The Essential Role of an Executive Assistant

Executive assistants are the unsung heroes of the corporate world. Learn about the essential skills they need to succeed in their positions.

The Essential Role of an Executive Assistant

Executive assistants are the unsung heroes of the corporate world. They are the gatekeepers and problem solvers who help executives manage their internal work, professional, family and social obligations. In short, they do everything they can to make their executive successful. Executive assistant skills are the qualities and abilities that enable high-level assistants to excel in their positions.

These competencies include multitasking, decision-making, time management and more. Executive assistants are also known as EAs, executive secretaries and personal assistants. Time management is one of the most important skills of an executive assistant. Executive assistants must be able to stay focused and complete tasks on time, as their duties are often urgent.

They must also be able to handle a constant flow of work and prioritize tasks accordingly. Good time management skills help ensure that operations run smoothly and reduce stress levels. Executive assistants must also be comfortable working with all types of office equipment, from computers to photocopiers and fax machines. They must also be able to think quickly and come up with alternative solutions to everyday problems.

Great executive assistants take changes in stride and rarely get overwhelmed by changes in their routines. In addition to these skills, executive assistants should also possess qualities such as persuasion, attention to detail and good judgment. They should also be able to establish relationships with the executive's inner circle, including family members and colleagues. Discretion is a must for executive assistants who handle sensitive information and situations.

Finally, executive assistants must be comfortable adapting to new technologies and preparing reports, letters, presentations and other documents. They should also be able to anticipate or recognize problems and refer them immediately for resolution. If they don't assign responsibilities during the workday, they may find themselves working late or overworked. You can learn these skills in executive assistant books and show gratitude for them on Virtual Administrative Professional Day. While executives sometimes assign tasks or assignments to assistants, there is often little oversight and direction.

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