Day 12: 12 Days of Real Careers

It’s Day 12 of this series, in which I’ve been bringing you excerpts from some of my Real Careers interviews. Over the past 30 months, I’ve had the good fortune to meet (electronically and, in some cases, in person) many impressive admin. professionals from 23 different countries.

Those of you who follow my interviews know that peers have been generous in sharing the benefit of their experience. In reflecting on their own careers, many of these individuals have shared wisdom from which we can all benefit.

Today, as we wrap up these 12 Days of tributes to remarkable admins, I’d like to take readers back to the very beginning of Real Careers – and to my first interviewee.

This impressive woman and I became e-friends in the early months of Exceptional EA. Back in 2013, I learned about IYOTSA, an initiative she and some South African PAFSA peers were leading.

That in itself is a reflection of the power of networking. How else would people living continents apart, and born in such dissimilar locales as Toronto, Canada and Bloemfontein, South Africa expect to meet?

When I decided that I wanted to expand Exceptional EA’s scope to give voice to high performing assistants in different cities, sectors and countries, I knew I wanted this woman to be my first Real Careers interviewee. Not only did she support Real Careers from the outset; she facilitated introductions to a number of other people whom I subsequently interviewed and am proud to call friends.

We were excited to meet in person in New Orleans this past summer, where we both presented at IAAP Summit 2017, a great conference hosted by the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Many of you will have guessed by now whom I’m speaking of, but … May we have a drum roll, please …

Anel Martin comes from South Africa, and now lives in Dubai, UAE.

Right from this first Real Careers interview, I raised the topic of assistants’ comfort in saying “no” to colleagues’ requests. While others will disagree with me, I believe that you command more professional respect when you’re able to say no in an effective manner when circumstances dictate.

When I interviewed her in 2015, I asked Anel about saying no. Her response? “Learn to say no as quickly as you can because if you don’t this career will chew you up. Manage your stress!!!”

You don’t have to be friends with everyone

Anel expanded on this: “It is fine to have only a professional relationship with some individuals. Needing approval is an illness. Learn to respect yourself and what you do, stop looking for reassurance outside yourself.”

Anel also spoke about how assistants present themselves. “Be consistent in your appearance, personality and quality of your work. Learn to speak up for yourself and build a powerful personal brand. Work hard!” Anel walks this walk, and has now taken her messages on personal brand and more to international audiences. She has left the assistant role, and is now a full time trainer, working with assistants in different countries. You’ll find her website by clicking here.


Coming to Real Careers in January 

We’ll start 2018 with a bang, and with a fellow Canuck. We’re not quite neighbours, but this admin. professional and I both live in the Vancouver area.

On January 10th, I’ll bring you my interview with Dawn Becker. Dawn’s career is one of Executive and Board administration, and she is the Board Chair of IAAP, the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

So many more great admin. professionals to read about

I’ve been interviewing admin. professionals from around the globe for some time now. Much as I’d like to, I’ve not included excerpts from all these interviews in this 12 Days series. Instead, I’ve dipped into interviews from months throughout the past two and a half years.

There are many outstanding Real Careers alumni, as I refer to these admin. professionals, whose inspiring insights haven’t been highlighted in this particular series. With that in mind, you may want to consider some holiday reading from the list below.

Block time in your calendar for mini-PD reading sessions when you’re back in the office

Since tapping into these interviews can serve as a form of professional development, you may also want to slot some time into your work schedule each week of the new year. Enjoy reading about others’ careers in different cities and continents, and finding nuggets that can be meaningful to your own career progression.

Copy and paste any of the following names into the search field on this screen

… and you can pull up my interviews with these terrific aassistants: Rebeka Adamson … Leeanne (Graham) Adu … Menekşe Ahbab … Mirella Autard-Catherine … Margo Baptista … Keely Barr … Suzanne Benderski … Nicole Blanchette … Alison Boler … Diana Brandl … Jane Brazzill … Craig Bryson … Joanna Campbell … Juliana Carneiro … Bianca Constance … Bonnie Cookson … Louise Cope … Jennifer Corcoran … Lorna Cowan … Laureen Dailey … Kerry Dawson … Angela Downey … Giuletta Driver … Katie Driver … Sherri Eckworth … Debs Eden … Charlotte Ellis … Susan Engelbrecht … Melissa Francis … Kemetia Foley … Bethany Fovargue … Chantalle Freeborough … Stephanie Fryer … Karen Glenn … Kim Glover … Jill Goertzen … Maria Gottberg … Pamela Govender … Claire Grace … Debbie Grimshaw … Declan Halton-Woodward … Amanda (Barlow) Hargreaves … Ruth Hargreaves … Cathy Harris … Craig Harris … Joanne Hawkins … Susan Henderson … Karla Heywood … Beth Ann Howard … Sarah Howson … Debbie Huckerby … Debra Jacobs …Lilian Kamanzi Mugisha … Florence Katono … Sofie Koark … Helen Kelley … Stacey Leitner … Helen Le Poidevin … MistiLynn Lokken … Sally Lloyd … Marion Lowrence … Michela Luoni … Kelly McAulay … Deirdre McGovern … Amy Marsden … Maria Marsh … Catherine Marshall …  Anel Martin … Christina Martinez … Ollie Minto … Cindy Moeser … Paula Moio … Catrin (Morgan) Martinole … Tholo Motaung … Donna Olliver … Lisa Olsen … Emeka Otoba … Rosy Painter … April Pardoe … Angela Parker … Helen Parker … … Janice Parker … Barbara J. (BJ) Parrish … Todd Perrine … Dalya Perry-Bernstein … Teely Pearson Webb … Christabell Pinchin … Jacqui Quigley … Sheena Ram … Helen Rees … Melanie Richardson … Karen Richmond … Eleni Rizikanou … Julia Robertson-Avenalll … Jennifer Robson … Marelva Rodrigues … Julia Schmidt … Debbi Shaffer … John D. Shaw … Melanie Sheehy … Marcela Silva da Conceição Brito … Carolina Siqueira Silva … James Sobczak … Carla Stefanut … Amanda Snowball … Chantal Sneijkers … Carys Stacey … Lorraine Stallard … Melanie Stevens … Laura Swallows … Marc Taylor-Allen … Catherine Thomas … Michele Thwaits … Antonio W. Tsosie … Barbara Unger … Katherine Vaillancourt … Emily Walker … Matthew Want …  Shirwyn Weber … Teri Wells … Naomi White … Louise Whitehead  … Catherine Williams … Megan Williamson … Jennifer Wilson … Liza Young … and Filiz Yurttaşer!

… and check out my Real Careers panel interviews 

In each of these series, you’ll find a few interviews with Real Careers alumni from different sectors and countries. Check out the drop-down menus under Real Careers/International Panels for more, including interiews with Lucy Brazier. These international panels focus on topics including digital disruption, social media and dismantling stereotypes of the career.

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