Lindsay Robinson spent 11 years as an assistant at the NBA, and is currently an Executive Assistant at LinkedIn.
Lindsay talks about what it’s like to work for LinkedIn, how to improve your LinkedIn profile, being honest when you make mistakes, asking for help, and tips on self-care and avoiding burnout. Enjoy!
Failing to plan, is planning to fail.
– Benjamin Franklin
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Lindsay Robinson 0:00
Hi, everyone. My name is Lindsay Robinson and my quote today comes from Benjamin Franklin. And it says failing to plan is planning to fail.
Podcast Intro 0:12
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident game changing leader assistance.
Jeremy Burrows 0:22
Welcome to Episode 66. In here’s your host, my dad. Hey, everyone, welcome to episode 66. I’m very excited because today is my birthday. And my book comes out this week. It’s been a long, fun, challenging process. But it’s finally here, leaderAssistantbook.com. You can download the first few chapters free, obviously check it out on Amazon, Barnes and Noble. So all I want for my birthday is for you to buy the book, read it. And let me know how it is. All right. All right. Sounds good. Let’s jump into today’s interview. Hey, friends. Thanks for tuning in to The Leader Assistant Podcast. It’s your host, Jeremy Burrows. And today I’m excited to be speaking with Lindsay Robinson. Lindsay is a senior administrative assistant at linked in Lindsay, how’s it going?
Lindsay Robinson 1:15
Everything’s good. Super excited to be on the podcast. I love what you’re doing here.
Jeremy Burrows 1:19
Awesome. And where in the world are you today?
Lindsay Robinson 1:22
I am in New York City.
Jeremy Burrows 1:25
Awesome. Well, hello, from St. Louis, Missouri. And we’ll jump right in. What was your very first job? And what did you learn in that job that maybe you still use today?
Lindsay Robinson 1:39
My very first job was babysitting, I always had a knack for interacting with children. And in general, I just kind of loved them. And, you know, you never know really what you’re gonna get, you know, with each child. So I think the thing that I always tried to bring to the table was, you know, adapt to what the kids need, of course, the parents are going to tell you, you know, I want this done, and I want that done. But, you know, when you’re with kids for five hours, like you kind of have to figure it out. And I feel like I do that every day, you know, you’re, you’re given a job description. And how often, you know, do you really follow that job description, it’s really about, you know, figuring out with what not only your leader needs, but the people around him, because obviously, you know, people report into them, and you get roped into, you know, the madness of a department. So I think that’s the main thing that I learned is to be agile, unnecessarily flexible, sometimes, and, you know, and just try to have as much fun as possible. You know, it’s not always, it’s not always the case. But if you keep a smile on your face, you know, try to make the best of it. It’s all you can kind of give.
Jeremy Burrows 3:01
Yeah, it’s great. It’s, it’s one of those things that maybe you don’t want to executive to hear a saying that being an EA is kind of like babysitting, but it kind of is.
Lindsay Robinson 3:14
Yeah, some days, some days. My guys right now are great. It was a it was quite a shift coming from my previous job to my current job where I had to be uber attentive to my last boss. And, you know, my, the two guys that I report to a report into now, you know, I set their calendar, and I may or may not speak to them during the day, you know, unless there’s changes or urgencies or excuse me emergencies. But that took some getting used to because I literally would have to drag my my old leader from one cop from his office to the conference room, which were about 10 feet from each other. So a little bit different, but, you know, learnings in both earnings and both?
Jeremy Burrows 3:56
Definitely. So how did you end up getting into the administrative profession?
Lindsay Robinson 4:03
I think I just is who I am, you know, everybody laughs at me that I’m, you know, the, the camp counselor at our events. And when we go on vacations, and, you know, when we race or whatever, I’m a runner. So whenever we do those sorts of things, but, you know, I, I saw the way that my mom interacted with people, she was a salesperson. And I just saw the way that she helped people and was always a resource, you know, both at work, and even with my friend group. And it’s just something I aspire to be. It’s like, you know, the Apple kind of doesn’t fall far from the tree was literally you know exactly how I grew up here. So, I think it was just, it’s in my blood. It’s something I enjoy. It’s also a passion. I just love helping people finding solutions, and being a resource and when I realized, you know, I could make a career out of that. I was all in it.
Jeremy Burrows 5:01
Yeah, it’s kind of like, I’ve always thought about, you know, why have I always loved helping people? Like, why have I always loved getting up in the morning and figuring out how I can help somebody accomplish their goals? Like, well, I guess I guess I’m just meant to be an assistant and mental mental health people. But it’s What’s interesting, though, is, is there some assistance, that they don’t feel that way? They’re not they don’t feel as strongly about that. So what would you say to somebody listening? It’s like, you know, what, I like the job, but I just, I have a hard time. You know, can I teach myself to love to help people? Or is it something that’s inherent in you?
