Early Bird Tickets are now on sale for Ireland’s ONLY conference for Ireland’s Executive Assistants and P.As – the 2016 Executive PA Forum takes place Monday May 9th (conference day) & Tuesday May 10th (workshop day) in Dublin. Our keynote speaker this year is Zelda la Grange, former PA to Nelson Mandela.
The Forum is a wonderful opportunity to network with your professional peers, to learn from each other and feel part of Ireland’s largest and growing community of EAs, PAs, Office Managers and those in an administrative support role in Ireland.
You can register directly through the website, and for any further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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We are delighted to announce the dates for this year’s CPD-accredited Executive PA Forum, which will be taking place on Monday May 9th (Conference Day) & Tuesday May 10th (Workshop Day) in Dublin City Centre.
Speakers confirmed to date for Forum Day, Monday May 9th include:
-Zelda la Grange (Former PA to Nelson Mandela)
-Stephen Dargan (Wake Up and Workplace Happiness Champion)
Workshop topics on Workshop Day, Tuesday May 10th include:
-Business Writing for Greater Impact for P.As (with Sarah Marriott)
-Project Management for P.As (with Frances Keating)
We will be sending further details on speakers over the coming weeks, as well as information on how to register for the event, and avail of the Early Bird rate. So for now, stick the date in your diary and keep an eye out for more!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”. Did you ever ask yourself who you are and then write it down? It is such an empowering and insightful exercise.
What IMPACT do you want to have on people every day?
What drives you?
What do you stand for?
If you don’t know who you are, how can others know? I consciously try to ensure that I am not defined by what I am: my job, a former All Ireland winning Cork Camogie captain, former Cork Rose of Tralee- but rather by who I am. So what defines me? Ambition, commitment, passion and a positive attitude. Believe it or not, how you see yourself internally impacts on how people see you externally. Think about that.
The knowledge I have gained from sport is transferrable into the business world and my personal life. One of the things I have learned is that in order to ensure consistency in your performance, you have to separate your performance from yourself. You cannot be defined by how good you are at your job, your sport, whatever. Why? Because if your performance deteriorates then what happens? It’s one of the great ironies of life that when you’re able to separate yourself from your job, study, sport; you actually develop a greater passion for those things. When your identity isn’t enmeshed in your performance, your self-worth is protected.
Success is not something that can be defined in a word because there are too many different types of success. For me, success is more than just winning and being the best. It is about pushing your own boundaries and challenging your limits. Success is about making yourself go to the edge of your perceived boundaries and then taking one step further.
But where do you start? Well the first step is to set goals. Follow the ‘SMART’ principles and make them specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely. Break down your goals into steps and plan every day to stay on track. As Wayne Gretzy, the best ice hockey player of all time, said “A good hockey player plays where the puck is; a great hockey plays where the puck is going to be”. Plan ahead. I use my “List of 7” to ensure my goals remain achievable. The first 3 things on the list are ‘must do’ items, the next 2 are ‘like to do’ items and the last 2 are ‘bonus’ tasks. There is a great sense of satisfaction in ticking off these items. The hard part is to make sure that the tasks left uncompleted move to the top of your list for the following day, no matter how much you dislike them. This avoids procrastination.
Acknowledging the achievement of your goals is a vital step in this process. No matter how small these successes are you need to mark them with a physical act; a tangible memory like buying yourself a pair of shoes or going out for dinner. That way you can draw on those positive memories at times when you are facing difficulties. Try it, it works!
Vulnerability exists when you take on something challenging as you are testing yourself. If you commit yourself to it and fail, you have to deal with the realisation that you are not good enough. That can be difficult to digest, so by holding back a little you can justify the failure- it’s like a protection mechanism. Ultimately, your desire to succeed has to be greater than your fear of failure. Failure is part and parcel of life. Failure is not the enemy; the fear of failure is. Through sport I have learned that failure is not a sign of weakness but rather something to learn from and help strengthen your character. One of my coaches once told me, “Don’t let your successes go to your head and equally don’t let your failures go to your heart.”
I believe you are never really playing an opponent; you are playing yourself and your own standards. When you surpass your own limits, that is where the real satisfaction lies.
“As we let our own light shine we unconsciously give others permission to do the same and as we are liberated from our own fear; our presence automatically liberates others”.
Take a chance and dare to be brilliant. Light your own torch of success today and take the first step.
Anna Geary is a former All Ireland winning Camogie captain and former Cork Rose of Tralee. She possesses 6 senior All Irelands medals with Cork and her club, Milford acquired over a long sporting career. She has worked within the IT industry for six years in HR, public relations and marketing but has recently changed career moving towards media and public speaking. She is a coach on RTE’s Ireland’s Fittest Family and works with TV3 and Today FM. She is currently undertaking a business and life coaching diploma and uses her experience to motivate people, placing strong emphasis on mental focus and self empowerment.
If you wish to contact Anna to speak at an event or conference you are hosting, please contact email@example.com for more details.
