“We’d like to offer you the position as the assistant to our president” were the words that created a gentle panic in me 3 1/2 years ago when I got the job offer for my current role. Familiar with working in the unknown, I adopted a calm exterior that was likely the very reason I had been offered the job in the first place. This ability to remain cool under pressure continues to be one of my biggest assets.
But in the beginning, I truly had no idea what I was doing. In fact, I felt like I needed to overcompensate for what felt like a fatal flaw: I had just spent the last 17 years of my life as a stay-at-home mom. I knew how to send email but had never opened Outlook and my business-casual attire consisted of solely of clean jeans and a t-shirt. But in carrying out the duties of my temp job for the company, HR saw something they liked. A keen attention to detail, team spirit and a can-do attitude were the very attributes they had been searching for.
New job offer in hand, I set about searching online for information about my new role. There, I stumbled across additional job descriptions that helped me cement what my duties might be as well as various tips designed to help me shine. One of the most captivating was the suggestion to run. Everywhere. The idea was that if others saw you running, it would be obvious how much value you placed on your executive’s time. “I am not walking to the copier, I am running!” The assertion was that by running hither and yon, everyone else would see how important your executive is. The message delivered by this frenzied pace would be, “He’s a little bit more important than you.”
But sadly for my executive, I never adopted that habit of running. Instead, I have been walking with purpose throughout the tenure of my position.
Whether you walk or run, you might want to consider what message you send when proceeding down the hall. Some walk like they are on a mission from God and yet others saunter down the hall like they could be headed to a funeral for a cat. How you walk – just like how you talk, dress, and eat – does send a message about the kind of person you are and the kind of work you produce.
So, come along with me and let’s walk with purpose!