It is a common misconception that the executive assistant is simply a secretary working under a different title, but in reality the job is much more involved. While this can make getting started seem daunting, especially just after you graduate from business admin courses or legal assistant schools, the complexity of the job leads to numerous benefits. Since the job requires a strong base of skills, executive assistants are in high demand, receive strong wages, and get to work in a fast-paced, fulfilling environment. Ahead are four tips that will help you hit the ground running as an executive assistant, and get ahead in your career.
• It is always vital to remember that the executive assistant’s key job duty is to streamline the executive’s business, and keep the whole process running smoothly. To accomplish those goals, anticipation is an extremely important skill. The key to effective anticipation is simply paying attention. Learn the habits of your voice, and show initiative by acting on them in advance when you know that your boss is going to need something specific. This can be as simple as knowing which time of day that your boss likes certain tasks to be done, or knowing the favorite restaurants of your boss so you can make a forward-thinking choice when scheduling a lunch meeting. Strong anticipation is a sure way to score points with your boss.
• As the executive assistant, you are often the first contact a person has with the business. In this area, it always pays to make a good first impression. Be kind and courteous, always putting your best food forward. It also pays to be well-informed, able to answer any questions a customer may have. With strong internal communication, you can also learn more about your boss to foster better anticipation.
Time Management and Organization
• These areas apply to your own work, and the way in which you schedule the business of your boss. Strong time management is absolutely essential for success as an executive assistant. You’ll learn many time management and organization tips in legal assistant schools or business admin courses, and there are also a variety of apps and technologies that you can use to make this part of the job easier.
Grammar and Language
• You don’t need to be a best-selling author to be a successful executive assistant, but it’s still always a good idea to brush up on your language and grammar skills, as you find yourself using them often when writing emails, letters, or memos. In the same way that courteous verbal communication makes a strong impression, well-written, error-free text is a sure way to catch the eye of your boss, and customers.
If you can master the skills above, you will be well on your way to a successful career as an executive assistant, and scoring plenty of points with your boss. On the job, you will find yourself challenged, busy, and enjoying your time – a strong combination for employee morale.