Tomorrow I will be speaking at the Office Manager and PA show. It will be my first public speaking engagement, and I am quite frankly terrified! I am an executive assistant, and a writer both of these jobs are ideal for people that like to be behind the scenes and prefer to communicate through the media of written word rather than spoken!

So why am I putting myself through this? Good question, one I am asking myself frequently today! Well firstly I was asked to speak because of the success of this blog, and I am easily flattered (it is a curse), secondly and much more importantly I want to be able to speak publicly so that I can share my thoughts not just through the blog but face to face with another assistant. I have a lot to say, and I don’t want my nerves to stop me from expressing myself. Finally, I want to push myself out of my warm and cosy comfort zone. I feel like I am throwing myself so far out of my comfort zone that I might go splat but that is a good thing, right? By this time tomorrow, I’ll know either way – eek!

A crucial aspect of being an assistant is that ability to organise everything backstage so that others can shine. We are so used to being that support for others that I wonder if it stops us from putting ourselves forward and grabbing the spotlight every now and again. Even if we did get out on stage would we know what to do with it anyway? Or are we just so busy in our daily role that we don’t even know we are in a comfort zone?

Here are some reasons why I do think it is good to do things outside of the box we usually keep ourselves in:

  • We grow professionally and personally if we do things that make us feel a bit scared 
  • We get to know what we enjoy in life. If we don’t try new things we may never know what hidden skills we have
  • We will answer those pesky “what if” questions that so often arise and come of nothing
  • Finishing something that we initially fear will result in a real sense of achievements
  • Breaking habits are a good thing, stepping out of our comfort zone might introduce new practices, but at least they are new!
  • It is easy to get bored in a comfort zone; we will miss adventure and excitement if we stay there
  • It is a lot easier to say yes to more exciting work when you have put yourself out there. Once you’ve pushed your self forward, you never know who is looking
  • In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take so even if we move slightly outside of our little box it is one step away from always doing what we still do… which isn’t good!

Hopefully, I will see a few friendly faces at the event tomorrow, do come over and say hello if you are attending. My presentation is on the Ultimate Travel Itinerary and takes place at 12.30 in the Keynote Theatre. For those that can’t make it, I will share my slides with you later this week.

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