"Come Full Circle"

In the administrative field, I posses an Executive Administrative Associate's Degree along with many years supporting different level executives.  Within my years of experience, I've always felt there was one thing missing that would make my career feel complete.  Being CAP certified would complete my circle, which is why I will be taking the exam in March of 2015.

To prepare for the exam, I have joined a J&J study group which meets every Monday night.  Joining the group provides me with a network of other assistants looking to advance their career or gain additional recognition within their field.   This network will provide me with addtional resources to help guide me thru this process.

Here's to becoming CAP certified!

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As a sports enthusiast, I especially like Dr. Cramer's sports analogy. Are we looking at the future structure of  IAAP (i.e., SIGS, Branches, etc.) from the player's perspetive, or are we seeing what the restructuring will look like from the spectator's perspective.


In Thrive, Arianna Huffington writes that wisdom is a deeper awareness and connectivity that “frees us from the narrow reality we feel trapped in.”

In one of Psychology Today’s most popular blog posts, Adam Grant, author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success

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Do you have a "Bucket List" ... or ... a "Things To Accomplish Before You Retire" List?  Well, I guess I've had this one thing on my list(s) for almost 42 years now because that's when I joined IAAP [November 1972].

When I first heard about the CPS Exam (back then), I knew I should have sat for the certification, but when I heard that it was a six-part exam and it could take up to three years to pass ... you had to read scenarios and figure out the best answers, etc., well, ... OMG ... that wasn't for me.  I was fearful of tests ... and, probably still am!  Of course, over the years, the certification title and exam criteria have changed.  42 years later and now in 2015, it will be an on-line Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) test ... just multiple-choice questions ... I hope!  I think I can handle that!

When I was New Jersey Division (NJD) President, I knew how important Certification was, that those who were Certified were the "cream of the crop" and "rose to the top."  Even though I wasn't Certified, I started a special recognition ceremony for those NJD members who were Certified.  The NJD has continued that recognition and even named it after me, "The Mary Marrone-Polo Certification Luncheon."  Well, what's ironic is now that the IAAP structure is in the midst of changing and chapters and divisions will be disbanding, I'm FINALLY studying and sitting for the CAP Exam.  Gosh, if I achieve it, I hope the NJD recognizes me before they disband!
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Webinar: From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan


Presented by Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, MBTI Certified, Founder & CEO of All Things Admin


1 Recertification Point has been approved by IAAP Headquarter for this webinar.


DATE: Thursday, November 13, 2014

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The Central Arkansas Chapter of IAAP held its final official chapter meeting on Thursday, October 16, 2014 in the historic Capital Hotel in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. Our members honored their bosses by hosting the third annual Bosses Day breakfast.

CAC’s members and guests were treated like VIPs from the valet parking to the attentive wait staff keeping coffee cups full. A country buffet breakfast served in the Brooks Parlor offered something for everyone from fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, scones, biscuits, and more.

White table cloths decorated with wooden slabs and bark, painted mason jars, and flowers brought southern charm and hospitality to the gathering of administrative professionals and their bosses. A coffee mug inscribed with “Thank You” filled with candies was given to each boss in attendance.

Attendees learned about Team Dynamics-Essential Management Skills for Executive Assistants as our guest speaker

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I’m not sure if I’m what you would call excited about all the changes but it has got me curious as to how it will work out with the new revitalized IAAP. At this point, I’m watching and waiting to see how things come together. New opportunities are on the horizon with the Branches, LANs and SIFs. It took a lot of guts for the International Board to do what they did. Was it done in the best possible way? Ask 100 people and you will get 100 different answers.

During the midst of all my family turmoil right now, I don’t need change I need things to stay the same. I need structure and consistency. But that’s the funny thing about life, it happens and it doesn’t care what’s going on around you at the time. It just adds itself to the mix.

Our professionalism and dedication to the profession comes out in the midst of the trials of life whether it be personal, professional, or both. IAAP is very important and special to me. It has helped me grow professionally and personally.

I guess maybe I am a little excited about where IAAP is headed. Change is something that most don’t really like but it is a part of life. If we are not open to change, we become stagnant and eventually it will inhibit our ability to grow. I may need stability and consistency in my life right now but I also have to remember that life happens and with that life, change will happen.

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We had an awesome evening of celebration...remembering the beginnings of the profession, IAAP beginnings and personal experiences in the field.  At my table found out how several of us got started as secretaries, administrative assistants and learned a little more about our fellow members.  We had several guests from other chapters and NCD.  The time together was great!   
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I was taking a look at IAAP's About Us - Newsroom Page.

Wow... What the heck?

At the top, there is a section for Partner News, prominently displayed - filled with OFFICETEAM news releases, only one of which references IAAP.

IAAP's News is actually BELOW that section, down in the corner... and the last news release date is July 24, 2013.

There is an IAAP in the News section, but the last article that was posted in there was from 2013 as well.

No wonder we are the best kept secret out there. We aren't doing ANYTHING to put the word out about our organization. NOT a single press release this year is posted there - nothing about our revamping (which ok, that I can see not writing a release on). Nothing about APW. Nothing about EFAM. Nothing about any surveys or research we have done.  Nothing AT ALL.

