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How to Become an Outstanding EA
Executive Assistants are often described as the CEO’s secret weapon. And, with top earner’s salaries reaching £100,000+, there is certainly more to the job than planning and organising. They are likely to work with a company’s top executives or senior management. This could be right up to the Chairman, CEO and CFO. EAs take on more responsibilities and duties than a Personal Assistant. Moreover, they'll have greater decision-making authority within a company.
Executive Assistant's Job
Successful Executive Assistants can make enormous contributions to the productivity at all levels of the organisation that they work for. An Executive Assistant's job is to be an effective gate-keeper. They will need to to save their boss time, to always be one step ahead and prepared for every eventuality. This includes; having documents ready for board meetings, organising diaries and travel, making decisions in their boss’ absence and keeping projects on track. On top of that Executive Assistants will keep their boss from being distracted by filtering telephone calls, emails and internal workplace queries. They manage information flow, deal with basic financial management and attend meetings and take minutes. Tasks relating to private or family life and personal errands may also be required.
What skills does an EA need?
This is a role that can be incredibly diverse and exciting. It is one that constantly changes and challenges so an Executive Assistant needs to keep up. Top Executive Assistants will be up- to-date with current affairs, new technologies and all areas relating to the company they work for. While insider knowledge of the business and the personalities that work there will be invaluable to an Executive Assistant.
Emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills play a huge part in succeeding as an Executive Assistant. It is are important to be able to accurately ‘read’ and deal with complex situations. They often stay with a company for many years, because they build a strong relationship with their boss, who will trust them to make decisions and act on their behalf. It’s imperative that high-flying Executive Assistants understand the unspoken needs and personalities of the people or person they work with. EA's may need to confidently ‘push back’ and ask questions to get the job done efficiently and accurately.
Belinda Lighton, Managing Director of Knightsbridge Recruitment, says: "The importance and relevance of the role of an EA should not be underestimated. Often the power behind the throne, an outstanding EA is not only an ambassador for their boss but a trusted confidant, who knows more about the company than virtually anyone else. It’s their strategic thinking, crisis mitigation, clever plate spinning, exceptional communication skills, ironclad discretion and making the seemingly impossible, possible that sets them apart."
Hiring an Executive Assistant
- Chief of Staff
- Business Assistant