Category: Miscellaneous

Particularly in the summer months, many offices adopt a “Casual Friday” or other “Casual Day” during which employees can dress down from their usual professional attire. Often these days are designed to bring a little fun into the workplace, but a mistaken idea about what is appropriate for Casual Day could end up with you cooling your heels at home early or making a horrible first impression on someone that you will be working with. If you have not experienced a casual day in the office before, make sure that you err on the side of caution when you are dressing down.

In many offices, casual day simply means that you do not have to wear a suit (and tie) if you are a man and that you do not have to wear the equivalent level of dress if you are a woman. However, for women, the line is less distinct, since many women wear skirts and blouses on a regular basis, which slightly lowers their level of professional dress already. So before you wear jeans in to work, make sure that this is acceptable and that Casual Day is not really just “ditch your tie and/or heels day.”

Another way that offices may try to make Casual Day fun is by giving it a theme. For example, there might be “Hawaiian Shirt Day” or “Luau Day.” As with any other casual day, be moderate in your interpretation of what is appropriate. Avoid coconut bikinis and other beachwear, including flip flops, unless there has been a precedent set for this type of behavior! Even then, tread lightly so that your behavior is not misinterpreted.

Casual days can be a great way to lighten a mood or reward an office that has really had its nose to the grindstone. Just always be careful to keep propriety in the back of your mind, and think carefully about whether or not you will be participating if the day is not officially sanctioned.

When you are an assistant, it can be very tempting to put your employer’s needs entirely over your own. To some extent, this is your job, since your role as a virtual assistant is basically to help keep things running on schedule, pay bills and generally smooth the way for your employer and his or her business. However, if you completely eliminate your professional needs from the equation, a job that starts out as a great opportunity can start to feel like a real dead end.

In order to keep the “spark” in your  job, you need to make sure that you are working toward your goals as well as those of your employer. And you should also make sure that your employer is working toward your goals too. You can accomplish this harmonious relationship by talking to your employer about how you can better help the company and yourself in the process.

Request a meeting with your employer when he or she has some time to talk. You can present it as a performance review if you like, since these types of reviews are often the point at which goals for the future are discussed. With your employer, review what your role in the company is and how that role might grow to expand the productivity of the company as well as yourself. Often, that expansion might require training, extra hours or additional education – all of which your employer may be willing to fund and which will make you more marketable and more valuable to the company.

Before the meeting, decide what you want to accomplish. Do you want more hours? More responsibility? More education? A higher salary? Determine how to best present your needs so that your meeting these goals actually furthers the progress of the company. Then, ask your boss to help you identify the company’s goals and how you can further them. Together, the two of you should be able to identify ways in which you can grow while at the same time supporting the growth of the company that requires your main focus.