If you’re an EA or an AA, you’ve known for a long time the supportive super power that is required to consistently be one step ahead of your boss’s needs regardless of their neglecting to leave a breadcrumb trail to what their needs may be.
Assistants (of all types) are the mind readers, those with the keenest intuition, able to pick up the smallest non-verbal signals and able to place them in their perfect puzzle piece spot in the myriad of priority options, the exacting placement of which is required to ensure our bosses are properly handled and deadlines met timely.
Executive Assistants are also the gate keepers with enough overall knowledge of the company to know which seekers in the never-ending string of people they should let through the pearly gates to the Exec’s door and which get the “take a ticket” and get in line reception. Along with that, they have the diplomacy and graceful communication skills to ensure everyone believes the boss cares immensely for their issue at hand.
The value of these dedicated and talented employees has been around for a long time so I’m thankful to hear that finally, maybe they are getting their due.
Because of my extensive experience (read that to be my subtle way of saying “youth” is not my niche these days) I would like to add that though the youngsters have drive and determination and maybe boundless stamina, mid to older EAs, in addition to that, bring with them (generally) higher EQs and overall more business and market knowledge; so please in your search for the best fit EA keep in mind old dogs can learn the new tricks of the younger app happy, Internet savvy Social Media Mavens. (Enjoyable also is the article by Teresa Mears entitled, “Why You’re Never Too Old to Become a Social Media Maven” )
One of this field’s greatest enticements is the ability for the EA or AA to transfer their experience and knowledge from one market to another. I’ve worked in the technology fields even before they were booming, sales, marketing, publishing, non-profit, construction, insurance, legal and am now, for my freelance business also writing, blogging and utilizing SEO – in all of these markets an EA/AA picks up something along the way that is beneficial to the next employer and with that your EQ rises as well, those intangibles only grow.
Whether you are a young EA starting out and lighting the world on fire with a fresh top of the line education, IQ/EQ, boundless enthusiasm and drive or you’re an older EA gracing businesses with your carpetbag of diverse experience not only in business practices but in the gentle art of human care that can only come with experience and time – you are in a field that is booming and finally getting the recognition it has always deserved.