The highest level of executive assistant is the chief of staff. This is the next professional step after being a senior executive assistant, allowing them to take on more responsibilities and move to higher executive level functions. Senior executive assistants provide assistance to high-level executives and corporate managers. Unlike a typical executive assistant, their role encompasses organizational and administrative functions that affect high-level staff.
Managing directors are first-level employees who oversee the daily operations of the entire company and are responsible for its overall performance. A senior receptionist will perform tasks similar to those of a regular receptionist, but with additional responsibilities. They oversee and supervise the receptionist's work, report directly to the administrator, and offer general assistance to practice teams. Operations managers are responsible for the growth and profitability of a company.
They oversee the daily activities of a company and are sometimes given the title of managing director. Typical job tasks include performing manager evaluations, setting and monitoring KPIs for departments, regularly attending meetings with the board of directors and senior management, and training new managers. In the vital role of senior executive assistant, a diligent, detail-oriented individual helps executives through various administrative tasks. Sometimes referred to as a community liaison officer (CLO), they represent a company that interacts with the local community on behalf of the organization.
This could mean being an intermediary when communicating with schools, police departments, charitable projects, or the general public. Community links often provide training, information, or translation to people in their immediate community. As the public face of the organization, this person is highly trained in interpersonal communication, problem solving and conflict resolution. A senior personal assistant often performs job functions similar to those of a personal assistant, but with more focus, depth and responsibility. For human resources departments that are more multifaceted in this regard, it is increasingly common for a chief personnel officer (CPO) to create the strategy and vision that allow the company to achieve long-term success. The chief operating officer (COO) is an executive who focuses more on the operations of the company as a whole than on the daily operations of the company.
Executive assistants often move to their positions after having been employed in lower management positions, sometimes within the same organization. There are even some online degree programs with specializations such as office management and technology which can help improve job prospects. While their tasks are similar to those of an administrative assistant, executive assistants support higher-level staff rather than simple administrative support. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that most employers like to hire executive assistants with at least some type of college education or even a bachelor's degree. As administrative and executive assistant positions evolve, many people change their titles. Executive assistants provide administrative support to executives, directors, and other higher-level staff by coordinating travel arrangements, prioritizing emails and phone calls, helping to prepare for meetings by collecting documents, and managing executives' schedules and communications.
An office assistant supports the entire office while an administrative assistant works in a department or with a group of executives. Prior work experience prepares executive assistants for more advanced responsibilities in this position. But when browsing through job postings, it can be difficult to distinguish between all the different executive assistant titles in use today.