Lindsay Robinson 5:42
You know, I think, I think, of course, you can, but the want has to be there, right? That’s with anything, you can want to be a morning person, but you know, the, or you can need to be a morning person, but you have to want to get up early. So I think it’s, of course, anybody can teach themselves to do something. But I think, you know, when you want to do something, there’s a certain level of care given that sometimes, you know, those soft skills that everyone’s talking about these days, I don’t know that that can be taught. So I think if you don’t love the people helping aspect of it, try to look for other pieces of the role that you really do love, maybe you love the organizational piece, maybe you love the writing, you know, if you’re writing decks, or putting proposals together, you know, maybe you love you know, the notoriety or the information power, as I was once taught in school of of being next to NEA and getting the information first, I think you have to find out what part of the job you love, and then try to excel there. Because, you know, we have a lot on our plates every single day, you’re not going to love every every portion of it, right. But I think the people are just part of it. So it’s one of those things where it’s kind of like, you have to take the whole package. But I don’t know, I’m not a spring chicken, you know, at 43 I don’t know that. I’m going to love PowerPoint presentations. It’s not something I’ve ever loved. It’s not something I want to do ever. You know, I’ve learned it, you know, I’m okay at it, I get help, you know, and that’s again, you know, you can I bring people into the fold that can help me with things that I’m not so proficient at. And it’s been a running joke in my entire career. So that’s not something, you know, it’s not like secret sauce I’m giving you here. But again, I just think you, you have to figure out what you do love and then try to make the best of the stuff you don’t because, you know, it’s it’s, it’s always gonna be a gift and a curse, no matter what you do.
Jeremy Burrows 7:47
Yeah, I agree. I told my six year old the other day, I was like, Yeah, you’re gonna have to learn to do things you don’t want to do. So that you can do things you do want to do.
Lindsay Robinson 7:59
How I’ve had that conversation many times, and it’s been told to me, you know, so great advice. Yeah.
Jeremy Burrows 8:04
So, throughout your career, what’s one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made as an assistant?
Lindsay Robinson 8:10
I was really hoping you wouldn’t ask that. You know, I go to a, I consider myself a perfectionist and type a, I’m sure you’re shocked by that. But you know, there was there was a time at the I worked at the NBA for 11 years, I think you’ll we’ll talk about that at some point. And, you know, there was a point in my career there where I just was unhappy. And it was, you know, it’s not something I could necessarily pinpoint. But I think it was about that time when I probably should have made another career decision, but was trying to stick it out to see, you know, if some changes were going to take place. And, you know, the long and the short of it was I actually I we were able to get tickets, I worked in the player to player development department. And so we were able to get tickets for games, and a lot of times, I would get them for people in the department and leave them on their desk. And, you know, they would come in because, you know, everybody was was mobile at that time. So people would come in and grab them and then go to the game, do what they had to do and then go home. And so one night I just happened to be working late and notice that you know, tickets were still on. It wasn’t my my direct boss, but it was somebody in the department that the tickets were still there. And I was like, you know, in my kind of miss judgment, real Miss judgment. I took the tickets, and I went to the game and they were fantastic seats and I even had a friend with me. And I was nervous the entire time but it was about you know a little past halftime and I’m you know, I kind of thought I got away with something. I’ll be really honest here because I think you need to be honest in these sorts of situations. And boy did I learn from it but You know, I’m looking around, I don’t see him, you know, and here I am thinking, I got away with something. And I’d get up to go to, I don’t know, probably the bathroom or whatever I was doing. And he’s standing at the top of the steps. And so you could are we also had credentials. So you could get into the building, you just, you know, if you want it to sit, you need a tickets, which is why we got them tickets, and my heart dropped. And so I had to go to the top of the steps, and he was actually really compassionate. And he was like, listen, I get it, like, we get all the perks, you know, you guys are kind of doing all the work behind the scenes, he was like, but there’s a way to go about it. And this wasn’t it, he was like, so I’m going to have to ask you and your friend to leave, you know, and I am going to, I’m going to have to say something and report it. You know, and it wasn’t even I think, for him, and frankly, you know, my manager the next day, and it was escalated, unfortunately, because it was considered a theft. It wasn’t even about the tickets, it was more just about the lack now that the loss of trust that they had in me, and, and even for me, it’s like, you know, I was caught red handed and I was completely wrong. And I’m so glad that happened super early on in my career, because I learned such a massive lesson lesson that honestly I I’ve shared with many people, and people are like, you’re really honest about that. I’m like, listen, nobody’s perfect. And we all make mistakes. But I would rather make a mistake that didn’t hurt anybody lose any money, you know, didn’t have drastic consequences. Except for you know, my pride was hurt, obviously. And frankly, you know, I was on probation for a little while. But he was right. You know, I could have asked for the tickets, I could have easily texted him, there was 1000 things I could have done. But I chose to, you know, go on my own accord and got caught and was completely wrong. And I promise you, Jeremy, I’ve never done anything like that since.
