An outstanding executive assistant (EA) is a valuable asset to any organization. They are resourceful, innovative, and proactive, with the ability to think independently and make decisions without much supervision or direction. EAs are natural problem solvers and gatekeepers, with responsibilities that go beyond basic administrative work. They help manage the internal operations of the office, while also maintaining a balance between professional, family, and social obligations.
In short, they do whatever it takes to make their executive successful. To develop their skills with people, EAs should prioritize their tasks and give them 100% of their attention. The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to review to-do lists. It's also important to find an executive assistant recruiter who understands the qualities needed for the job.
Kelli Brandl, who has 25 years of experience as an EA, has worked with many business owners and high-level executives with diverse personalities. The work of an executive assistant is fast-paced and demanding; they are responsible for organizing numerous company operations and supporting tasks for company leaders. USA Today described the executive assistant as Silicon Valley's “power role” and reported that it's not uncommon for EAs in the tech mecca to get six figures. An effective executive assistant must be able to prioritize tasks and have a neat workspace.
It may take several years of experience as an EA to be considered for the position in larger companies. Communication skills are also essential; EAs must be able to actively listen to other people's concerns, ask questions, and share those concerns in an appropriate and diplomatic way. They must treat everyone with respect, from the support staff to the executive director to the nighttime cleaning team. Executive assistants must maintain their executive's calendar, keep track of meetings and activities, prepare reports, letters, presentations, and other documents.
If a project is important but the executive doesn't have enough staff to dedicate it, a rockstar assistant will offer to take over. The greatest quality of an executive assistant is their ability to speak and write in a clear, concise, and positive way that creates a good image of the company and the executive it represents. They must also be comfortable adapting to new technology as it changes. Finally, they must be familiar with all office equipment from computers to photocopiers and fax machines.