Today I want to discuss a pet peeve of mine, the email signature file.
Emails with no signature file make me CRAZY!!! Your email signature is an extra chance to shine, promote your business and makes it easier for people to contact you. It makes my blood boil when my boss gets an email and asks me to get the person on the phone and there is NO phone number. For the love of ice cream, please use a signature file.
And while we are on the topic, if your company does not have a branded email signature, please ask them to create one. Uniform signature files convey a professional image. While it may seem cute to express your personality on your work emails, it’s simply not appropriate, especially if you’re company is trying to project a professional image. Companies should have a uniform signature file that is clean and simple, including the company logo.
I've heard arguments that you should not put your email address in your email signature because the address should be able to be obtained by hovering over the name in the “from” field. As an Admin that receives forwarded emails all the time, I plead with you to keep the email address in your signature file so I don’t need to go into my executives deleted items or LinkedIn to find the address.
If you are using an image that includes your name, title, and logo as your signature file, please be aware some companies have default settings that block images in emails and you run the risk the recipient won’t see anything.
When creating your email signature, please don’t include every single possible way to contact you. I prefer to see the name, company, title, email address, work phone, mobile phone, website and perhaps a link to the LinkedIn profile.
You can create separate email signature files for originating, reply and internal emails. Internal emails do not require extensive branding and contact information – just the name and phone number should suffice, and location if you are part of a global firm.
My other two email hot buttons are thoroughly reading emails before replying and cleaning up forwarded messages. More on those later.
Bonus: Do you know what EOM and NRN mean?
EOM = end of message. Please use this in the subject line if the subject line is the entire message. Example: Your flight is delayed 15 minutes EOM.
NRN = no reply necessary. Please use in e-mails when a reply or response is not required or expected. Example: Bob called and wants you to call him back NRN
My answer is YES!! I believe there are numerous advantages to joining a women’s network. These groups provide a place where women can nurture relationships in a way that feels comfortable and in a space that empowers them. Below are just a few of the perks I’ve found these networks provide:
In male-dominated industries, women have struggled to secure strong representation in all levels of management. The formation of women's networks has played an important role in empowering women to break through the glass ceiling.
Another benefit of gender specific networks is having a space where we are not being judged by our actions, speech, tone of voice or topics of discussion. We can’t escape the fact that we are all judged at times, but it is nice to have a space where we are judged on criteria that pertains to our job rather than our gender.
Dr. Elizabeth Scharlau Roling conducted a study of women nationwide to understand the impact of women’s networks on both women and their organizations. The results reported 81% of organizations support an internal women’s network. The study provided evidence that there are significant benefits to women’s networks in organizations, and that participating in a women’s network is associated with higher levels of social support, a greater sense of well-being and more positive attitudes toward the company. These findings suggest women’s networks should continue to be recommended and supported.
Liz Yancey, President of Women at AT&T - Atlanta Chapter was quoted as saying, “Joining a women’s network may or may not lead to a promotion – that depends on you and your abilities - but it certainly gives you the exposure and visibility to officers in your company as well as leaders outside of your company when you invite them to meetings or ask them to speak at your meetings.”
When I began to compose this list, it was for a co-worker who was transitioning from a lower level admin position to a C-level support position. It began as a list of the differences between an admin and an executive assistant. When I made the decision to post it to my blog, I discussed it with several of my admin colleagues. In those discussions I realized there are many admins doing EA duties and EAs that are honestly doing the bare minimum. Ultimately, I decided upon the terms “paycheck admin” and “career admin” for this post.
There are literally thousands of examples I could give, but I’d rather hear from some of my “career admin” colleagues. Please share some examples you’ve run across. If you don’t feel comfortable posting them in this forum, you could always private message me. I am not able to take credit for the entire list, my fabulous colleagues shared some of these examples with me :)
Here we go …
The Differences between a Paycheck Admin and a Career Admin
I absolutely love the following blog post by Alan J. Blair on what makes a great executive assistant, because pretty much every word below could have been written by me. For weeks now I've been composing a list (with input from some other fabulous admins) of the differences between paycheck Admins and career admins. I hope you enjoy this read as much as I did.
Hello my feline followers, welcome to another gripping installment of my award winning column. I recently received a letter from a devout follower asking what traits make for the best Executive Assistant.
Well, myself and friend, the gorgeous Anna Wintour, have gone through a few in our time; and let me tell you, a good Executive Assistant is worth their weight in gold (or Bluefin tartar) which ever you preferrrrrr.
We at Alan J. Blair seek out the best of the best candidates for placement at elite firms around the Bay Area so we know the right stuff when we see it. Increasingly, Executive Assistant positions are high paying and very influential roles within a company – for the right person of course.
Here is a short list of what we have found makes an outstanding assistant:
Don’t hide under the desk in terror if your executive’s favorite bagel or kibble is sold out; research and find other, possibly even better, substitutes. Be adaptable. Don’t come to me with a problem if you value your life, come to me with a possible solution.
Be proactive in anticipating needs
I may be an all seeing and powerful cat, but don’t assume I will do something for myself when others can do it for me. For example, when organizing a meeting, one should prepare for every eventuality.
Have you rechecked the presentation materials?
Is the conference room stocked and prepared with everything that is needed?
When travelling to a meeting, will you need to pack my kibble, or will it be provided when I arrive?
A good Executive Assistant answers yes to each of these.
Excellent communication skills
As an Executive Assistant, one communicates with every level of staff from the CEO to the file clerk, working together to make their life easier. The secret to any team work is communication; letting everyone involved know where you are with a project at any given time.
Don’t miss the small things
An excellent Executive Assistant loves the details. Every box should be checked and doubled checked.
Documents and letters should be proofread and proofread again. One should take pride in all that crosses one’s desk. In such an important role you not only represent yourself, but your Executive and the company. That is something to be proud of.
Small Details/Big Picture
While a great Assistant needs to be on top of all of the tiny details, they need to also see the “Big Picture”. Executive Assistants are working directly for leaders of a company that hold the vision for the business and therefore they are asked to know that vision. Executive Assistants need to make sure that their efforts support the boss and the entire organization.
Blog by Alan J. Blair originally posted February 5, 2015
The Audacious Admin is Debbi L. Shaffer, an outgoing, resourceful and highly motivated executive assistant with 20 years of experience specializing in C-Suite Executive Support.