The Evolution of the Executive Assistant

From secretaries in Mad Men era to highly skilled professionals today, executive assistants have become an integral part of many organizations. Learn more about their evolution.

The Evolution of the Executive Assistant

The role of the executive assistant has evolved significantly over the years. From the secretaries of the Mad Men era to the highly skilled professionals of today, executive assistants have become an integral part of many organizations. Executive assistants, also known as executive secretaries, administrative assistants, or personal assistants, are responsible for a variety of administrative and office tasks. They organize files, write messages, schedule appointments, and support the rest of the staff.

In addition to these traditional duties, executive assistants are now expected to have a wide range of skills and competencies that are not found at other levels of the management profession. Technologies such as email, voicemail, mobile devices, and online calendars have allowed managers at all levels to operate with a greater degree of self-sufficiency. At the same time, companies have faced enormous pressure to reduce costs, reduce headcount, and flatten organizational structures. As a result, the number of attendants at the lowest corporate levels has declined in most companies.

However, effective assistants can make enormous contributions to productivity at every level of the organization. A good assistant quickly learns what an executive needs, what their strengths and weaknesses are, what can cause anger or stress, and how to best adapt to their personal style. The most effective executives reflect deeply on the parts of their workload that can be taken over or restructured so that they are partially taken over by the assistant. Today's executive assistants are expected to be highly skilled professionals who can anticipate and manipulate results to improve them.

They must be able to learn new languages and technologies in order to work effectively in global corporations. After years of cutbacks, companies can increase productivity by providing more managers with this type of help. Executives who are fortunate enough to have a qualified assistant can benefit from finding ways to delegate higher-level work to them. The role of the executive assistant has come a long way since the days of Mad Men.

With their unique set of skills and competencies, executive assistants can make a huge impact on any organization.

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