Skills to Become a Good Executive Assistant
What does an executive assistant do? As an executive assistant, your role is to help your supervisor with daily tasks, such as replying to e-mails, controlling their schedule, coordinating meetings, and so on. But remember, an executive assistant is not a servant; they play an integral role as a strategic counselor for their supervisor, not simply do menial tasks anyone can do. Executive assistant duties are more complex. This position requires specific skills to make the best of your organization, below is a list of primary skills to develop to become an executive assistant who can "wow" their boss. You can also find more related articles here on Salary.com!
A Complete List of Executive Assistant Skills You Should Have
How to become an excellent executive assistant. Below is a list of skills necessary to succeed.
Strong Writing Skills
This is one of the most fundamental executive assistant skills to grasp. Tasks like replying to e-mails on behalf of your boss and drafting documents are quite common. Unlike texting with friends or normal conversation, pay close attention to the words you use. Make the content simple, clear, and formal.
Getting an Overall View of the Company
An executive assistant does the most communication within the company, which means your target audience is people at all professional levels -- from entry level employees to executives, almost like a bridge from top to bottom. To become a qualified executive assistant, this ability is crucial.
It's helpful if you can get an overall look at the company. It's easy to know about your boss is doing since you are in charge of their schedule, but what about other departments and employees?
The only way to know is to talk, but don't disturb the team while they're working. Find the right time, such as lunch or brief break. People may not feel like having "shop-talk" while off duty. If this is the case, their daily work. Ask questions, discuss potential hurdles they are trying to overcome, or what their favorite part of their job is. Try to keep this conversation going and follow up at least once a month.
Make sure you listen to what everyone is actually saying. This will not only help you develop a clear picture of the company overall, but also give you enough understanding of the business to help in key decision making.
High EQ Communication
Dealing with people at different levels is not an easy task. But for executive assistant, it is a must. You may even need to connect with people from other companies. High EQ communication includes many different aspects, both verbal and non-verbal. Serving as an executive assistant, it's vital to put yourself in the shoes of others. Be clear about your reasoning and goals in any given conversation. One key principle to always keep in mind: always read the room, then carefully decide how to respond.
As a saying goes, "failing to plan is planning to fail." Plan in advance to get a clear list of what you should accomplish daily. "Making the best of every single second" is a beautiful classroom adage, but the truth is, an executive assistant essential to planning and execution. Planning ahead helps you ensure deadlines and expectations are met. Prioritize your tasks. Your fast-pace work helps your boss and others improve their efficiency.
There are other skills an executive assistant can use to save time: sorting file, specific software, and eliminating distractions. No matter what type of work you are doing, establish clear goals and stay organized.
Network of Relationships
You support your boss as an executive assistant, but actually, you also require a lot of support from others, just like your boss. You would never make it if you are finishing everything alone! All the professional connections you make should be significant. Don't limit your communication with others, building a good relationship can bring you unexpected assistance.
To help build your network you can join groups on social media, like LinkedIn or Facebook, especially groups of peers or people in a related field. Doing this can can help you gain useful information and tips. If you know other executive assistants from another company, connect with them on Facebook or Linkedln and invite them to grab a coffee. Ask them about their daily work for their company and share yours the same way. The best way to get help is to offer help. Offer your assistance to your peers when needed, the next time you have a challenge, they may help you solve it.
Your boss is as busy as a bee, but so are you. As an executive assistant, you may feel as much tension as they do even if your schedule doesn't appear as hectic as theirs. Stress and tension may have the same impact on your role, but don't cave under pressure. Staying calm is an important mental skill for an executive assistant. Being extremely anxious contributes nothing to your efficiency, but instead slows it down. The best way to get through this kind of stress? Take a deep breath. Being calm is easy when you take it simple. Don't let your tension get the best of you.
Prompt Decisions Making
Every minute is of value for your boss, it applies to you the same way. A good executive assistant gathers useful information, conveys important messages, and even does odd jobs… all at a fast pace. Set clear goals, even when doing a single task. No matter what happens, remember to be decisive.
Executive Assistant Jobs and Salary
Do you wonder how much an executive assistant can earn? It may vary according to different locations, industries, and companies. Want to know an executive assistant salary in your city? Or find an executive assistant job near your area? We can help! Input job title and location to learn the salary range of executive assistant in your area.
Need more info about how to make an executive assistant resume or cover letter? Or learn how to handle the tough interview questions an executive assistant may receive? Here you can find useful articles about Career Development.