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There’s a lot that goes into creating a happy, healthy working environment. Some say everyone should have a plant by their desk, that good lighting is crucial, that the most expensive ergonomic chair makes all the difference.
The truth is there’s no secret formula, but most people will agree that nothing is more important for workplace wellbeing than eating properly.
Recent research commissioned by a well-known snack brand revealed that while 72 percent of office workers start their day with a substantial and energised breakfast, they will still end up taking two snack breaks throughout the day when they become “snackered”.
We all know about the 11am and 3pm slumps, when hunger pangs creep in and concentration dips; when you start to stare through your computer screen rather than at it.
According to the study, over 30 percent of workers are unable to listen properly when they get hungry and up to 28 percent admitted to “lashing out” at colleagues or their bosses when a lack of energy due to bad eating habits set in – no one likes a hangry workmate.
So, with deadlines, targets, meetings and pitches taking priority, how can you keep on top of your health and wellbeing if you don’t have time to sneak out and queue at the nearest salad bar? Well, the obvious answer is to make yourself a healthy packed lunch each night – one that is filled out with lots of veg and maybe a small bit of slow-release carbs.
But we all know the reality, and how that is easier said than done – you’ve got to iron tomorrow’s trousers and you have emails to check before bed. And of course it gets worse if you have kids – only if you’re lucky will your husband, wife or partner be able to get their lunch organised and get up earlier to get them dressed for school.
Of course having lunch delivered to the office has long been a possibility, but only since Deliveroo arrived in Ireland earlier this year has there been such an array of good quality, fresh and healthy food options up for grabs for all the desk-bound workers of Dublin and Cork (and soon Galway, Belfast and who knows where else!).
Across the UK and Ireland we already have 12,000 corporate customers who have transformed their eating habits. They have forever binned their sad tuna sandwiches and at the click of a mouse now enjoy food that is flavoursome, filling and cooked fresh from a range of the best restaurants around – and it’s delivered straight to their desks.
As well as keeping you well fed, we can save you time and hassle too – in the next few weeks we’re launching a new corporate website so that whole companies can order lunch together under one account. Organise food for meetings, office parties, and have everything invoiced with all admin taken care of by us.
Make your office the healthiest and happiest around – join the Deliveroo food revolution.
The highly anticipated summer networking event for the APAI took place at Smock Alley Theatre & Venue on July 8th. Guests arrived to relax in the beautiful surrounds of the building while enjoying a delicious selection of cheese, grapes, crackers, quince and tasty beverages.
After a warm welcome from Fiona (Zoom In) and the APAI chairperson Rosanne Reilly in the Main Space, Donal Courtney from the Gaiety School of Acting demonstrated a number of exercises, skills and communication that actors use, which can be applied in the corporate world. Donal got us up on our feet, moving around, making friends and enemies, and taught us all about how to ‘connect and enquire’ when we are communicating with others – hopefully some of you have had a chance to put what you learned into practice!
We then moved onto the stunning Banquet Hall, where top international model – Alison Canavan – brought us on the journey of how she got to where she is today. She opened up about her battle with depression and told how she carried on for years without addressing her mental health. She explained how making small changes every day have positively impacted her performance and how she is more open to opportunities now. Alison also gave us a great insight into how she now enjoys her life, the work she does, time she gets to spend with her family and also the importance of fitness and diet. We all took part in a meditation exercise, which was very relaxing! Alison also gave away some fantastic healthy prizes.
Next we heard from Aaron Devine of Deliveroo, who talked us through how you can save time and energy and take the hassle out of ordering quality food to the office. He explained how you can choose from a range of Dublin’s best restaurants and get great food delivered to your desk in just a few clicks on www.deliveroo.ie. Great news is that they will be starting up in Cork in September.
Mick Steele of Roomex told us all about Roomex for Business, an innovative hotel booking system designed especially for corporate travel. Roomex is a free service, there is no cost or contract involved nor any ongoing fees and it is based on 4 Key Pillars including: Cost Savings – measured savings of 21% Time Savings – throughout the booking and billing process Live Reporting – full visibility on spend Duty of Care – know where your staff are at any time. Useful for any accommodation requirements you have.
Conor Byrne, Events Manager at Smock Alley finished off the event with a pop quiz where some fantastic prizes were up for grabs. Networking followed with a selection of drinks, delicious canapés and macaroons thanks to Smock Alley.
Prizes for restaurants, weekends away and theatre tickets were generously presented and everyone walked away with goodybags thanks to Alison, with healthy natural supplements and Deliveroo vouchers inside.
A huge thank you to everybody who made this event happen and to our sponsors!
About Smock Alley One of Dublin’s most unique and visually stunning spaces, Smock Alley was the first Theatre Royal built and opened in 1662 in Dublin. All spaces in Smock Alley Theatre are available for commercial or private hire, and are a popular venue choice for gala dinners, launch events, seminars, conferences, training days, weddings, private functions and all theatre, dance and music events.