Jeremy Burrows 11:54
Wow. Well, thanks for sharing. Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s definitely actually posted a quick Facebook Live video this morning, on my way to work, just talking about how, you know, one of the best ways to connect with people is to admit you need help, and to ask them for help. And sometimes we have these work relationships, or neighbors or family relationships that just aren’t quite getting anywhere. And we’re just kind of putting up a facade of oh, we’ve got all together, whatever. And then it’s like we ask for help. All of a sudden, those some of those barriers crumble, and they’re like, oh, okay, you need my help. You’re, you’re not, you know, this prideful, arrogant person that I thought you were. And so anyway, appreciate you being honest.
Lindsay Robinson 12:45
Yeah, no, I think I think it’s, I think it’s important, you know, we all we all struggle, and I think, being an EA, you know, for, you know, almost 20 years. We don’t, that’s not what we do, we don’t ask for help. Like, that’s almost anti, you know, anti who we are and what we’ve been taught, but, you know, part of being at LinkedIn. I’ve realized, like, there’s the resources are insane. The support is incredible. You know, people want to help you. And it’s just not something I’m, I’m used to. But it’s it’s like, it’s almost like my, my second act or third act, if you will, because I asked for help. And I get it. And I’m like, I don’t know what to do with this, you know, but I think again, if I had just asked him, like, Hey, I see tickets are still on your desk, like, are you going to come in and take them? Are you going to get them you know, but I think also sometimes we get caught up in being behind the scenes and not feeling like we’re given enough not giving enough credit, but we’re not we’re a little bit taken for granted. And, and people that we’re doing all this work for get all the perks because you know, we see this we know what they’re getting, we know what sometimes what they make, or you know, the gifts they’re given, or that sort of thing. And people can become resentful, but I would caution anyone who’s feeling that way to, you know, reorganize your thoughts and figure out how, you know, what you can ask for, if you’re looking for that sort of thing. Or just, you know, just be point blank with whoever it is that you’re working for, and or with. Because half the time those people didn’t want to do. They’re like, I don’t want to go to this game. You want to go to this game, please take the tickets, you know, but they don’t want them to go unused, or whatever the case may be the sweet, you know, I’m trying to get on someone’s plane. So if anybody knows of that, let me know. But you know what I mean? You know, I’ve seen a lot of things in the career and it’s amazing what happens to your point when you ask for something. So.
Jeremy Burrows 14:47
So, how do you prioritize self care in the midst of a demanding role?
Lindsay Robinson 14:55
Several ways actually, this is this is like Lindsay’s question because anybody who knows me knows I’m queen of self care. So and I encourage everyone else to do that, if you looked at my LinkedIn profile, there are almost every post has some measure of like self care in there. First, I’m a runner and cyclist. And so while that seems like nuts to some people, and they’d rather poke their eyes out, that actually is fitness and cycling and running, being being pretty paramount for me are, it’s like my time. And so I do tend to work out in the morning, I get up pretty early, usually up between 530 and six. And when I was running, I was on the road by 630. Cycling, you have to be a little bit more careful. Again, I live in New York. And so there are traffic challenges. So you know, I’m doing things super early in the morning. But, but running, running has been an absolute godsend. It’s one of those things that, you know, people know, kind of, you know, not, I don’t want to say not to bother me, but they just respect it. In a way, that’s beautiful, you know, it’s like, they know, it’s my thing, my time, you know, don’t have children, I’m not married. So like, that’s my thing that they know that like, you know, don’t interrupt me during that time. And then, you know, and I’m also able to go sit with it. So you know, even though it’s, for me, it’s fun. And it’s my sanity, my kind of type A personality comes out. And I’m able to, you know, set goals to run races. It’s a hit. There’s a huge running community here in New York. And so that’s expanded my social circle in various ways. I’ve literally been all over the world running for my 40th birthday, I set a goal of running 40 races in a calendar year. And so that was pretty awesome. And I got to run all over the country all over the world, meeting different people, different run groups. And so that’s kind of my big, like, what I do for my big things, but, you know, I’m huge on again, taking advantage of where I live, New York is, you know, has got a ton of different resources that, you know, spas facials, I’m obsessed with foot rubs, it’s partly because of the running in the cycling my feet always
Jeremy Burrows 17:21
wonder why always
Lindsay Robinson 17:24
hurt. And so I’ve found, you know, two or three places that I go to that do like super cheap foot rubs, it sounds kind of creepy. Sorry, guys, but it is, you know, it’s just it’s it’s more time, and you do have to take care of your body, you know, again, is that I’d say the young people actually need to take care of their body more, because they’re less focused on it, where I’d say, you know, the older crowd knows that, like, listen, I can’t do the things I used to do and have the same results without the self care. So you know, and I always, that’s how I bond with my friends, men and women. It’s funny, because I’ve taken some of my guy friends for, you know, spa experiences, and it’s the first spa experience they’ve ever been to, and now they love it. They’re like, I hate you for turning me on to this. Because, you know, it’s, it’s now something I do all the time. And it’s you know, it can get a little costly. But for me, it’s a treat. But, you know, those are the sorts of things that I think you have to figure out what self care means to you, right? So if it’s curled up on the couch with a book, that’s amazing. If it’s going to get your hair done, great. My hair is short, doesn’t take me that long. You know, for me, the biggest thing also is scheduled time off, you know, I’m I’m a workaholic, by choice, you know, most times but scheduled time off, you know, I do take advantage. LinkedIn has a detailed policy. So I take advantage of the time that they’re offering. And I scheduled time off. I’ve luckily and amazingly been able to combine my running and vacations which I’m now calling run cations. You know, so it’s yes, you have a focus goal while you’re there, you go there a kick butt and then you know, you you chill for the rest of the time. I am. I do have an injury right now. So I’m not running but I have a scheduled half in Copenhagen in September. So I, you know, went to Berlin, Prague and Amsterdam to run late last year. So, you know, it’s really about trying to make the most of your time, but actually using the time I get so frustrated when I hear people like I don’t take vacations. I don’t I don’t ever call it a work. I’m like you’re an idiot. Like they give it to you have to do it. They give it to you for a reason. You know, and you have to do it even if Oh, I’m not going on vacation, who cares? Go home and binge watch you know, Netflix or whatever the case may be figure out something and it doesn’t have to be costly. Every city you know, and every place has some form. form of wellness, or health care programs in place to just help us get moving. But if that’s not your thing, there’s a trillion other things, you know that you can figure out. And if you can’t call me, like, connect with me on LinkedIn, I will get you moving, I will let you figure it out. I will get you on the self care movement, for sure.
