As an executive assistant, you’re not just a gatekeeper. In today’s hypercompetitive environment, you’re required to wear many hats. Technology has advanced exponentially in recent years, and with so many essential, newfangled products in the digital world, an executive assistant’s function within the business organization is more important and valuable than ever before. Someone has to stay on top of all the organizational apps, tools, communications, and marketing platforms, and that person is the executive assistant.
While in times past the executive assistant's function was relegated to mostly administrative help, you’re now required to take on a more strategic and hands-on role. Not only do you need to have advanced, technological knowledge that is up-to-date with the current business climate, you also need to possess high emotional intelligence and excellent problem-solving and communications skills.
So, if you want to tackle a new career as an executive assistant, or you already carry the title but want to wow your boss, check out the following action plan for savvy and ambitious executive assistants like yourself.
- Hone your communication, listening, and problem-solving skills
Success in this role requires the critical foundation of the three areas listed above. Emotional intelligence is becoming a more and more sought-after trait in the career world. It might be because everything is becoming digitized and sanitized, and it needs that human touch, but the fact remains, you can’t expect to progress in your role without these traits.
Fortunately, with proper training, diligent workers can learn these skills! The first step is to be patient, and always let the other person finish before you speak. While they are talking, you must actively listen. It’s critical that you take the time to pay attention to what the other person is saying and read between the lines. The answer to the dilemma is in their words.
- Manage your time wisely
As an executive assistant, you’re probably familiar with multi-tasking. But did you know that the human brain is not designed to perform two or more complex tasks at once? With complex tasks, your brain is switching from one to the other. If you do this too much or with things that aren’t essential, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes and waste time.
So, to save yourself valuable time on the front and back end of a task or assignment, be a bit more discerning about what you can competently multi-task. Think simple things, like responding to emails while you’re on hold with a client or associate. For more complex tasks, focus on those one at a time.
- Stay organized
Speaking of saving valuable time, did you know that the average American spends 2.5 days per year looking for lost items? You know what they say, time is money, and replacing lost items accounts for 2.7 billion dollars per year in replacement costs. Save yourself the headache of losing valuable items by staying organized.
If you want to wow your boss, be sure to manage your time wisely and sharpen your people-skills. Better yet, keep yourself organized by ordering high-quality paper from Double A, a conscientious company. With consistent effort, you’ll be a highly-sought after and appreciated executive assistant in today’s competitive world.