How to Have Longevity in your Job
by Bonnie Low-Kramen – Speaker, Instructor & Author of “Be the Ultimate Assistant”
You are working in your dream job and have decided this is it! You have a professional “home” where you are respected and valued for utilizing your experience, skills, and abilities. You are happy and want to settle in for the long-term. What do you do to make that a reality?
As someone who worked with celebrity employers for 25 years as their Personal Assistant and Household Manager, here are some suggestions.
1. Never get complacent or too comfortable. While I became very close friends with my Principals, we believe one of the reasons for my longevity was the understanding that our business relationship came first and that I was expected to do a job to the best of my ability every day. It is important to keep your own expectations and standards high to meet those of your principal. Longevity springs from not taking anything or anyone for granted.
2. Offer ongoing added value by becoming a notary, take a CPR class, or learn new software programs. Life-long learning is key to longevity.
3. Communicate with your principal. Make time to discuss long-range goals and plans for the next year or two – for both of you. This kind of conversation makes you the leader in your own life. Share personal plans as well as schedules for work-related projects. Ask questions like, “What are you concerned about?” and “What can we be doing better?” Staying receptive to constructive criticism builds trust.
4. Take vacations. All work and no play is a recipe for burn-out. I learned this the hard way. I often deferred vacations thinking I would wait until a “better time.” There is no better time. Your principal will respect you for insisting on taking care of yourself, in part, so you can take care of him.
5. Know that your job description will change as time goes by. It is a living, breathing entity simply because we are human working with other humans. As the changes happen, be sure to speak with your principal if there are problems.
6. Keep it interesting. Keep your job from getting boring by always looking for ways to improve your principal’s life and the running of the household. Bring well thought-out ideas to your principal and as her trusted staffer, she will say, “Sure, go ahead.”
As the years fly by, you will know your principal better than almost anyone and ideally, he will know you too. It is very special to be so intimately involved in other’s lives, especially when you have a service heart. In this kind of relationship, we can empower and make real each other’s hopes and dreams, all the while doing excellent work that is both gratifying and financially rewarding.