Jeremy Burrows 20:20
Awesome. Awesome. So how are well not how has your travel and running and cycling? Passion conflicted with your executives or with your role in as far as maybe scheduling wise? Or, you know, have you had any of that? Or have you been kind of blessed to be in situations where they’re like, oh, yeah, take it off? Oh, yeah. You know, because I’m sure a lot of people are thinking, Oh, I could never go on those that many trips, with my job or whatever.
Lindsay Robinson 20:56
Well, yeah, again, I think, you know, every situation is going to be different. It was when I was doing the 40 races, I was caught my that year was like, my, I call it 40, for 40. And so the most amazing thing was my bosses who happened to be friends of mine as well. and own the agency really got behind me, and were giving me you know, hotel points and airline points. And I actually also combined that those trips with college tours for my niece. So I’m, you know, my niece is a huge, a huge person in my life. And I committed to her that I was going to take her on five college tours. And I happen to thank goodness, we ended up being able to run I think in three of those places that she actually wanted to see schools. But that year, they were super supportive, because it was a lot of running, I was taking off almost every other Friday, sometimes that Thursday, depending on like a packet pickup or something, some weird nuance of a race, which anybody who runs understands those annoying things when when you can’t figure those out. But you know what, to me, it’s, it’s painful and hard to hear when I encounter you know, other EAS who don’t have the same don’t have any flexibility. And that and I think, you know, I don’t know that I could thrive in that sort of environment. If if I wasn’t being fulfilled, personally, then I probably would be miserable professionally. For me, you know, both go hand in hand. And when I’m miserable at work, I’m miserable at home. So there has to be an equal balance does, it’s not always, you know, 100% balanced, but I think you do the best that you can, but you also have to find an environment that, that helps you with that. And you have to find people around you to support you, you know, so it’s, it’s about finding people in the organization, or around you who, you know, really want to support your goals. And when they’re not, you know, calling them out on it. Because I don’t know, I think that your life is too short, you know, as we’re continuously seeing, and we all have to make money, and we all have to to have a job, and all those sorts of things. But I don’t know, I also feel like sometimes again, getting back to the asking for things, like if if your boss knows how important this is to you, and he still isn’t willing to kind of bend or or, you know, maybe even at just ask you to, to reorg it because that’s had to happen. I had a race and they were like, you know, something, I couldn’t run it because of some conference that came up that I needed to attend, you know, there were at least flexible, they’re like, alright, well, we’ll, you know, help you check pay for your change fee, or, you know, it was it was it was a group effort. It was a joint effort, and they made allowances to help me and I think that’s why I was there was there nine years, you know, at my previous job 11. Because it you know, they showed you that they showed me that I was important to them. And I think we are more in that culture these days, I think the days of, of, of the crazy intern stories in the running out, you know, for coffee and wild things. I’m hoping some of that is over. But again, I think you need to make sure that your worlds are as balanced as possible. And that’s going to mean different things to different people. But ask for what you need. And if you don’t get it, you know, start keeping a little checklist because maybe it’s maybe it’s not the right place for you. Right and I’ve heard you say that, you know, in other places that I’ve heard plenty of conversations around, you know, maybe This is not the right job and or the right leader for you to be associated with. So those things are real.
Jeremy Burrows 25:05
Yeah, definitely. So tell us a little bit about your career, like, how did you end up at the NBA? First of all, and you’re there for a long time. So most people don’t stay at a company longer than I don’t know what the average is three or four years. So yeah, how did you end up there and in the New Year at the next company, for a long time, as well, so maybe just talk about how you ended up in the NBA and then just kind of being at companies for that long, you just kind of touched on some of it, obviously, like they were flexible and supportive. So of course, you want to continue, you want to keep that environment. Yeah.
