My first job in the corporate world was serving in an administrative capacity on a team with about 150 people. I was certain that I was at the bottom of the ladder, but figured there was lots of room to stretch and grow. Had you read over my job description, like many similar job descriptions in most organizations these days, chances are you would see the following under the list of responsibilities: “Perform other duties that may be required.”
I was fully aware of that statement’s presence in the description for the job I had signed up for, and I was ready to do whatever it took to be successful. Within just a few weeks, I was put to the test and was taking duties left and right, most of which fell within that gray area.
One of my many responsibilities was to plan and execute in-house events for our office – Christmas, Thanksgiving, Administrative Professionals Day, etc. Now, during my first couple of months, I was training under the best of the best. This woman had set the bar fairly high for these events in the past, and I certainly wanted to learn how to fulfill expectations the way that she seemed to do every day. So, on one particular day in April, we were setting up for our Administrative Professionals Day lunch in our break room. There was delicious food everywhere. Decorations were colorful and welcoming. Tables were set and prepared for our staff members to come together and share in fellowship. As the doors opened and staff members began to enter the room (ooo’ing & aaah’ing at all of my hard work) I left my trainer’s side and hopped in the front of the line. She came over and discreetly pulled me out of line. She looked me square in the eye and firmly, but lovingly said, “This is your opportunity to serve, not to be served.”
To be completely candid, I was pretty frustrated in that moment. I had put in all that hard work. I made sure our menus were perfect. I sent out the invitations. I even hung the decorations myself. Why couldn’t I go first?
I learned the most valuable lesson that day. IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. It’s about serving others.
It’s about making them smile. It’s about helping them shine. Since that day, I have taken that lesson and chosen to learn what it takes to become an excellent service provider. When I joined the HORNE team, service became even more important to me, since it is literally the foundation of our Wise Firm.
Today, I am grateful for the heart God gave me to serve others. Today, and every day, you have a choice to serve or be served. I choose to serve.
About the Author
Katie O’Brien serves the entire HORNE family with joy each day. She is the executive administrative assistant to Executive Partner Joey Havens and the resident encourager at HORNE. There is no job too little nor too big for her. Her heart of service makes others’ success her top priority. In the process, Katie is succeeding, too.