The role of an Executive Assistant (EA) is always evolving, keeping pace with the wider executive environment. They manage diaries, book travel arrangements, run errands, arrange meetings and appointments – the modern EA has vital and ever-expanding responsibilities.
Today’s new duties include conducting training for administrative staff, managing events, supporting more executives or a bigger team, even going as far as making decisions on behalf of the business.
While skills like being detail-oriented, articulate and independent are essential, a great EA needs abilities that go further — multi-tasking, organising, prioritising, and delegating tasks when they need to.
Providing strong support
Simply put, EAs need to learn how to help their boss be productive and successful. They need to learn how the company runs, remember their boss’ preferences and anticipate needs to foster a strong working relationship.
EAs can remain competitive by upgrading their skills. For example, if management is active on Twitter, taking a free online course on social media engagement could really help their career growth. Coursera is an online learning channel supported by top worldwide universities, including Stanford and Duke University, which provides free courses from many specialisations.
Attending conferences is also a great way to mingle with other professionals and discover how fellow colleagues are adapting to perform better in the role.
New doors and responsibilities
When an assistant is capable at the job, new doors open up for them. Many clients or hiring managers ask for candidates who are able to handle more than one set of responsibilities. Consider these additional responsibilities as an opportunity to achieve more and take the next step up the ladder.
Current market trends point to a rising demand for EAs among private equity, consulting and technology firms, which are all experiencing rapid growth.
To secure a position in these industries, candidates should be confident in demonstrating how their experience and skill set aligns with the organisation, and how they can build a relationship with their supervisor. They should also understand the challenges predominant in the industry.