Lindsay Robinson 25:43
The NBA happen through networking. And so you know, the the theme throughout my life has just been I’ve been surrounded by and associated with amazing people. So I had an internship, one summer for Echo Unlimited, I’m not sure if everybody remembers that, but was a pretty big clothing brand. And the I got that internship, because I babysat for the marketing director. And so when it’s time for me to get quote, unquote, my real job, he was like, why don’t you just come try it out at Echo happened to be in South River, New Jersey. My home, I’m from Red Bank, New Jersey, they were about 2030 minutes away. So it worked. His name was James. James wanted to he’s still, like, was a visionary, still a visionary. He wanted to do some patchwork jackets with the NBA. And so my job at the time, or my charge for that summer was to figure out who we needed to talk to at the NBA. And because we needed a license, essentially. And so, you know, calling around and I know nobody at this point, you know, my college student calling around and I finally, you know, link up with someone and they point me in the right direction, and we land on this woman, Christian. And so Chrissa is not in licensing, but she is in the player development department. And so she helps, you know, she basically knows everybody, you know, she’s another connector, as I say, I have a lot of connectors in my life. And I feel like I’ve started to become that throughout my career as well. But Chrissa loved the idea. I thought it was amazing, connected us with whoever it was in the was global merchandising at the time GMG. They put us together and we were able to get the jackets made. And so I kept in touch with Chrissa and thought she was great. There was another guy George in the department who was younger. But he and I really kind of hit it off. Because we were you know, the the grunt workers we were doing the actual work. And James, I think maybe a year later actually left, left echo and started a startup and went into the tech world and engaged this guy, George, he and George became really close. George was in in the Player Development Development Department as well. And as startups do, you know, it lasted maybe a year I was working almost full time for James even though it was still in school. And so at last I was in my senior year that lasted a year. And then right at the end of my of my senior year, the startup like failed, you know, ran out of funding, and they were spending crazy money and all that, you know, all the things that startups did, but this will happen to be in New York. And so I started reaching out and George was one of the first people I reached out to went and had lunch with him in New York, I was at Montclair State, so it’s just a train ride in UBL was in the city. And so one day, I just asked him, if I could come over and chat with him. It took about May I want to say like, six, eight months of, you know, just figuring it out, you know, the the internet wasn’t what it was certainly wasn’t LinkedIn, you know, if it was like Yahoo jobs, or something that I was going through, but something like them, and you know, again, not a youngin. But all that to say, George ended up deciding to leave. And so I was the first call that he made when he was going to leave and said, Listen, you know, the, they want to split the role up, it would be an administrative assistant to the department and then some other role. He was like, I think you’d be great for the assistant role. So I went in and I interviewed again took like, another like four to five months. miracIe like the craziest stories at the HR person was on vacation. When I got the backstory of like, Come on, I’m on my mom’s couch like you guys are killing me. But got in and was there 11 years. And so, you know, learned a ton you know, worked under a woman which I ended up working for Chrissa and For such Sanders, who’s a legend in the game, you know, Boston Celtics coach that Harvard won a ton of rings with Bill Russell, like Bill Russell will come into the office. And it was like, you know, my two grandpa’s in there. It just it was it was a surreal experience. And being a fan, I mean, just to tell you how much a fan I was my best friend, and I laugh all the time, because we actually met at the NBA. My email address on my resume to the NBA was love J kid five, which is Jason Kidd, who was my favorite player, you know, like hotmail.com. And I can’t achieve like, I can’t believe you got through with that. And I’m like, Yeah, you know, the skills speak for themselves, I guess, but was a huge fan and being able to work in that department. As you know, the league was changing, and the complexity of the players was changing was an amazing opportunity. You know, we worked on all the off the court skill or off the court life skills programming. So essentially, I was an education, I was like, you know, we still call ourselves kind of the guidance counselor’s of the league. We did the transition program, we did pre draft programs, we did, you know, work with, you know, behind the bench, which is a wise organization. I mean, just, you know, stuff you just dream of, you know, but everybody has a point where it’s like, okay, I need more. And, you know, it took a long time, took took a long time, because you get super comfortable, and then you’re like, I don’t even know what else I’m capable of doing. I’ve been doing this so long, you know, and you joke about the babysitting. And I was like, I’ve been babysitting, you know, millionaires for 10 years, and what do I do next. But I looked into personal assistant, you know, being purse, somebody’s personal assistant, so I could work with one person and kind of, you know, get to know them and do that. And, you know, the more I looked at that role, the more I realized I would, I would have no life. So, you know, when I was still young, and it was kind of cool, but I kind of got the best of the best of both worlds, working in my next role, because it not only elevated my skill set, because they just gave me complete autonomy for things I thought I’d never do. But I worked for, you know, two of my best friends, they were a husband and wife. I definitely was their personal assistant on top of their executive assistant, they had one son at the time. Now they have to, but it was, the NBA was was quite a place. I traveled all over the world and with the China with jamming, I mean, you know, I, I, I was, you know, I, it’s hard to bring up but you know, I did spend time with Kobe. You know, there’s some, some, some tragedy there. But all I remember is like super amazing things, and no, you know, legacy will will live on. But you know, I just got to do things that you never think you know, you think are not real. And it helped me accelerate my growth and really solidify what it means to be a professional, you know, under some of the hardest circumstances. So I’ll be forever grateful for the process and the protocol that developed while I was there.
