just not feeling it. You are surviving, get through the days and looking forward to the weekends. You are not thriving, which is something that you really need to be feeling at work. Okay, we can’t all be Miss Motivated every day but actually most days you should be excited about your role and what you have to accomplish. So this is a blog post about how to thrive at work and how to make the most out of your role. How to thrive, not just survive as an Assistant.
How to thrive, not just survive as an Assistant
Surround yourself with motivated people
This shouldn’t be hard for an Assistant because we engage with all of the senior members of staff who should theoretically be the most motivated staff in the office! These are the decision makers and the leaders and you can feed off of their energy and their motivation. In turn, spend less time with people who zap your time and your energy. If you have genuine friends at work then this tends to increase your motivation too. Spend time with the people you like in and outside of the office.
Be brave and challenge yourself
It can be so easy living inside your comfort zone and it is lovely in there but challenging yourself and doing things that require courage will help you to grow both personally and professionally. Take on the projects that make you a little nervous, that challenge your skills and put you outside of your warm and happy place. I always ask myself, ‘what is the worst that will happen?’ Usually, the answer is that I will be embarrassed and who really cares about that apart from me? No one!
It is something I write a lot about on Practically Perfect PA and I always come back to it. For Assistants, the ability to be proactive rather than reactive is such a strong skill and it really will lead you to thrive in the role. Why? Because you are not just doing the work that people ask you to do you are creating your own role, working on your own projects and adding value where you see it. This is a much better position to be in as an Assistant and will lead to more opportunities.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing something through and completing a goal that you have set yourself. It really is an incredible feeling. It can be easy for Assistants to not set objectives because we are so busy helping other people with their goals. But, to thrive in the role you have to have your own set of goals and objectives for the month, quarter and year. You need to know where you are going, what is expected of you and how you can grow in the role. Click here to download our SMART Objectives Template.
Build a successful relationship with your Executive
If you have zero interest in what your Executive does then you are never going to thrive in the Assistant role. You have to care about them and the business. Sure, this is easier said than done. If you work in an industry that isn’t the most glamorous or an area you are not that excited about then, of course, you are not going to be overwhelmed with joy everytime you open a briefing document but saying that to thrive in the role of an Assistant you do have to be interested and knowledgeable about the industry and you have to care about your Executive and what they want to achieve in their role. Without this, you will just be surviving.
Network as often as you can
Building a strong network with other Assistants internally and externally is a great way to build your appreciation of your role. You have friends, people to ask for help and to share the challenges (because there are challenges!) Network within your industry too so that you meet people who love what they do. Networking is so useful in so many ways and really can enhance your working life.
Not every day as an Assistant is full of high profile projects, glamorous parties and amazing perks. Haha! Far from it right? Most days are spent answering the same questions, dealing with the photocopier paper jam and arranging flights to places you will never visit. So yes, sometimes just surviving the day is good enough. But, if you can think about the long-term, where you want your career to go and what you want to achieve in the role this will help you get through those tough days and strive for the recognition that you deserve. Understanding why you are working in this role and what you hope to do with your career will allow you to thrive, not just survive!
Starting out as a new Assistant?
We have a great eBook that designed to help you navigate the first few months of your new role. Here you will find everything you need for the initial first meeting with your Executive. You will also find articles on how to navigate the tricky world of working with the Executive Team, building rapport with your new Executive and advice on how you can work effectively with a boss who has never had an Assistant before.