We are all guilty of violating the following ten rules of being a great office assistant at one time or another. You live you learn, right? How about: you live and you don’t get the promotion or the raise? Quite a hard lesson!
1- Be pleasant.
Always be pleasant. You may be having a really bad day. You may have been stuck in traffic, recently broke up with your mate or maybe you are even PMSing. This is of no matter to anyone you work with or any of the clients you come in contact with throughout your day. Your job is to make the jobs of those you work with easier. If you have an understanding boss, perhaps you could call, text or email him or her and just say, “Hey, I am going to be about 15 minutes late.” You want to be in the best frame of mind possible when dealing with clients and your coworkers. So does your boss.
2- Pay attention!
Not paying attention or trying to juggle our personal lives with work always shines through in one way or another in our completed tasks. It is so crucial in these days of texts, tweeting and status updates that we keep up on the minute details of our projects. Getting lost in the abyss of personal goings on in our lives can keep us from remaining focused. I once was in tears one day (un-work related) while working on an important project and my boss called me in his office and asked me what the hell was going on. Clearly my boss could see that I was not focused. Your boss can see the same!
3- Ask so you don’t look incompetent.
We’ve all been there. Not quite knowing the gist of a report or project and due to embarrassment or pride decided to wing it instead of asking for more clarification. This is not a good idea! If your boss is super busy (which most are or they would not need us) the last thing he or she wants is a shotty letter, report or spreadsheet that they have to go over and splash with red ink because you didn’t get clear directions. Repeat back to them what they have asked you to do in your own words.
4- Be punctual!
It seems to me as the weeks turn to months and the months turn to years there is more and more traffic on the road! More cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles along with all of the work vehicles on the road can lead to a bumper to bumper fiasco in the hours of the morning (or afternoon). Be sure to give yourself some extra time in the morning so that you don’t feel rushed. Hollering at neighboring traffic gets your blood pressure up and now you’ve started your day on the wrong foot before even putting it in the office.
5- Dress for the office, not for the nightclub.
We all want to look good. It is one of our basic instincts as women to look attractive. There is, however a wallop of a difference between looking hot for the office and looking like you are trying to score in a nightclub. Wearing too tight clothes, short skirts and shirts that are cut so low that one of your girls could pop out and say “Hey there!” at any given moment is a recipe for disaster (not to mention now being labeled “that girl”). We are definitely judged by our appearance and we all know we can look mega hot and professional at the same time! If you are constantly adjusting your clothes, you may need to adjust your work wardrobe!
6- Own It
To err is human, to fess up, divine. Don’t push the blame. Your co-workers will still be there the next day with the icy glare. You’ll feel better if you own up to your mistakes not to mention being respected by those with whom you share the office. Most likely, your boss will trust you now that he sees you admit your mistakes.
Isn’t it always the way; you just put that granola bite in your mouth and the phone rings! We know how we are supposed to be snacking healthy. It seems all of those healthy snacks sans yogurt are loud! If you can, try to take time out for your crunchy snacks with the down time of the phone or take smaller bites.
8- Turn down… the radio!
Although you might be dishing on the latest by Lady Gaga or jamming some classic rock the entire office may feel differently about what they might want to listen to. Try to keep the tunes or talk radio to a dull murmur. If your work roomies can hear clearly from 10-12 feet away, chances are you’re rocking out a little too hard!
9- Don’t Be The Only One Laughing
Ahh… the electric chain letter. Scroll down, make a wish, cross your eyes and oh yeah, send this to one hundred people in thirty seconds or your life will suck. We all get them and are guilty of sending them as well. While some chain e-mails are funny, the truth is they can be inappropriate for the office.
10- GO TO LUNCH
Take a break already! It is so important that you give yourself some recharge time. Try to eat lunch away from your desk. Go for a walk if you are fortunate enough to be able to get out of the office. If not, be sure to get away from your desk for at least 15 – 20 minutes at some point in the day.