Jeremy Burrows 33:12
That’s great. So now, fast forward a few years now you’re at LinkedIn. How Yeah, how’s it? How’s it been? And kind of maybe how did you get into LinkedIn? And what what are the takeaways? Or maybe the differences even working at LinkedIn versus your prior roles?
Lindsay Robinson 33:34
Yeah, I think so when I left the NBA went to a small experiential marketing agency called Team epiphany. And it was about 15 people, when I started, it was about 75, with an additional office in Portland, Oregon, when I left, and that was I was there eight and a half years. And so my role once again, changed drastically from kind of day, one to day, whatever that was, you know, eight and a half years later. But I think, wanting I didn’t know that I wanted to, you know, LinkedIn wasn’t a goal, per se, but change and someone else being responsible for structure was like, that was the goal. I was given, you know, again, I worked for two of my best friends who ran a fantastic agency. But you know, a small business really comes with a lot of do it yourself. And, you know, I know you talk a lot about burnout on the show, and I was burnt out, you know, I was there wasn’t a lot of growth opportunity there just because of the structure of the company. And you know, when you’re good at something, you know, people are coming to you constantly, and I kind of do joke that the one time that I was interrupted during a race because typically I keep my phone off and all that for some reason. My phone was just ringing or ringing ringing. It was on a 19 mile race. Well, I had to do 19 Miles I was training for the marathon. So we flew to Dayton, Ohio, you know, you’re just gonna think I’m a crazy crazier person than you probably already do with my friends and I flew to to Dayton, Ohio, we’re going to do a 10k and a half back to back, because we had to do 90 miles. We’re like, oh, just, you know, that sounds fun. In like, the middle of summer. I’m on my, like 15 or 16, like, I’m almost done ish. And my phone is going crazy. And it’s the super, of the building that we’re currently in, we had the way that our elevator worked, you know, a lot of elevators in New York, come right into the floor. And it was a manual elevator. And because I left on Thursday, not Friday, and locked up, somebody forgot to lock it over the weekend, because you know, somebody is always responsible. But of course, when I’m out there, you know, s hits the fan. And honestly, at that point, I was like, I’m done. Like, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t be responsible for everybody. And that was a middle of the summer. And I kind of just like, you know, there was there were definitely other more serious things. But, you know, I think we all have our breaking point. And I just I saw growth and put it out there in the world, I have an amazing network of people. This one actually came from a really close friend who worked for my current boss’s wife, previously, you know, and I went to interview. And it was such a casual chill conversation was like talking to my uncle. So weirdest thing I’ve ever been, you know, when I’m sitting in a full cafeteria in the middle of New York, and I’m like, what, like, where am I? They’ve got a coffee bar. And like, everybody’s happy. And like, you know, there’s breakfast breakfast service, and like fresh squeezed orange juice. And I’m like, you know, I heard about Google, and you heard about Facebook, and you heard about all these things. I’m like, Oh, this is, this is what they were talking about, okay. But what I walked away with was, you know, there are other really cool opportunities out there and not to be fearful of allowing yourself to take advantage of those opportunities. Because again, I was in a situation where I was somewhere for nine years, super comfy, making a great salary, doing whatever I wanted coming in, when I wanted leaving when I wanted, blah, blah, blah, but I wasn’t fulfilled, or had stopped being fulfilled is the better way to say that. And so landing at LinkedIn, I say, you know, when people ask me, I’m like, I work at Disneyland. Like, you know, they are so hyper focused on their employees, it’s almost uncomfortable. Some days, you’re like, Okay, I can’t take Okay, yeah, I can take another ice cream, it’s fine. Like, yeah, of course, I want another sweatshirt, you know, but it’s more than that. It’s, it’s the culture that they create, you know, we use culture so freely today. But, you know, it’s, it’s, you know, the access to health care, the access to perks, the access to mental, you know, mental health awareness, there’s just so much going on all the time. There’s something for everybody on top of the fact that they feed us every day, and the fact that, you know, they offer free health care, because they know that that’s paramount in most people’s lives. And then the things that that fall under those buckets, you know, and then just the people like, I literally was, like, people can’t be this nice. We’re in New York, like, you know, like, come on. Like,
Jeremy Burrows 38:23
we’re, like, you’re in the Midwest or anything, you know, no,
Lindsay Robinson 38:26
