Have you ever been to a conference or networking event and you wish you could connect with everyone? Getting to every single person in the room can be daunting but you have a shared experience or interest and you’d still like to connect.
Picture this… You’re at a networking happy hour with your organization and there are lot of fresh faces. You’re working the room but it’s not realistic for you to get face time with everyone in attendance. Thanks to this function built into LinkedIn, you can at least invite them to connect with you and hey! You’ll schedule coffee with them later.
I’m about to change your networking life with a simple LinkedIn tip.
Who this is for:
- Attendees of limited-seat workshops who want to connect with fellow attendees.
- Speakers who want to open their LinkedIn to connect with their audience.
- Networking groups that you want to connect with quickly and swiftly.
A few years ago, I interviewed to be the executive assistant to the CEO of a biomedical company. The day had gone pretty much as you would imagine – being shuffled between conference rooms and offices meeting various team members, answering carefully planned questions, hearing all about how great the company was to work for. When the time came for me to finally meet the CEO, I was more than ready to discuss the role truly in depth. He did a sufficient job of detailing the requirements, answering my questions about him, and continuing to sell me on the corporate culture.
He proudly highlighted the on-going programs they had for employees – one being themed Friday lunches (“I dressed up as a superhero last week!”) and the on-site training seminars. This piqued my interest as he outlined how cross-training helped boost employee morale and retention. Awesome – sounded great! So I asked the natural next question.
“How do you invest in your administrative staff?”
His response was, “Why would I do that? They’re just admins.”
Whether you’re an administrative professional looking for a way to validate your skill set or a manager looking to contribute to your admin’s professional development (thank you, thank you, thank you), certification is the perfect step.
Or maybe you’re just looking to understand certifications. That’s great too! Welcome!
An admin can spend years of doing professional development and training to become a badass at what they do. I’ve been there. I’ve taken everything from project management courses to writing workshops. I’ve worked hard to expand my business acumen and build up a toolbox of skills.
However, to be honest…it’s not enough.
As an admin, it’s remarkably difficult to gauge our skills prior to performance on the job. We can fill pages and pages of our resume or LinkedIn to set ourselves apart, listing every skill we claim to have. But honestly, how do you measure someone’s proficiency in office management or business communication? A manager can call for references or give a practical during the interview. This may give a glimmer of what a candidate can actually do but it’s not the full picture.
There is another better way…
Why get certified?
Every year, I attend an executive assistant conference. I have wonderful conversations with interesting women and men from all over the country and come away with an expanding network… and a stack of business cards.
Don’t get me wrong – I love business cards. They can be creative, interesting, and incredibly effective at creating a lasting connection.
However, there are some downsides. Inevitably, cards get lost or I run out of cards. I try to write a quick note about how I met someone or a follow-up note on a card, but it’s bad etiquette to write on a business card and there’s rarely enough space. Then, what happens when I get home? I have a huge stack of business cards that I spend time converting to contacts anyway.
Finally, I had a brilliant idea to make my life and others’ a tad easier.