We really need to do a better job at publicizing ourselves and our very own press releases seem to be an ideal place to start.
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Have you been feeling like you are putting in more hours at the office? 

I happened across a Seattle Times business article (in the old-fashioned print format) the other day and then went searching for it online.  What I found was a similar article from the Times in 2004 talking about 55-60 hour weeks for salaried employees being the new normal. Obviously many things have changed since then, including an economic downturn.  Originally, I mistook this article for the current one (darn reading glasses!).  Yes, the articles were very similar!  So I did a little further research, looking for additional information. 

CNBC’s July 18, 2014 article quoted a PGi survey indicating that 88 percent of (the 600) respondents worked more than 40 hours per week.  PGi attributed much of this to technology and the migration to an “always on” work culture.  It is important to note that PGi is a virtual meeting software company.

Forbes published an article on Labor Day 2014 titled “A 40 Hour Work Week in the United States Actually Lasts 47 Hours.”
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Join the Cutting Edge Chapter on Wednesday, October 8, at 6:00 pm MT/ 7:00 pm CT/ 8:00 pm ET as we learn about Secret Tech Weapons for Administrative Professionals! Please note that this webinar will be 90 minutes in length.

"How DO They Do That? Secret Tech Weapons for Administrative Professionals"

What if you could whip up a graphic to brand your business in minutes? Or schedule a meeting without having to send three dozen emails to find a time everyone could meet? Or create a dazzling multimedia video for your boss before lunchtime?

And what if you could pull all this off without spending a dime?

Join Your Nerdy Best Friend, aka Author Beth Ziesenis, to discover how to use free and bargain technology tools you never knew existed to create professional quality graphics, make meetings run smoothly and wow your boss. This high-energy session will give you 30+ tools that will leave people asking, "How DO they do that?"

* Create share-worthy social media content
* Discover technology to bring your office and virtual teams together
* Become a leader in the office with efficient (and cool) productivity tools
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During our transition into the revitalized IAAP, we still have a lot to offer new and current members. We don’t need to wait until Branches and LANs are in place to reap the benefits of this amazing association and to recruit new members.

One of the many professional benefits we have to offer is our array of education. Over 90 percent of IAAP conference attendees receive employer support. However, I hear many members say they can’t afford to attend our conferences. Whenever someone says their employer won’t support their continuing education, I inquire if they’ve even asked for their manager’s support. Most say “no.”

Many years ago a very wise person (my grandmother) said, “don’t assume, it never hurts to ask.”  Not asking could get in the way of gaining support for your continued education and professional development.  Have you asked for your employer’s support? 

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Here we go again...another exciting, educational VIP Chapter online presentation.

If you missed the September panel discussion with Jasmine Freeman, Bonnie Low-Kramen, and Mary Hanley, too bad...but you don't want to miss this one providing Microsoft Word 2013 tips by one of the industries leaders in techology.

The VIP Chapter invites you to join us on October 9 @ 7 p.m. CST (from your computer) to hear, Microsoft Word Tips, Tricks and Techniques Everyone Should Know with Dawn Bjork Buzbee, the Software Pro

Click here to register

You may be thinking:

"I am not working in 2013 yet. I don't need to attend."

VIP response:

"You will be soon and what better way to start than already knowing quick techniques. You'll be the envy of the office." 

You may be thinking:
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Hello IAAP Sisters & Brothers !

I am very interested in working with IHG in Atlanta. I worked with them years ago as a contracted employee, and was offered permanent employment but I did not feel the time was right, (mother was ill and I needed flexibility to care for her as needed). I have been with my current employer for  over 10 years and I feel it is time for a change. If you currently work with IHG, I would like to hear from you. Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

Beverly Balloon, CAP-OM
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I don't achieve every goal that I set. I do however achieve most of them. One of the reasons this happens is that I force myself to make regular progress on those items I really want to complete. I set reminders on my calendar so time doesn't slip away without me noticing. I also try to align myself with others working to achieve the same goals.

Was one of your goals this year to become CAP or OM certified?

Sometimes things are beyond our control in our pursuit of our goals. After all, who would ever have expected the November exam to be cancelled? But it has been and we just have to pick ourselves up and move on.

The clock is now ticking for the March 2015 certification exam. If you are planning to sit for it, now is the time to be perusing the bibliography to determine what books you are going to use, mapping out a strategy for yourself and working to learn all you need to learn. You might want to consider finding a study buddy or a study group to help focus your efforts.

My study groups start in two weeks, so if you are interested in joining one of mine, contact me. But it doesn't have to be mine. There are others out there.
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Does anyone have a SOP template that works well for Administrative Professionals that you'd be willing to share?  Thank you.
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Are you or someone you know sitting for the March 2015 CAP and/or OM certification exams? I've just opened registration for the study groups I am leading, beginning in October. Drop me an email at to learn more.
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I hope all of you have recovered from EFAM, are back from summer vacations, at your desk and ready for work, and are settled in for the new IAAP year. Starting this year, we will be implementing some changes and additions to our member recognition programs. Member engagement is important because it’s the membership that makes this association great. I’m excited about these changes and I trust you will be also. 

Except for the Member of Excellence, (which is already up in the web community) more detailed information will be available on October 1. But until then, here’s a preview and overview of the upcoming program.

Member of Excellence

The Member of Excellence

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