like, you know, I expect Jeremy to be nice, like, like, we’re in New York, and it was an A year and a half later, I can promise you, it’s only gotten better. And people told me that and, of course, you know, my cynical self. I didn’t believe them. But, you know, the work is ever changing. It’s challenging, you’re not limited just to your daily job. You know, you’re there really are employee resource groups, we call them args that you could take advantage of. There are tons and tons of volunteer opportunities. You know, there’s just speaking engagements, you know, I’m doing going to down to DC to speak to the NFLPA about how to, you know, we call them call it rocking your profile. And so, you know, I’m just an EA in a department, but I’m given the same opportunities that, you know, what would normally be held in a company for, you know, someone of a higher level doesn’t matter. It’s like, if you’ve got the skill set, go do it. And they encourage you to do it. And a lot of this stuff happens in our office. So it’s not like you have to take a full day off, because a lot of people again, don’t have that luxury. You know, they’re bringing all the opportunities to us. And then we have this incredible thing called in day, which is basically one Friday a month that’s, like programmed with a theme. And so this last end day was think big or dream big. And they program the entire day and it’s across all offices. So nobody’s expected to quote unquote, work. You’re not supposed to, you know, ask for meetings and that sort of thing. There’s obviously nuances that have to be taken care of or you know, Things that emergencies that fall, fall in there, but you know, it’s a day for yourself. So whatever dreaming big means to you, great, my boss led a mindful meditation class, followed by a Compassionate Leadership chat. I mean, it’s just, you know, you’re literally like, I’m the luckiest person on the planet to work someplace where they just constantly day in and day out, put their employees first. You know, and I think the other really interesting and important thing that they do as a company is just the communication. You know, again, we have an all hands every two weeks, I believe, you know, where Jeff talks about everything that’s going on, you know, top line, and then each each of you know, many different leaders get on and talk about what’s going on in the business. Because again, you can get very pigeonholed in, in what you do day to day, and how only how it affects you. But, you know, between the amount of newsletters that go out, you know, you’re, you’re really encouraged to attend the all hands on person. And they showcase different talent before. So you see your co workers up there singing, dancing, you know, tap dancing, this one guy did it and drag that was amazing. You know, and I think that’s the other thing, you know, no, your your, the, everyone’s dressed differently, looks differently, you know, speaks differently, and it’s all accepted, you know, and no one’s no one’s judged based on any of that there is they’re almost encouraged to be there, their whole authentic self, we talk about that all the time. And, again, landing here, you know, 18 years into my career. I’m like, I don’t know what I did. But I think, you know, I think I’m super grateful every single day, because it really is, it’s an amazing place.
Jeremy Burrows 41:53
So can you share a tip on Rockin Your profile,
Lindsay Robinson 41:57
you know, the thing with, with your, it’s going to be different for different people. So you know, it’s going to be if you’re a job seeker, it’s obviously making sure that your experience lines up with what you’re actually looking for, you know, making sure that those keywords are all throughout your profile. So you know, because it’s all an algorithm, right? So, you know, you want to make sure that those keywords are in there to make sure that the algorithm is catching exactly what you want to do. Notifications are important, and actually being active on the platform is huge. That’s across the board. You know, it’s it’s, it’s not the some people are disturbed by the lack of, you know, thumbs up, or smiley faces or whatever the things that they get. But I just tell people keep at it, you know, it’s not a, it’s not an immediate engagement sort of place, it’s more of a focus on engagement. My girlfriend literally just texted me tonight, like, are my settings correct, because I haven’t gotten any responses on my email, or on my post, I said, just give it a minute, it’s, it’s weird how people will go back and spend a little time on different things. It’s not necessarily in the moment, it’s not, it’s not like some other platforms where you get that instant engagement, so but when you do, it’s going to be more focused and kind of thoughtful engagement. And then I say, as a general, you know, as someone who’s looking to build their brand, it’s about talking about yourself, either through thought leadership pieces, so that’s our long form posting, where you’re just kind of giving, I call them term papers, you know, or you’re putting your term paper on there about a topic or you’re reposting, you know, other other people who are talking about, sorry, are talking about a topic. And, you know, just giving your thoughts, everything doesn’t have to be your own, you don’t have to own everything, you know, a lot of what people do is just repost what others have already put out there and then kind of add their little, you know, their little engagement to it. And that’s, you know, equally it’s equally thoughtful. You know, it’s the word I get all the time is I’m just so overwhelmed. And we understand that, but I think if you just go step by step, you know, there’s a little there’s a little button that says, edit my profile. And if you literally just follow those steps, you know, one by one, you’re gonna have a full profile, but it’s really just about using it, it’s getting on every day, it’s using the editorial side, it’s looking at the what other people are posting, it’s about following companies, brands, you know, people in your industry things that interest you like, that’s what’s gonna really populate what we call our flagship, which is the main page. You know, you just got to use it, gotta get on and use it. You know, I say, take a little bit less time on on some of the other platforms and and spend a little bit of time on LinkedIn, and I think it’ll pay off dividends.
