Overwhelmed and Under Qualified

I'm having one of those days today. I wonder if I am the only one that ever has them, but in case there's anybody out there like me, I thought I would just expose the honest feeling.

It's been an insecure day when I look around at the far more qualified people who can do my job, probably have a better attitude some days, and are way less dramatic than me.

I say all that to say this: Even on our most insecure days, on the days that are lonely, or when we feel overwhelmed and under qualified, we need to realize that God has chosen and called us for this position alongside these people for this season. There's a purpose, not just for what we are doing, but for who we are becoming while doing it. I have so much to learn, so instead of feeling intimidated by others, I choose to use this opportunity to grow both in skill and in character. I don't need to be somebody else. Instead, I will strive to be the best version of me that I can be.

It's on the lonely and insecure days that we look up and say Thank You, that God chose us. He sees right where we are, loves us for who we are, and uses these moments to draw us toward Him. 

Accolades

Maybe I am the perfect storm of ESFJ, words of affirmation, and I am a self inflicting martyr to my husband and three kids (they never MAKE me NOT eat breakfast... I just find myself choosing to sacrifice it to get another thing done). Or maybe I should just call it like it is and proclaim my sinfulness and pride from the rooftops. Either way, I have a hunger for accolades.

I crave hearing my kids tell me how much they enjoyed the dinner I made. I want my dentist to congratulate me every appointment for being faithful with the full teeth cleaning regime (flossing, brushing, mouthwash twice daily is a lot to remember). And I always like hearing a compliment for getting "it" right- whether that's a trendy outfit, timely word, or a perfectly articulated email. 

But in ANY position, either professionally or personally, we have to be careful not to rely on or look for the constant approval and admiration from others.

Colossians 3:23-24 reminds us that whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.

People will affirm us for our work and our family is grateful for our sacrifice, but ultimately we need to remember that what we are doing is a RESPONSE of obedience to our Savior and not as a REQUEST for approval from people. Let the compliments from others be lagniappe in our life, and let our confidence rest in the contentment that Christ has already approved of us and made a place for us in His Kingdom BEFORE we have done a single thing for Him. 

Mapping Out the "Ideal" Work Week

Scheduling appointments is one of the greatest responsibilities of an assistant and can either be a difficult task or run smoothly. By answering just a few questions initially with our boss, we can help organize their ideal schedule and feel empowered to set appointments without getting written consent every time. 

Here are some items to discuss with your boss to time block their week: 

1. What are the "Big Rocks" or non-negiotiables you want to add in first? These may be activities they are committed to regularly, which can include anything like workouts, family dinners, board meetings, bible studies, or picking up kids from school.

2. Based on your job responsibilities, who are the people/what are the meetings that you want to make sure to set regularly? For example, my boss's primary responsibilities are communicating and casting vision, so every week he wants to meet with our communication team, our leadership team, and set aside ample study time to prepare a message. 

3. What times of day do you have your best energy? When are you most productive? Based on this answer, you can begin to map out their schedule, putting the (answer to #2) meetings at these times. This ensures that their greatest priorities get their best attention. As you work with your boss, you will also notice these rhythms and times. 

After locking in these meetings, here are some other helpful questions to streamline your boss's schedule even more: 

How regularly should we meet? The frequency of this meeting is different for every assistant/boss relationship, but DO NOT neglect this meeting or martyr it for others. You help move things forward and if you don't connect often, people will be waiting on answers. 

What hours can I schedule appointments? For example, I only schedule meetings from 9am-5pm during the week and on Sundays. He is willing to meet at other times, but I text him or his wife before scheduling any breakfast or evening appointments. 

What margin of time do you want between meetings? When a day is packed back to back with appointments, it is likely something will go overtime and you will end up needing to reschedule or frustrating people in the process. It is a good practice to have 15-30 minutes for your boss to travel, return texts, or regroup between meetings. 

Once you have created an "ideal" schedule, review it with your boss for any adjustments they want to make. Remember appointments are always written in pencil, but this is a good template to help arrange their week. 

Your Turn: What are your tips for scheduling appointments?