An Executive Administrative Assistant is a key player in the organization of the executive suite of an organization. As the name implies, the executive assistant assists one or more members of the executive team with a wide range of duties, to maximize productivity and ensure that the organization runs smoothly.
Like an administrative assistant, an executive assistant is responsible for administrative office duties to support members of the organization; however, they are typically assigned to a specific member of the executive team, in order to free up the executive’s time for more high-level activities that cannot be performed by others.
What is an Executive Assistant?
An executive assistant (EA) holds the executive team and the company together. It is a highly organized admin position that lightens the load on the executive team, thereby allowing executives to perform necessary duties. An executive assistant is an experienced administrator and organizer who is capable of multitasking and delegating, in order to ensure that the basic day-to-day functions of the organization are fulfilled. In addition, an executive assistant will arrange travel, schedule meetings and calls, take meeting minutes, and oversee the training of other administrative assistants, as needed.
A successful executive assistant obtains a wide range of skills through administrative experience and executive assistant certification. For individuals who opt for it, the executive assistant career path can open them up to a wide variety of opportunities. A person with EA experience displays exceptional communication, organization, and leadership skills, which makes them well suited for career advancement in many areas.
Duties of an Executive Administrative Assistant
Executive assistants are highly valued for their reliability, organization, and communication skills. A good executive administrative assistant will be capable of diplomatically communicating both verbally and in writing with individuals inside and outside the organization.
Executive administrative assistants are self-motivated and capable of facilitating meetings and executive travel. They are often tasked with keeping track of the executive’s calendar, developing filing procedures, planning events, preparing reports, and processing expenses for the executive they assist. They may also be asked to handle customer relations, organize meetings, keep records and minutes, and even do some accounting and bookkeeping.
What’s a typical day like for an executive assistant?
A high level executive assistant is available at all hours, as required by the organization and executive team. They may start the day arranging meetings and travel, responding to customers, and arranging administrative training. After a lunch meeting with a client, executive, or other team members, the executive assistant’s afternoon is spent reviewing expenses, preparing reports, and preparing and distributing meeting minutes. An executive assistant will remain in the office until the work is complete.
Key Skills for Executive Assistants
Companies who are hiring consider executive assistant strengths and weaknesses in order to ensure that the applicant is well suited to the organization. In order to facilitate the smooth operation of the executive team, executive assistant skills and expertise must be greatly honed. Some of the most important executive administrative assistant skills include:
- Time Management: Arrange appointments, calls, and travel for executive, and accurately maintain the executive’s calendar to avoid overbooking or missed appointments.
- Communication Skills: Display superior communication skills to correspond diplomatically with internal and external contacts in a professional manner.
- Discretion: Exposure to sensitive information on a regular basis requires the ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Multitasking: Complete multiple tasks at one time, and prioritize so that everything is completed in a timely and organized fashion.
- Leadership Skills: Supervise other administrators, which requires the ability to set an example, train, and clearly communicate expectations.
What Does a CEO Look for in an Executive Assistant?
A CEO’s executive assistant often works outside business hours. Late nights, early mornings, weekends, and holiday work are common. The executive assistant must be dedicated to providing a high degree of support to the CEO at all times. It is especially important that the executive assistant to a CEO maintain a positive and highly motivated attitude.
A CEO requires an assistant who can complete their work with minimal direction, but who will also be able to follow instructions. Attention to detail and the ability to work outside the box are necessary. The CEO must be able to depend on their assistant to help with a wide range of tasks, so the assistant must also be highly adaptable and a quick learner.
How to Become an Executive Assistant to a CEO
It is important to obtain administrative knowledge and training to facilitate the CEO’s duties. An executive assistant must prove to the CEO that they are capable, positive, self-motivated, and organized. The CEO will expect their assistant to have requisite skills already, so they can enter the position with minimal training.
How to Become an Executive Assistant
To become an executive administrative assistant, it is important to gain hands-on administrative experience. Many entry-level administrative positions require only a high school diploma, so it is easy to get started on the executive assistant career path. Individuals who plan to become executive assistants should perfect their administrative and office skills while working as a secretary or administrative assistant. Focus on communication and leadership skills as much as administrative skills. Most executive assistants have worked as administrative assistants for many years in order to gain the knowledge and experience they need as an executive assistant.
In addition to extensive experience, people who wish to become executive assistants should also consider executive administrative assistant training and certifications. These programs will help executive assistant hopefuls to round out their experience and gain knowledge and understanding of certain aspects of the career that may not be readily available through lower level administrative experience.
Executive Assistant Career Paths
The skills required for an executive assistant open up a wide range of career options. With the job market projected to increase in 2020 by 8.4 million jobs, the importance of business and administration management is unlikely to decrease. Executive assistants rank among the highest paying jobs without a degree, with a median annual salary of $59,340 in 2018. With Southern Careers Institute, you can obtain an Administrative Assistant Certification in Texas to help you achieve your executive assistant goals. For more information on our administrative assistant training, visit our site today, and start your Transformation – Beginning a New You!
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Economic News Release, Employment Projections 2018-2028 Summary, Sept. 4, 2019. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.nr0.htm. Accessed 6 Jan. 2020.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Secretaries and Administrative Assistants,Sept. 4, 2019. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/secretaries-and-administrative-assistants.htm#tab-5. Accessed 6 Jan. 2020.
Blog Disclaimer: Information stated in this blog is for general information purposes only. SCITexas.edu not assume or guarantee income earning potential or salary expectations based on the programs offered at Southern Careers Institute.
This article was published on: 01/7/20 8:30 PM
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