Jeremy Burrows 44:49
Yeah, it’s definitely changed my life and career. Ever since I was in between jobs and hopped on LinkedIn and was like, wow, people are actually using this and Gage, like I’ve been missing out. So I’ve been kind of, I swung the pendulum the opposite direction. And I’ve been all in on LinkedIn for the last four years or so. So
Lindsay Robinson 45:09
that’s awesome. I mean, I see, you know, obviously, I see, I’ve seen your profile. And, you know, it’s one of those things where it’s hard to, it’s hard to, it’s a hard sell for some people, they’re 610 million members, 30 million companies and 20 million jobs, you know, where else are you going to get that kind of those kinds of numbers. So I just happen to have my, my, my deck in front of me. But it’s true when you see those sorts of numbers, you know, and the other thing is, it’s always a work in progress. So it’s not one of those things where, you know, you set it and forget it, it’s like, you really have to keep engaging, because new people are getting on every day, we’re signing new accounts or signing new schools, you know, new groups are being started. It’s really, it’s, it’s something that you can continue to do, you know, for as long as you want. But you do have to treat it a little differently, depending on if you’re a job seeker, or if you’re more kind of just brand oriented and wanting to get your brand out there. But the principles at the base of the same?
Jeremy Burrows 46:13
Yeah. Awesome. Well, let’s, let’s wrap up this awesome conversation with the question, what makes an assistant a leader?
Lindsay Robinson 46:25
I think, you know, we should be encouraging, people are constantly coming to us for resources. And so I think you have to encourage people to use that like, to come to you to be the resource. And to and to be confident in that, you know, I think a lot of times where we think of ourselves as behind the scenes, you know, the wizard behind the curtain, if you will, and we are, right, but I think more and more, we’re getting opportunities to really step up and step out. And we shouldn’t shy away from those, that’s what’s going to, like, you know, pour into your leadership bucket. I think just doing what we do every day, makes us leaders, you know, we’re in an elevated position, because, again, we have that information power, you know, I sit across from a VP, I sit across from our Senior VP, who leads the entire LMS, or LinkedIn marketing solutions group. And I’m seeing everything that’s going around. So I think sometimes we take for granted the access that we’re given. But with that access comes responsibility. So I think in order to to continue being a leader, or to really grasp that role, if to take everything that you’re that you’re given, and really try to help, you know, it’s like, if we’re not helping people, then I don’t know that we’re doing our job that well, you know, and it doesn’t have to be to scale, as I say, you know, you may, you may have a small office, it doesn’t matter, like everyone in the office should know that you’re the person to come to, and when they come to you, it shouldn’t be huffing and puffing that you’re being disturbed or taken away from your tasks. You know, you may have to say, hey, you know what, I can’t get to that this minute. But I think people are looking to you as a resource. And therefore you you become a leader, but you have to, you have to stir that pot, you know, you have to you have to continue to make it happen, because it can very easily go away. People know right away when when you don’t want to be bothered, or you’re unapproachable. And that’s the worst thing. I think that you could be as an assistant, frankly, as a person in general, but definitely as an assistant.
Jeremy Burrows 48:41
Definitely. Awesome, Lindsey. Well, I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to be on the show. It’s been a great conversation. I really enjoyed hearing your story and your passion. And yeah, just your wisdom for assistance.
Lindsay Robinson 48:57
Yeah, thank you. I mean, what you’re doing is incredible. I was, you know, I came upon you through another, you know, EA resource and it’s, it’s been incredible, it really has changed my viewpoint. And again, I feel like I’m not alone. For many years, it just felt like I was kind of on an island and having to do everything on my own. And, you know, this community this EA community is, is so powerful, we have to stick together and we have to be our each other’s resources. So thank you for providing this platform and being genuinely just such an awesome human being.
Jeremy Burrows 49:30
Thank you appreciate it, of course and I’m glad to provide listening material for your runs.
Lindsay Robinson 49:40
Yeah, for sure.
Jeremy Burrows 49:41
Although you might have to speed up my voice because you know, if you if you need to be pumped up for those last few miles,
Lindsay Robinson 49:48
you know, these days, I’m taking it easy, so I think it’d be alright. But again, with the shortened time sometimes I’m trying to listen to my podcasts on my run, get as much information in and you know, so it’s all relative, all relative.
Jeremy Burrows 49:58
Alright, Is there anything the listeners can do to support you? Or how can they reach out to you?
Lindsay Robinson 50:06
LinkedIn is obviously the best and easiest way to do it. You know, I’m under Lindsay Robinson. And I think, you know, in terms of support, I think, you know, I don’t have anything really happening so much this year, but if I am looking for more EAS in the New York and New Jersey area, to just get kind of, you know, more resources. And so, you know, always looking to host something at the office. So we’d love for people to reach out to me, if you’re in the area, and let’s try to get a little happy hour going or, you know, a little focus group going because I think we have so much to learn from each other, you know, and I have the space and I have the passion. So let’s get going.
Jeremy Burrows 50:45
Yeah, sounds great. Well, thanks again, and I’ll put your LinkedIn profile on the show notes so people can find you easily and yeah, we’ll, we’ll talk soon. Wonderful. Thanks
Lindsay Robinson 50:54
so much, Jeremy. Have a great night.
Jeremy Burrows 50:56
Thanks again, Lindsey. For a great episode. Everyone can check out her LinkedIn profile link in the show notes at leaderassistant.com/66 Leaderassistant.com/66 And again, please check out my book, which releases this week leaderassistantbook.com Talk to you next time.
Podcast Intro 51:32
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