Executive Assistant. Would you like to be one?

An Executive Assistant or EA is a role that is somewhat similar to that of a personal assistant or PA.  But the role does tend to come with more responsibility and a wider range of duties. It also comes with a higher salary in most cases.  So what does an executive assistant do?

EA job duties

The role of the executive assistant will be different within every business.  The main aim is to provide support to senior management and handle tasks such as organisation, scheduling, human resources, meetings and even correspondence.  

They will often be asked to organise the larger office, manage a particular project and institute processes for documents and files as well as deadline compliance issues.

Other examples of duties that an EA may be asked to do include:

  • Organise and schedule meetings, sending invites to people who are to attend
  • Create agenda for those meetings and take meetings during them
  • Organise travel arrangement for their manager and sometimes other senior management including flights, transportation and hotel accommodation
  • Oversee the office correspondence process for both incoming and outgoing mail as well as the electronic filing system
  • Manage projects and follow up with team members on progress
  • Maintain strong relationships with other EAs and departments to ensure smooth operation of the business
  • Prepare and deliver monthly reports

Skills and qualifications

Qualifications can be varied and achieved while working up through the different roles within a business or by taking Executive Assistant Training Courses.  You can also consider training in specific areas that you feel the need to improve in order to progress to an EA role.

The key to being a good executive assistant is that you have certain skills and traits that make you the ideal person for the role.  For example, strong organisational skills are a crucial trait for anyone working as an EA.

Not only do you need to be able to organise your own day but that of your manager or employer.  You may even be responsible for organising the schedules of a team of people depending on the nature of the company.  This means balancing multiple calendars and creating a system to ensure everything is handled and nothing missed.

Relationships are important in this kind of role and building strong professional ones is important.  You need to work well not only with your manager but also with other EAs and PAs within the company.

You may also be required to liaise with others in partner companies, clients and other businesses.  So good communication skills are key for this.

Should I become an EA?

If you have the skills listed above and enjoy the prospect of the kind of tasks you are liable to be required to do, then an EA can be an interesting and fulfilling job.  

You can help people to get the most from their working lives and make their busy work life easier.  It is also a job that despite technological advances still remains in high demand. So, if you are looking for a career path or a change of career, it is one with a strong future.

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