Opening Doors through Development and Networking

“How do they open doors, and build fulfilling careers?”

Exceptional EA is proud to showcase Real Careers, in which administrators from around the globe generously share the benefit of their experience. We’ve already made virtual trips to Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, the USA and Wales.

This week, we’re pausing to celebrate the 50 admin. professionals from 16 different countries who have already shared the benefit of their experience and expertise.

Today, we’re looking at some of these professionals’ comments on education and professional development, and the significance of networking and professional associations. Let’s see if you can match the insights with the Real Careers alumni.

Who do you think said …
  1. “Education and professional development do not only imply attending conferences, workshops, webinars and enrolling in degree studies; it also means taking advantage of experienced and knowledgeable professionals around you as mentors.”
  2. “After I joined IAAP (the International Association of Administrative Professionals), I realised that professional development was very important. It completely changed my outlook on my job and my work, making me realize that this really was my career. I had always taken great pride in my work, but now it was different. It brought me out of my shell at work.”
  3. “Irrespective of whether your company provides training, I have always sought it out and self-funded my degree and a lot of training during my career. I look at it as an investment in myself and my future.”
  4. “Show me and I will learn. I have applied myself to whatever is required to get the job done and I watched ladies who were in the positions to which I aspired; I listened to how they talked to people, watched how they worked, and copied them. The coaching also gave me an insight on how to talk to people, listen to people and not judge or assume.”
  5. “As I’ve developed in my career, I recognise that with knowledge comes a sense of security. When you know something, I mean really know it, you can feel confident in what you’re saying and in how you’re carrying out your role. That’s based more around the technical side of things. But learning and developing, meeting new people and sharing ideas and best practice really grows your personal confidence, too. I feel like I’m developing all of the time.”
  6. “After attending Executive Secretary Live in 2013, I was keen to stay in touch with professionals of such value and afterwards I joined EUMA (European Management Assistants), a European Association represented in 25 countries. So, I’ve been building an international and high quality network.”
  7. “I pursued a Bachelor’s of Secretarial Studies and a Masters of Business Administration (Human Resource Management). Professional development not only improves one’s confidence, but also enables one to understand the technicalities of business. It also gives one a broader spectrum to life.”
  8. “Any kind of leadership role with your peers can only help you grow professionally and personally by giving you an opportunity to learn new skills and become more confident in your abilities.”
  9. “Belonging to any association provides an opportunity to network knowledge and experiences, learn new things, be kept abreast of everything our profession has to offer and to become involved in, and be part of, the global family of assistants experiencing and going through the same day to day experiences … Today, I strongly advocate for ongoing professional development and am involved with the official Certification for Office Professionals in South Africa, managed by the Office Professionals Association of SA.”
  10. “I attended the Academy of Business Management and Foreign Trade Languages and received a Diploma in International Administration and Management. I am also a Foreign Language Business Specialist. This education provided me all the basics for my job. However, I constantly use every opportunity to educate myself by attending various conferences, trainings and seminars – mainly through my EUMA (European Management Association) organisation.”
  11. “My educational journey has led me to acquire four college degrees – two associate degrees, a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree.  I have also furthered my professional development by acquiring certifications such as the CAP-OM and  MOS … The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) is the association that has been most influential in my life over the last couple of decades.”
  12. “Networks provide us the opportunity to share ideas, concerns, information and resources, aspirations and ideals. My network of provincial, national and international colleagues (in both the college and university sectors) has been absolutely invaluable to me. I call upon them for advice and counsel. I ask for assistance with researching a topic. I ask for ways to improve how I am working. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience among us and we have developed a network of trust.”
 Some Hints

Here are the Real Careers alumni you’ll want to match to these remarks.

 Are you stuck?

You could scan the interviews to which these intelligent and friendly faces belong and, as the week progresses, I’ll match names and faces with the gems published each day this week.

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