The term firewall is thrown about by those in the know about computer security, but what is it?
In the most general of terms, a firewall is a defence measure that your computer uses in an effort to protect itself from unwanted programmes and outside access to your computer. Think of it as a kind of filter that guards you against the dangers of the internet.
How does a Firewall work?
A firewall works by comparing information to a set of rules. For instance, if a website or online (more…)
When you think of a PA or a Secretary, you immediately think of someone organised, who is ultra-efficient and has their hand on the heartbeat of the department or their Boss’s Day. In effect, being proactive. Being Proactive is management speech stating that ‘a person is creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened’. (more…)
During your appraisal or work performance interview, you may be asked to set some SMART Objectives or goals for your future development within the company or department. Goal setting is of particular importance for a PA and Secretary if you want a promotion to become an Executive PA. When setting goals, it is always advisable to ensure that the goals set are easy to understand and attainable by you. However, the goals should also tax you and ensure that you stretch your current skill base to learn something new.
I am a great believer in continued professional development and, as a result, I listen to some podcasts on different business practices. This evening, I was listening to a podcast by an Australian Pro-blogger called Darren Rowse. He made an interesting
New Year’s Resolutions
suggestion about a New Year’s Resolution you could make. Further, how you could make a slight change this year and, turn the idea on its head. This is a fascinating concept for PAs, Secretaries and Executive PA in a business environment as we spend most of our time looking after other people. In his podcast, he suggested that instead of making a New Year’s resolution about you and what you are going to do this year or stop this year; you should turn it around and make the resolution about how you can help other people, yet stay within your chosen resolution. I would also add, to help you advance your chosen career.
Depending on your company internal calendar of events and procedures the appraisal process isn’t that far away. Most appraisals start in March/April in preparation for the new financial year. For a PA,
EA and Secretary this is the time when the task of organising appraisals or preparing for appraisals starts. It is, however, worth noting that the business year begins April (often referred to as the New Financial Year), so the business year has another three months to run, (the last quarter). It is, therefore, time to start thinking about what you want to achieve in the final quarter of the financial year and what you want to achieve in the coming year.
As a PA (Personal Assistant), an EA (Executive Assistant) or secretary you may be asked to undertake an appraisal, this could be for junior members of staff. An Appraisal, Performance Review or Staff Review happens once a year. The appraisal gives the employee and the employer an opportunity to openly discuss the previous years working structure.
Some General Guidelines
Appraisals are on an individual employee’s job description. If you are conducting the appraisal you need to ensure that you are aware of the employee’s job description and not undertake a comparison with other employees. You also have to be aware that the appraisal is on their past performance and not on what you would like them to do. That is the value of job analysis and detailed job descriptions.
A rating system may form part of the appraisal process. The rating system could be a numerical, alphabetical system or a combination. All PAs or secretaries conducting an appraisal should be trained on the rating system used. A good rating could result in a pay rise or promotion. It is important that the rating system is robust, understood and utilised.
Welcome to the Blog posts of Julie and the team. If you have been on one of Julie's training courses, you know that she is passionate about PA, EAs and Secretaries being the best they can be. She also has very strong opinions about what a PA, EA and Secretary should and shouldn't do.