The smell of freshly brewed coffee, healthy granola bars and delicious smoothies welcomed attendees of the 6th Executive PA, Secretary & Admin Forum to the Radisson Blu Royal Dublin Hotel 4 weeks ago. Delegates arrived with an open mind, as well as a strong will to learn, network and develop their skills.
Workshop day was at full capacity, which added to the atmosphere of the day and enabled delegates to re-connect with old acquaintances, and others to meet new friends and grow their network.
After a day of intensive workshops -now equipped with practical tools and fresh ways of thinking – delegates looked forward to Day 2 which offered an exciting line up of speakers and thought provoking discussion.
Forum Day delivered an amazing variety of personal stories, inspirational dialogue and provided plenty of food for thought for delegates. Each speaker offered an insight into what makes the role of an Assistant more complex than most others in the organisation. Sometimes it takes time out from the office to step back and realize just how important your role is.
This year’s Forum, as we had predicted was a resounding success – we had more delegates, more online traffic, more networking and more prizes and giveaways than ever before. We were in awe yet again to hear from some amazing people, the work they have done and have yet to do. The 2 day event was rounded off nicely with a wine-tasting session delivered by Trevor Fisher, Wines Direct & Phil Mooney of Arnotts.
We have already started planning for 2016 and we can’t wait to deliver again next year. The following are a collection of images which were tweeted throughout the Forum with the hashtag #ExecPAForum15. If you didn’t get a chance to attend this year, have a look at some of the live feedback the event received here.
‘It’s not a dress, it’s a cape!’ – Vanessa Vallely explains why the universal sign for lady signifies us as super-heroes…we love this analogy 🙂
Sarah Jane Hutchinson of IDA Ireland asked us to consider how to work with The Boss! As well as calling for a new job title for Assistants ‘Chief Multi-Tasker’…
Jacqui reminded us of a famous Einstein quote which we have to agree with!
We also had Claire Burge give us tips on how to be more productive in the workplace, how to maximise the hours you spend in work and how to take back control of your and your bosses’ day.
Julie Pone kept us alert in the afternoon with her range of oils tips on stress management, and Rosanne Reilly fascinated us with the stories of her work with some of the world’s multibillionaires.
Delegates were also treated to a movie quiz and prizes provided by sponsors the Radisson Blu Group Ireland, as well as being offered an informative and entertaining presentation on CV tips from Richard Minchin at Cpl Office Support. JUST EAT had vouchers for everyone in the audience and a lucky few found they had won €50 vouchers from One 4 All.
We are really excited for the 2016 Forum and please get in touch with Fiona if you want further details on the Forum or on any of our new EA/PA/Office Support training options – firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I would like to take this opportunity to thank Fiona and Aisling at ZoomIn for facilitating another fantastic Executive PA, Secretary and Admin Forum. This is the second time I have attended the conference, the content and stature of speakers remains consistently high and I am looking forward to another great one in 2015. I would highly recommend attending forum if you are a PA looking to network with other professionals, the workshops are also fun and educational. Well done Zoom In
Jacqui Quigley, Award winning Executive Assistant (PA of the Year 2014) and Social Media enthusiast, PwC
“Very insightful workshop with lots of interaction. The facilitator was clear and concise and taught us skills that could be applicable in all situations”
Conflict Resolution Workshop Delegate, 2011
Fiona is an intelligent, enthusiastic and motivated individual. As part of her former responsibilities, she established very effective relationships with existing and new donors, supporters and volunteers, and represented Self Help Africa at a variety ofevents, including overseas trips. Fiona was responsible for liaising with key umbrella groups to raise additional funds and to manage relationships with these umbrella groups.
Fiona has extensive hands-on experience of organising and managing fundraising events and campaigns and also has excellent communications and presentation skills. Fiona was a reliable,dedicated and valued member of the Self Help Africa team.
Ciara Tallon, Head of Business Development, Self Help Africa
“I attended the first Executive PA Forum in 2010. Nearly a year on I am still applying the knowledge and tips I learned from the keynote speakers and the workshops. It was also a great way to network with other Irish EAs/ PAs.”
Maebh McGuinness, Conference Delegate, Executive PA & Secretary Forum 2010
I have known Fiona and Aisling of Zoom In for several years now via their Executive PA, Secretary & Admin Forum. I first attended the Forum in 2014 and also had the privilege to be a speaker at the event. I was highly impressed with the dedication, focus and attention to detail they demonstrated at every stage of the organisation process. Their enthusiasm and natural event management expertise resulted in an extremely high quality, professional event. This Forum is the only one of its kind in Ireland and is an invaluable resource for anyone in an Administration role who has an interest in professional development and networking with peers. I’m proud to be associated with the Forum again in 2015 and am positive that Zoom In will create another exciting, high quality event.I highly recommend Zoom In for their work with the Forum and would wholeheartedly recommend them for the production and management of any type of event.
Natalie Egan, Executive Assistant to Oracle Direct EMEA Systems Leader at Oracle