Guest post by Jennifer Corcoran.
Career Moves would like to thank our guest blogger Jennifer Corcoran for letting us share ‘Social Media and the Personal Assistant’. We were lucky enough to meet Jennifer at the brilliant Executive Secretary LIVE 2015, where we were given an array of master classes covering essential topics for assistants. In her blog, Jennifer discusses the importance of having a social media presence as an assistant.
Jennifer Corcoran is an Office Manager with 20 years’ admin/PA experience working with Senior Executives. She has worked within Crédit Agricole CIB for 10 years and currently supports both a Global and London Head of Ship Finance. Jennifer describes herself as a Champion of the PA Profession.
It has never been a more exciting time to be an Assistant.
This was clear to see at the recent Executive Secretary LIVE Conference in London. The excitement and buzz in the room on both days was palpable as 250 assistants from over 25 countries came together to be inspired, learn and grow.
During the Social Media Master class it was brought home that having a social media presence is no longer a ‘nice to have’. It really is a must have in 2015.
You must engage in order to be considered current, relevant and connected.
By Listening, Talking, Energising, Supporting and Embracing you can keep at the top of your game.
We can no longer say it’s not for me. If you do, you run the risk of being left behind. The role of the PA has radically changed over the past 10-20 years. One of the reasons being the introduction of Social Media.
In 2014 I started studying for a Social Media for Business course – it finally gave me that confidence I lacked. I started engaging and even blogging and found my voice online. Being an introvert (albeit a chatty one) this was really invaluable.
Social Media not only gives PA’s a voice it is also a perfect platform for introverts. We make up 50% of the population but are often not heard or valued but through Social Media you can determine and create your own personal brand.
That being said if you do not want to actively engage I would still encourage you to sign up and look, listen and learn. By following people or groups you will become aware of hot topics and trends relevant to your continued professional development such as conferences/seminars, publications, training, networking groups or communities.
My top tip is to always check the security and privacy settings of each platform. Once you are in control you will feel more comfortable. You can organise contacts by lists or tags – we live our lives by lists so why should Social Media be any different. If someone wants to connect with you and you don’t know them or feel they are not relevant to you then don’t connect – think quality over quantity.
A Social Media presence will undoubtedly enable Personal Assistants to perform at their best. A solid profile implies credibility, professionalism and that you are an expert in your chosen field. This is particularly relevant for dealings with customers, suppliers, peers and even recruiters.
The many groups on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ will facilitate the sharing of ideas and best practice and provide a supportive community.
The great thing about Social Media is that you are also given the opportunity to follow and engage with brand ambassadors and influencers.
Lisa Olsen described us during the Conference as relationship engineers.
We are already super connectors within our companies and personal lives but now we need to reach out that little bit further.
Administrative professionals make up a fifth of the world’s working population. We are a global tribe and Personal Assistants need to recognise the value of their personal impact and how it is impossible to not have an image or presence. We are brand ambassadors for our role, boss, company and ultimately the PA profession.
The #ExecSecLIVE twitter reach came in at just over 6 million and was trending at number 5 in the UK. There is certainly nothing stronger than a network and I have found my tribe online.