Melinda Vail Goodnight, Senior Executive Assistant at Southwest Airlines once found herself in the all too common and uncomfortable position of being somewhere where she didn’t feel valued while supporting someone that she knew didn’t truly embrace the Administrative role. The idea that a highly-skilled Executive Assistant could have an enormous impact on a Leader and Organization? Lost on her boss, and likely never to be found. Faced with the decision to stay at a job that paid well, was five minutes from her home (but caused her enormous stress) or enter into the abyss of the unknown that often comes with change, Melinda chose to consider new opportunities which lead her to her dream job. Where? At a place that they say is harder to get into than Harvard – Southwest Airlines.

This episode of Backbone Live talks about when it’s time to make that change, what to look for in the next opportunity to ensure the Admin role is truly valued and invested in, and why it’s important to network as an Administrative Professional. Those topics and a few tangents make up this episode of Backbone LIVE!


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The Backbone Blog is all about the modern Admin. Created by the Admin Awards, Backbone is all about leveling up and inspiring Admins to do their very best work. It’s also about overcoming outdated stereo-types about the profession and those that serve in it. We work hard to tell the stories of innovators, change agents, thought leaders and pioneers who area making a phenomenal impact to their organizations and profession and inspire others in the process. We believe the best ideas and insights come from Administrative Professionals themselves, so that’s what you’ll find here.