You are more than ‘just’ an Assistant

Have you ever felt like, or been treated as, ‘just’ an Assistant? I have too.


As an ex-Assistant of 22 years in corporate London, one of the major cities in the world, I get and pretty much have probably seen every issue you’re dealing with right now in your career.


Everything from micro-management, bullying, feeing undervalued, underappreciated, gender pay gaps, limited flexibility and seen as ‘just’ an Assistant. As a Mindset & Business Coach I’m on a mission to empower Assistants to believe in themselves and am an advocate of the administrative industry.


I know that you crave and deserve a thank you for your hard work and dedication to your Executive and the organisation you work for. It can grind you down when you don’t feel appreciated or valued in your role. You feel frustrated that you’re not recognised for your worth and start to secretly doubt yourself.


As an ex-Assistant I at times suffered from a lack of self-confidence, self-belief and imposter syndrome. I didn’t speak up as much as I could have done in meetings. I worried what others would say and I felt my opinion didn’t matter, worrying that I would make a fool of myself.


I want to share some guidance on how to shift your mindset, increase your confidence and increase your self-belief. Because you are enough and I see you, I hear you and I want you to know you’re valued and appreciated.


Remind yourself of your accomplishments – If you don’t have an accomplishments box, start now by recounting your most recent accomplishments. Take a look at everything you’ve achieved and reflect on all the hard work you’ve put in to get to where you are now. Embrace the fact that you got yourself to where you are. You’ve earned your spot—your accomplishments are proof of that.

Identify what’s shaking your confidence – Is it your new job title? Is it the new responsibilities? What’s making you feel doubtful? In most cases, the answer will be obvious: I don’t deserve to lead this project because so-and-so is more experienced than I am. I haven’t worked at the company long enough. I only aced my last project out of luck or good timing. That spot where you’re underselling yourself is likely the root of the problem. (If you can’t figure it out, try troubleshooting the issue with Post-its). 

Once you’ve identified the culprit, talk to someone – Pick someone you trust to talk about your waning self-confidence. If it’s a work problem, make sure to confide in someone who isn’t your co-worker. Choose someone who sees you outside of that environment: He or she can identify when those feelings of fear are irrational and remind you of your strengths.

Acknowledge and talk about your feelings – Sandra has always feared that if she asks about her performance her fears will be concerned. Her coach helps her understand that this is actually by talking about her fears and that others have experienced similar feelings and that she’s not alone.

If you haven’t already listened to my ‘not just a PA’ podcast with Amy Ferris of Place Talk’s Podcast, you can check it out HERE.


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