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Recharging My Professional Batteries

Recharging My Professional Batteries

What do you do to ensure your professional batteries stay fully charged?

There are numerous ways to approach this including continuing education courses, reading books and industry publications, researching trends and issues on the Internet, and networking with other professionals. Yes, I said NETWORKING with other professionals.

Don’t let the word networking scare you off. You don’t have to be an overly extroverted person to be a successful networker. To me, networking isn’t something you do; networking is a mindset. It’s making connections between people and resources and being able to connect yourself or others to those people or resources when you need them.

One of the best ways I’ve found to recharge my professional batteries is membership in the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).

If you haven’t heard of IAAP, go visit their website at www.iaap-hq.org. You can search by state or region to find a local chapter near you. I have personally been a member for over seven years, and it has had a profound impact on my professional development, my career path, and the experiences I have added to my resume and professional portfolio.

Let me share a few reasons why you should consider looking into IAAP membership to recharge your professional batteries.

1. NETWORKING: My father always used to say, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that gets you where you want to go.” How true in this profession! I went from looking for jobs to having jobs come find me as a result of networking with members in my local chapter. A key career changing position was presented to me when I wasn’t even looking for a new opportunity, and it was a direct result of getting to know my fellow chapter members and them getting to know me. It’s back to my quote, “Networking is not something you do. Networking is a mindset.” It’s paying attention to what’s going on in the world around you and the people you encounter each day and making connections when appropriate to help yourself and those around you build a successful network of resources to call on anytime an opportunity or a need arises.



2. CONTINUING EDUCATION: Each month, most local chapters present educational programs for their members at the local level. There are events hosted annually at the divisional, regional and international levels also. Through IAAP, you can add to your knowledge base or sharpen your skills by taking advantage of the educational resources presented and others that are available online through their international website. Sometimes it’s tough to get away during the day for training opportunities, but IAAP still provides many options for busy administrative professionals to continue their education and training on a monthly basis.

3. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: There are numerous opportunities within IAAP to develop and hone your leadership skills. Whether you choose to get involved on a committee, chair a committee, pursue a board position, or just participate in the various chapter activities, your communication, teamwork, and leadership skills will benefit. These skills are directly applicable to what you encounter and do each day at work as an administrative professional.

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4. CERTIFICATIONS: The Certified Professional Secretary® (CPS) and the Certified Administrative Professional® (CAP) certifications are administered and promoted through IAAP also. They are NOT required for membership. However, they are another way to set yourself apart in your position and in your profession. Studying for these exams was a very educational and beneficial process for me. You don’t know what you don’t know sometimes until you expose yourself to new ideas and information. I frequently refer to my study materials as resources.

There are many additional reasons, but these are the most important ones for me professionally.

As I work with some of my clients in recruiting or retaining great administrative talent, I am always surprised by how many administrative or executive assistants and their managers do not know about the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). Take some time to learn more about this international association and the local chapter options near you.

I originally joined because I thought it would look good on a resume, but I have stayed because of the incredible benefits to me personally and professionally. I encourage you to consider membership, too!

IAAP Membership: A Career Advancing Move for Administrative Professionals Julie Perrine CPS/CAP Qualified Myers-Briggs Administrator IAAP Member Since January 2000
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