An executive assistant is someone who helps an executive or manager with their tasks. They typically handle administrative duties, such as scheduling meetings and arranging phone calls, in addition to more specialized tasks like setting up trade shows and arranging catering for events. The executive assistant career path is an excellent option for those looking to enter the business world. Executive assistants are often the first person a company’s CEO, COO, or other high-ranking official interacts with.
They must be able to handle a wide range of responsibilities, from managing calendars and correspondence to providing administrative support. This person often has an intimate knowledge of the company’s inner workings, as well as those of their boss’s life.
What is an Executive Assistant?
An executive assistant is a temporary employee who is responsible for fulfilling many administrative tasks for an individual or organization. Most commonly, a “secretary” job description is what people think of when they think of an executive assistant, but the actual job is quite different.
Since the office is usually understaffed, a few people may be willing to do whatever it takes to get things done. A middle management executive assistant is usually someone that has experience in human resources, accounting or finance, or some combination of the three.
The job description usually includes responsibilities such as scheduling meetings, dealing with personnel issues, updating a boss’s calendar, and taking care of the paperwork.
Career paths for executives and assistants
Once you know your executive assistant salary range, you need to figure out where you want to work for the rest of your career. When you’re in your mid-to-late-20s, you should strongly consider a corporate career path.
Now, let’s figure out how you should take steps to advance in your career? First, and foremost, never take a job just because it sounds great. You need to focus on what you love, what you’re good at, and what you’re passionate about.
That way, you can make a great career in whatever field you choose. As your skills develop, you’ll have the ability to choose the type of work environment you want to work in, which will lead to promotions. If you like to read, then you’ll probably want to choose an office environment.
Here we have discussed some skills to develop to become a successful EA-
- Be efficient and organized
The executive assistant is the key to managing an executive’s time, schedules, and workload. They are the ones who make sure everything goes according to plan. If you want to be an efficient and organized executive assistant, here are some tips for success.
- Work ethically: As an assistant, your reputation is on the line with every move. Make sure that what you do reflects positively on your boss’s reputation.
- Set achievable goals: You can break projects down into small steps that won’t take up too much of your time or energy at one time. This will ensure that you finish tasks efficiently without any hiccups along the way.
- Use discretion in this position
The executive assistant is a crucial part of the company. They are the right-hand person to the CEO and they can be instrumental in making or breaking a business. You’ve got to be able to use discretion when in this position and not just say yes to everything.
Use discretion when in this position and not just say yes to everything. But, don’t be so cautious that you miss out on opportunities for growth or success.
- Being proactive
A successful executive assistant understands the advantages of being proactive. In addition to being well-organized and working efficiently, a well-planned approach is a key to the success of any meeting.
When you anticipate what might happen in a meeting, you can prepare for it ahead of time. This means that your boss will have a much better experience and things will flow smoothly without feeling rushed or unprepared.
- Having emotional intelligence
The role of an executive assistant may sound simple, but it requires a lot of emotional intelligence. For example, you will be assisting the CEOs or other executives with sensitive or difficult tasks that they may not be able to complete themselves due to how busy they are.
You will also be listening to their thoughts and ideas, which you need to understand quickly to make suggestions. And lastly, you will take care of errands for them, which can include making reservations for dinner, finding flights or hotels for business trips, making copies of documents, and completing other tasks as needed.
Some people think that being an executive assistant is all about doing things behind the scenes. But your work is just as important as anyone else’s.
- Be resourceful
As an executive assistant, it’s your job to know how to be resourceful. Resourcefulness is the ability to come up with new ideas and solutions for problems within a short amount of time. It’s a valuable skill that can help you increase productivity and manage stress.
When you’re resourceful, you’ll feel less like a cog in the machine and more like a valuable part of the team.
- Big-picture thinking
As an executive assistant, one of the most important skills you can quickly master is big-picture thinking. It’s about establishing and maintaining a strategic mindset to think like the CEO and anticipate his or her needs.
This skill is important in any position, but especially in an executive assistant role where you are often the gatekeeper to the CEO. So what does it take to be a successful big-picture thinker? First, understand that you’ll need more than just a general understanding of the different industries and sectors of your organization.
You’ll need specific knowledge about the company’s strategy, goals, and requirements for success. Next, focus on collecting intel from your industry contacts and internal sources. Lastly, stay updated with daily news from your industry.
It doesn’t matter what your job is, three big-picture thinking skills can make you more valuable. These skills are essential for every executive assistant and other administrative professionals.
