Being an executive assistant is more than just being the right hand to the boss you are supporting. The job entails wearing many hats, some at the same time.
The job description varies and covers a wide range of responsibilities, but they essentially all boil down to making sure your executive’s life is on track. From managing e-mails, tracking meetings, to even more complex projects: being an executive assistant is no walk in the park.
It fits that an executive assistant is referred to as a superhero without the cape. Every successful executive has an efficient and hard-working assistant making sure that the ship sails with no hiccups. Think of it as having a very powerful behind-the-scenes role in the company.
As part from making sure everything runs smoothly, executive assistants juggle multiple responsibilities. However, the most important of all has to be management. One of your main functions is to make sure that your boss stays on top of everything, ensuring that every matter is addressed.
Since the boss you’ll be assisting is most likely one that has a high-pressure job, it’s incredibly vital that you don’t overlook anything. One small mistake can cause a butterfly effect that negatively impacts the whole company.
Now that you’ve got acquainted with just how important your role is, what are the necessary traits you’ll need to succeed at this job?
We’ve rounded up the top three characteristics you need to know by heart in order to become a trusted and reliable executive assistant. Read on to find out:
It goes without saying that being absent-minded is something you should never be with this job. As an executive assistant, a bulk of your job relies on your ability to organise your time and work efficiently and smartly.
You should always be mindful of the date, and keep track of your executive’s appointments, meetings, deadlines, and anything that he or she needs to be on top of. This means that the calendar will be your best friend, and you should update as you go along.
As your boss’s job is fast-paced, yours will be too. You’ll need to have a system that works for you in order to be able to accomplish things in a fast and effective manner. It will be essential for you to prepare and organise your boss’s needs, and have the foresight to be ready with whatever he or she will need.
From files, to dates, to tasks, it will be vital for you to make sure that everything is balanced out to avoid any conflict or problems that may arise.
As an executive assistant, you’ll be the first person that clients, customers, or visitors will meet before being face-to-face with your boss. You’ll essentially be the gatekeeper, and this is the reason why you need to be able to communicate effectively.
You need to be able to represent your company and the executive you work for well. Doing this will foster a more positive impression to the people you meet, boosting the company’s image.
Aside from people outside of the company, you should also be able to foster a good relationship with your co-workers. Being an executive assistant means that you’re not just limited to one department, and you get to work with other people.
If you have good working relationships with people in the company, you’ll be able to get a good pulse of what the employees think. This will make you a good sounding board and make your input valuable to your boss in case he asks for it.
The truth about being an executive assistant is that no matter how many modules you read and no matter how many classes you take, you’ll never be fully ready for the challenges and surprises the job will throw at you.
The most important thing you need to have in your arsenal is your ability to adapt to situations. As this job requires you to tailor your skills to your executive, you need to be able to roll with the punches, and learn what you will need in order to support your boss well.
From learning new technology to make work more efficient, to adjusting to routines, you have to be flexible enough for change. The end goal is to make your executive’s work flow more smoothly, and learning skills and applications to bolster that will be something you’ll need to do.
If you’re ready to jumpstart your career as an executive assistant, take our top three qualities to heart and into practice.
The key is to prepare well to perform well. It’s actually admirable to go beyond the call of duty, and if you want to excel at being an executive assistant, we recommend that you do just that. Observe efficient assistants, read up on articles, and maybe even consider enrolling in training courses in the Netherlands!
We’re sure that with enough preparation and determination, you’ll be up the corporate ladder in no time.