The executive assistant is a key figure in any organization, acting as the right-hand person to the CEO. Their job is to ensure that everything runs smoothly for the executive director, and they may even accompany them on corporate trips. To do this, they need to have permission and access to the company's operations, freeing up the executive director from mundane tasks. It's easy for tension to arise between a CEO and their executive assistant if they are asked to do something that isn't in their job description.
For example, they may be asked to pick up dry cleaning or send flowers for a friend's birthday. The best executive assistants are able to anticipate their superior's needs and carry out tasks without being asked. If something goes wrong in the CEO's daily routine, it is usually the executive assistant who takes the blame. Many executive assistants start out as lower-level secretaries, but demonstrate a strong work ethic and are promoted to the position.
It is often more cost-effective for a company to hire an executive assistant who can be tailored to the CEO's needs. This means that they must always be prepared and plan for any eventuality in order to achieve the desired outcome. Executive assistants must also have strong leadership qualities in order to manage and train lower-level administrative staff. Organizational skills are essential for an executive assistant, as they must be able to keep track of all tasks and details without getting overwhelmed or losing track of anything important.
They should also strive to expand their role by coming up with new ways to better support their supervisor. An executive assistant dedicates their career to helping a corporate official, providing both professional advice and administrative support. They must be familiar with all office equipment, from computers to photocopiers and fax machines. Executive assistants should be able to recognize potential problems and refer them immediately to the right person for resolution. They must also maintain their executive's calendar, keep track of meetings and activities, and schedule conferences and business trips.