First, you should know how to prioritize tasks. You should be able to weed out the important ones from the unimportant ones. Second, it’s best to use your time wisely while you’re working on these tasks.
Knowing when to take a break and when to get back at it will also serve you well. Finally, you need to understand how to keep an eye on the future by foreseeing problems before they happen, or by planning ahead of time for upcoming events.
- Critical thinking skill
A true success of any executive assistant is their ability to think critically and analyze data. This includes being able to identify the problem, analyze the situation, come up with a solution, and implement it.
It’s an important skill to have for anyone looking to get ahead in the workplace. As more positions are created that use critical thinking skills, competition can be fierce. Even if you do have analytical skills, there may be others who are better at them than you are. That’s where your resume comes in!
Successful executives have more than just business acumen. They also need to be able to think critically and analytically. The ability to identify risks, understand the consequences of a decision or action, and evaluate different approaches is often called critical thinking.
It’s a skill that is becoming increasingly more important in the modern workforce.
- Communication skill
Are you in the market for a new job? Are you looking for a position that will help you develop your communication skills? If you are, then researching executive assistant jobs might be right up your alley.
What better place to hone your communication skills than by working in an environment where clear and effective communication is key?
The role of an executive assistant is all about being the perfect liaison to the company’s executives.
This means providing them with administrative support, scheduling meetings, managing their time, taking care of issues that arise, and more. It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s well worth it if you want to learn how to communicate effectively!
EA job description and responsibilities
An executive assistant is someone who usually handles confidential work for senior executives, such as top management. The responsibilities of an executive assistant may include some or all of the following:
- Managing the boss’s schedule and meeting arrangements
- Answering phones and taking messages.
- Sorting and distributing incoming mail
- Arranging travel plans and itineraries
- Handling secretarial tasks, such as typing, copying, filing, faxing, and sorting documents
- Maintaining a database of important company information
- Handling supplies orders for the office
- Expected: Background in project management and/or critical thinking.
- Experience using Microsoft Excel and Word Desired.
- Quick learner with great communication skills.
- Ability to be detail-oriented and accurate.
- Ability to manage multiple projects at one time and prioritize deadlines.
- Ability to multi-task and manage a busy workload.
- Self-motivated, able to find and follow through with tasks, including following up with all parties, and communicating follow-up progress.
- Works well with others.
- Communicate, plan, organize and prioritize tasks to meet business needs.
- Help coordinate social events, make phone calls and deal with public and personal emergencies.
- Be available 24/7 and schedule flexible working hours.
- Speak and write clearly, accurately.
What makes a great executive assistant?
First and foremost, the best executive assistants are positive, cheerful, service-oriented, and know-how to listen. They have strong interpersonal skills. They will not only be able to answer calls and messages but will be able to give direction to incoming callers.
They have to be able to assist with research, excel in financial literacy, collaborate with other members of the team to stay on top of things and be the face of the business, the one that helps get people on the same page.
Other valuable skills to possess are the ability to quickly shift gears, can juggle a schedule full of commitments, and be able to enjoy a schedule full of social gatherings. As a company grows, the responsibilities of an executive assistant grow as well.
Being an executive assistant is a prestigious job. They are often the gatekeeper of the office, taking care of the administrative tasks that are necessary to keep an office running smoothly. They are often required to be highly organized, detail-oriented, and multitask.
However, some may wonder how much they’ll earn as an executive assistant. The average salary for an executive assistant is $47,000 annually with a range between $30k-$80k. People who have less than five years of experience will average at $36k annually while people with more than ten years of experience will average at about $60,000 annually.
Now that you know what an executive assistant’s responsibilities are and what a typical pay range is, it’s time to begin the hunt for your new career. Just remember, the interview is the most important part of the process, and no one will remember how well or badly you perform on a presentation or project.
Becoming an executive assistant can be a great career move. You’ll get to work on projects with people in the industry, while also learning about different aspects of the business. But it’s not easy to get past the resume pile and make it to the interview.
After all, you are competing with other high-achieving professionals that want the same job. You need to show that your skills are perfect for the position and tell employers why they should hire you over others.
Frequently asked questions
Question 1.) Is EA a lifetime job?
Answer- Of course not! You can do so much with an executive assistant position.
Question 2.) Is choosing an executive assistant career is a good option?
Answer- Yes, You’ll need to have good multi-tasking skills and the ability to learn quickly.
Question 3.) Is an EA job stressful?
Answer- No, but maybe if you don’t like your job.
Question 4.) How hard is it to become an executive assistant?
Answer- Being an executive assistant can be tough, but it’s also rewarding.