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Wednesday 15 August 2018
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How to be a pro at administration

Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Jennifer Baptiste Primus.

ON this occasion of Administrative Professional Week (celebrated on April 22-28) I join the global community in celebrating and extending greetings to all administrative professionals in Trinidad and Tobago.

To those of you who make it your business to show up for work on time every day, produce quality work by your established standards, maximise on the contact hours in your work day to complete tasks, exhibit excellent team playing skills, empower others to function to the best of their ability, dedicate yourselves to your organisation’s development and for your own self-enrichment, congratulations. It is my humble belief that being a happy employee is hinged on a number of things but firstly begins with you. Your attitude towards your work, where you see yourself in the organisation and the importance of the role that you play in your place of employment can make an enormous difference in how happy you feel about your job. May I remind you that you have the power to determine your career path and make your work experience a meaningful one. I thank you for your unwavering support to your respective organisations and encourage you to continue working hard, remaining committed while remembering to enjoy what you do and always leave a footprint wherever you work.

I take this opportunity to share some useful tips with new and upcoming administrative professionals, and remind those already in the field on how to master the role.

The saying “Do what you love and you never work a day in your life” fits suitably when thinking of a career path. However, you should not let this saying underestimate the hard work, dedication, and sacrifices needed to achieve your goals. Once you love what you do you and put your best foot forward, overcoming challenges will be easier as you are more inclined to have the endurance needed.

Start your day with positive energy applied to the mind and body. When you engage in light exercise routines such as walking or even morning meditation you tend to increase the blood flow throughout your body which gives you the kick start needed to tackle your day. Meditation also soothes the mind, body and spirit. Both forms of exercise should be complemented with a balanced breakfast.

Look the part in your professional wear. When you look good you feel good it boosts your confidence. Pay attention to your attire. For both ladies and gents, wear comfortable fitting clothes, best suited for your figure.

Proper planning prevents poor performance. Do not skate through your work day because of poor planning and late coming. Regardless of what time you are required to report to work, it is best to get to work at least 15 minutes before work begins. This lead time gives you a chance to cool off from your travel to work, clear your mind, have breakfast or a light meal, if you have not already and prepare yourself mentally and physically to plan out and start your day’s work.

Everyone has circumstances outside of work which he/she has to deal with and in many cases, some more than others. While it is difficult to remove these problems entirely, it is important that you find a way to let them not interfere with your quality of work or level of productivity. If needed, you should seek counselling through your employer as several organisations offer Employee Assistance Programmes to assist employees in dealing with personal problems.

It is an absolute must that at the start of your workday, you must write down in order of importance, the tasks that you have to accomplish giving each its respective deadline, which must be realistic. After each task is completed, tick it off on your list and move on to the next. You will realise how productive you can work with this simple but effective plan. Should anything unplanned arise, include it in your list of things to do in the order of its importance.

When you have completed each task, measure how well you have performed and evaluate yourself identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Reflect on this evaluation and use your strengths repeatedly while finding ways to improve your weaknesses. You can consult with a peer or your supervisor to assist in this regard, if you feel that support is needed for your improvement and professional growth. Your supervisor can even forward recommendations to the Human Resource Unit for training to help you improve.

Take the wheel. Pursue without instruction. These are valuable assets in every organisation. It is comforting to know that you do not always have to be told what to do and how to do it. Taking initiative goes a long way as it reflects positively on your performance and can grant you opportunities for growth, once you remain consistent and produce quality work.

Getting it all done may sometimes seem like too much and can become overwhelming. When you master the art of multi-tasking, it becomes easier to cut down the list of things that all seem important. As everyone works differently, you need to decipher how you multi-task best. Whether you tackle the more complex projects simultaneously or smaller tasks together, apply whatever multi-tasking approach that works best for you to achieve your work goals.

Operating in silos is usually the demise of any organisation. It is important to keep open communication and develop healthy relationships with your peers, clients and supervisor to make execution of tasks easier and mutually beneficial. Team playing can spark grand ideas and putting heads together can also enhance productivity.

Client relationships can create linkages and foster future business opportunities. Open communication with your supervisor can enhance your work performance through his/her guidance and support as well as prevent unclear communication in the delegation of tasks.

A happy and empowering administrative professional day to all.

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