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  string(4334) "Traditionally the role of a Secretary was seen as an almost behind the scenes position but as that mindset has evolved so too has the role, responsibilities and title. Enter the Executive Assistant.

An Executive Assistant, like the role of the Receptionist is the “Director of First Impressions” and knows everything about the inner workings of an organisation. He or she is present at board meetings, actions private and confidential emails and is often a pivotal member of the Executive team.

Unfortunately it seems that in a post Global Financial Crisis world the value and esteem that EA’s were once held in has diminished and the coveted 1:1 roles are few and far between. Companies are restructuring and implementing processes to make them more successful, efficient and economical so where travel arrangements were once booked via an EA, this task is outsourced. Similarly, the young and hip Executive now manages his or her diary and denies anyone else access to their emails.

However, fear not as one simple truth remains; an outstanding Executive Assistant is someone no business will be without. So I ask what makes you outstanding and how do you sell yourself as an essential right hand?

I have had the pleasure of interviewing and assisting top talent find employment and believe that the following characteristics are vital in making a truly great and invaluable Executive Assistant:

1. Personality

Demonstrate this! Some of the most successful Executive Assistants I’ve worked with have been offered the position during their interview because the fit has been too good to ignore, so don’t be afraid to be yourself.

2. Flexibility

If you have a laptop and Blackberry, unfortunately they will have to be used, particularly if you support a jet setting Executive.

3. Communication

“Say what you mean and mean what you say”. Listen and understand what your Manager wants but do not avoid having an honest and upfront conversation if something is unachievable or unreasonable. A straightforward approach is instrumental in forming a successful partnership.

4. Mutual Respect

As an Executive Assistant you should admire, learn from and be inspired and motivated by your Manager. Notice I did not say “like” because it is a professional relationship and partnership and you don’t have to like the Executive you support but you do have to respect him or her.

5. Calmness

Even if everything is falling apart, you have to be the calm in the storm. An EA once told me that no matter what you have to appear relaxed and in control at all times even if you are flailing aimlessly beneath the surface.

6. Discretion

Confidentiality is paramount. No matter what you see via email or witness in a board meeting, you must observe a Mafia style code of silence.

7. Professionalism

Leave the office politics, rumours and gossip for someone else to spread and do not discuss your Manager’s intimate habits and quirks.

8. Organisation

Being the best Executive Assistant is about organising every minute of the day but also having the capability and patience to reorganise every minute of the day, every minute of the day!

9. Prioritisation

Reports, flights, events, expenses, birthdays, temporary staff, scheduling meetings and can you have all this done by 1pm? Ask two questions “What do you need in the next five minutes?” and “What can wait until tomorrow?”

10. Integrity

Maintain this and when your Manager is out of the office the Executive team will come to you and not only will you action and respond to requests, your boss will demand and expect this as part of your responsibilities. I previously dealt with a fantastic EA who had a chair beside her desk for the Executive team to use when they stopped by for her input.

An outstanding Executive Assistant creates a dynamic, successful environment and is constantly striving to be better so don’t be average, be outstanding!

As Oscar Wilde once said “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more”."
  ["post_title"]=>
  string(50) "10 Ways to Sell Yourself as an Executive Assistant"
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  string(99) "The following characteristics are vital in making a truly great and invaluable Executive Assistant:"
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Traditionally the role of a Secretary was seen as an almost behind the scenes position but as that mindset has evolved so too has the role, responsibilities and title. Enter the Executive Assistant.

An Executive Assistant, like the role of the Receptionist is the “Director of First Impressions” and knows everything about the inner workings of an organisation. He or she is present at board meetings, actions private and confidential emails and is often a pivotal member of the Executive team.

Unfortunately it seems that in a post Global Financial Crisis world the value and esteem that EA’s were once held in has diminished and the coveted 1:1 roles are few and far between. Companies are restructuring and implementing processes to make them more successful, efficient and economical so where travel arrangements were once booked via an EA, this task is outsourced. Similarly, the young and hip Executive now manages his or her diary and denies anyone else access to their emails.

However, fear not as one simple truth remains; an outstanding Executive Assistant is someone no business will be without. So I ask what makes you outstanding and how do you sell yourself as an essential right hand?

I have had the pleasure of interviewing and assisting top talent find employment and believe that the following characteristics are vital in making a truly great and invaluable Executive Assistant:

1. Personality

Demonstrate this! Some of the most successful Executive Assistants I’ve worked with have been offered the position during their interview because the fit has been too good to ignore, so don’t be afraid to be yourself.

2. Flexibility

If you have a laptop and Blackberry, unfortunately they will have to be used, particularly if you support a jet setting Executive.

3. Communication

“Say what you mean and mean what you say”. Listen and understand what your Manager wants but do not avoid having an honest and upfront conversation if something is unachievable or unreasonable. A straightforward approach is instrumental in forming a successful partnership.

4. Mutual Respect

As an Executive Assistant you should admire, learn from and be inspired and motivated by your Manager. Notice I did not say “like” because it is a professional relationship and partnership and you don’t have to like the Executive you support but you do have to respect him or her.

5. Calmness

Even if everything is falling apart, you have to be the calm in the storm. An EA once told me that no matter what you have to appear relaxed and in control at all times even if you are flailing aimlessly beneath the surface.

6. Discretion

Confidentiality is paramount. No matter what you see via email or witness in a board meeting, you must observe a Mafia style code of silence.

7. Professionalism

Leave the office politics, rumours and gossip for someone else to spread and do not discuss your Manager’s intimate habits and quirks.

8. Organisation

Being the best Executive Assistant is about organising every minute of the day but also having the capability and patience to reorganise every minute of the day, every minute of the day!

9. Prioritisation

Reports, flights, events, expenses, birthdays, temporary staff, scheduling meetings and can you have all this done by 1pm? Ask two questions “What do you need in the next five minutes?” and “What can wait until tomorrow?”

10. Integrity

Maintain this and when your Manager is out of the office the Executive team will come to you and not only will you action and respond to requests, your boss will demand and expect this as part of your responsibilities. I previously dealt with a fantastic EA who had a chair beside her desk for the Executive team to use when they stopped by for her input.

An outstanding Executive Assistant creates a dynamic, successful environment and is constantly striving to be better so don’t be average, be outstanding!

As Oscar Wilde once said “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more”.

Tags: Career Tips | Cox Purtell Blog | EA | Executive Assistant | Recruiter | Recruitment | Recruitment Adelaide | Recruitment Melbourne | Recruitment Specialist | Recruitment Sydney | Sell Yourself |

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