Dominican Sister of Hope Jeanette Redmond, OP, has been a secretary for a collective twenty-three years. It doesn’t take long to realize that she loves her job (and is good at it!).
Below, Sister Jeanette shares tips for being your best professional self, regardless of what your job is.
Sister says that this applies to even people you might not want to smile at, or on days when you’re not feeling particularly happy. Regardless of her own mood each day, Sister Jeanette realizes that she is many people’s first contact with the Dominican Sisters of Hope, and she wants that first impression to be a positive one.
“I’m hope to all these people,” Sister Jeanette divulges. “I get emails every day. I get phone calls every day. How am I going to talk on that phone? Well, one thing I know as a secretary is, whenever you pick up that phone, you smile, because a nice voice goes through.”
Secretaries have a lot of power, but, let’s face it, we all do in our jobs.
“Secretaries can be nice or not nice. I can make things hard or easy. I can do that. That’s why I pray a lot!” Sister Jeanette says.
Regardless of the prestige associated with work, we all have influence over others and decision-making power in the workplace. Prayer can help us be stewards of grace much more efficiently.
3. Be organized
Some skills are imperative for being a stellar secretary, Sister Jeanette says, and she lists organization among them. The1thing.com has tips for getting more organized at work and Greatist has a list for how to finally tidy up your desk, inbox, and the rest of the house while you’re at it. The to-do lists are helpful, but it might be the case that organization is one of those things you have to stop thinking about and just do.
4. Be Creative
Although Sister Jeanette seems exceedingly computer savvy, she’s quick to note that she’s completely self-taught when it comes to technology. As such, she’s not afraid to share ad-hoc technology lessons, and she’s also not afraid to consider new ways of getting things done.
“I keep teaching myself,” Sister Jeanette says. Being creative –and open to new possibilities—can help us all.
5. Love each day
“To me, it’s not a job. It’s a ministry, but it’s not a job,” Sister Jeanette says. “When I get up in the morning, I don’t care what day it is. Whatever day of the week it is, it’s good. I like what I do when I’m here. I like what I do when I’m not here. I just like life.”
Surely, a positive attitude like this one saturates more than just the workday. It can be hard to do, but remembering that each day is a gift to love can make us all a lot more pleasant in the office and outside of it.
6. Take a breather
No doubt, some days are challenging. When they are, it’s time to not work through it, but take a short break. While she works hard, Sister Jeanette also knows when she needs a moment to take a breath and reconnect with God. “He always increases the strength of my soul,” she says. You just have to ask for it.
7. See the face of God in everyone you meet
This one is self-explanatory, but it’s a point Sister emphasized. Whether you like the person or not, whether you’re exhausted or happy to be alive (or both!), see the face of God in everyone you meet. Those around you will be better for it.