Collaborating for an Exceptional New Year: IYOTSA 2014

Are things winding down in your office as 2013 draws to a close, or is that concept one of which you might only dream for a few more days?

Whatever the pace in your workplace, it’s an astute assistant who is continually looking ahead with an eye to projects and priorities, career planning or – as suggested when I wrote Just Talent – And Capacity to Share – how you might provide peer support or advocacy for your profession.

Before we take some time to enjoy the upcoming holidays, it’s worth looking ahead and considering what we’d like to achieve in 2014. If you’re inclined to join in with peers who build upon dreams with action, you may be interested in the work of some of our counterparts in South Africa. I learned of IYOTSA through Lucy Brazier, whose Executive Secretary magazine is another great resource for admin. professionals. Brazier, a UK-based publisher who speaks to a range of international audiences of our counterparts, is using the platform of her magazine to serve as Global Brand Ambassador for IYOTSA 2014.

IYOTSA LOGO JPG

An email query to Brazier resulted in a prompt flurry of communications, not only from she and her team, but also from the people behind the International Year of the Secretary and Assistant, known as IYOTSA 2014.

IYOTSA is the brainchild of our South African counterparts who are members of PAFSA, the  Professional Association for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, which has more than 9,000 members.  IYOTSA’s organisers are quick to credit a similar, US-based international celebration from 1984 as inspiration for next year’s event. PAFSA President Anel Martin and Charlotte Massey-Hicks, who, with Audetta Skosana, serve as IYOTSA 2014’s three-person Task Team, received word of my interest from Executive Secretary Magazine’s Matthew Want, and have been highly responsive to this writer’s queries from partway ’round the planet.

So, what is IYOTSA 2014’s vision?

Every admin. professional will have a job description that accurately depicts the role s/he performs. S/he will receive investments of time and/or money in personal development, and will have the opportunity to network with peers.

Simply put, our pragmatic yet audacious counterparts are dreaming big. They want to change the world, to the extent that assistants in all countries are recognised for the work we do, and so this role is recognised as a profession. if you’re open to exploring or sharing in this dream, follow the links here to IYOTSA 2014’s Facebook page, and watch for more on this from Exceptional EA.

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