Executive assistants, otherwise known as executive secretaries, are the overall crutches for senior management. With stressful, demanding roles, C-suite executives struggle to juggle every operational aspect of their organization single-handedly. For this reason, they source professional assistance to oversee the daily operation of their organizations- this is where executive assistants step in. Administrative assistants comprehensively work to ease the burden by supervising office management, training staff, handling communication, taking minutes, and gatekeeping on behalf of the high-level executives. We know it sounds like a lot; however, if you’re an organized individual that’s been called helpful and dubbed to have exceptional interpersonal skills, administrative assistance might be the real deal for you.
If you’re considering an executive assistant career, there are a couple of requisites to look out for. First, acquisition of the appropriate academic background and certification; second would be equipping yourself with the necessary skill set to thrive in the field. Bear in mind that these factors will always vary based on the nature of the organization. With that, we assess five steps to becoming an executive assistant.
Kickstart your administrative assistant career with a satisfactory high school diploma. Impressionable English, mathematics, economics, and computer grades are the focal point as they cover some of the basic skill sets required for this field. Essential tasks like typing, communication, bookkeeping, and the everyday software application will undoubtedly come effortlessly to individuals with decent high school diplomas.
Next up is enrolling in an Executive Assistant Training Course for a leg up over the competition. Anything between a secretarial, administrative, project planning, or computer program is quite acceptable. Upon completion of these training programs, the institution will award you a certificate as proof of your completion. With the accreditation in hand, one can apply for an intern-level executive assistant position to gain exposure and perfect application of their newly-acquired skills before setting out into the real world.
With over ten types of executive assistants in the industry, finding a niche becomes a necessity. Consider signing up for a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or one of your liking to advance your skills. Specializing in accounting, human resource management, business, ICT, or Law will streamline your performance and increase your efficiency. For instance, a personal assistant with a CPA certificate is considerably more adept at bookkeeping than an entry-level assistant, making them indispensable to the organization or company.
Never settle. Even after you’ve landed that dream EA job, there’s always room for growth. Take strides to broaden your skill set and polish your proficiency with relevant workshops, conferences, and seminar participation. Don’t forget to sign up for relevant events and social media platforms for effective networking. Remember, the goal is to increase your value as a professional and propel your career to the next level- the sky’s the only limit.
Now that the path to becoming an executive assistant is carved out, the next concern would be what a typical day would look like for you. What are some of the duties of an executive secretary? Understanding the significant roles of the profession will help you pan out the gravity of the responsibility you’re looking to undertake. To see you through that, we’re analyzing the eight fundamental duties of an EA.
- Handling internal and external communication as well as correspondence
- Tackling research and documentation of data on behalf of senior staff members
- Organizing and compiling records, documents, and reports for future reference and use.
- Onboarding and offboarding staff members to facilitate smooth transitions.
- Delegation of tasks to staff members for efficient and effective work output.
- Act as a gatekeeper for the high-level executives.
- Scheduling meetings, trips, appointments, and engagements for the C-Suite executives.
- Basic bookkeeping, including preparation, filing, and retrieving financial statements, reports, and invoices.
Being an executive assistant is exciting; each waking day carries fresh challenges and opportunities. If you’re one for a dynamic career path, administrative assistance is definitely for you. Individuals working in this multifaceted field are known to juggle various responsibilities, from correspondence and administrative aid to research and organization. Moreover, administrative support exposes you to myriad learning and networking opportunities, so you’re guaranteed to grow as you go. Does this sound like something you’d be good at? Take the chance and sign up for a training course to embark on your journey as an administrative assistant.