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Beginning your career as a new executive assistant is a nerve-wracking experience. After all, you’ll need to build rapport with your colleagues quickly, adapt and innovate new systems, and acquaint yourself with all there is to know regarding the business within just a few weeks. Plus, there’s the added expectation you’ll be the foundation of all pertinent information that your Executive and team will need.
More often than not, you’re expected to get the ground running with minimal supervision. So understandably, you might find yourself at crossroads more often than not as you try to figure things out.
But as intimidating as this may sound, the overarching goal of your role is quite simple: add value to the team. The “how” may take on many forms, but the essence of why you do what you do boils down to that simple truth.
The good news is, there are steps you can take to help you better get acquainted with your new role. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of listing four practical tips that will help you be better prepared for this.
Take these to heart, and you’ll be on your way to thriving in the executive assistant space!
VALUE #1: SAVINGS AND REVENUE
This might not be as straightforward as the rest of your roles, but remember that the goal of your boss (and company) is to drive results. When we say results, we mean more money for the business.
One example of this is supplier coordination. Going the extra mile in doing your due diligence in researching various options, coming up with pricing comparisons, and even negotiating discounts for your contracts can go a long way in saving your organization money. Savings always look good in financial reports, especially for big events.
Depending on the nature of the business and your department, the opportunities to provide monetary value to your organization will vary. Keep your eyes peeled for any opportunities to offer this.
Your boss will look good and they’ll grow to love you for being financially savvy.
VALUE #2: INNOVATION
One of the key skills you’ll need as an executive assistant is problem-solving and innovation.
Your role will involve navigating procedures and going through multiple processes. Are you generating reports on time? Can you prevent double bookings on your Executive’s schedule? Do you have repetitive tasks you can automate so you can focus on high-value responsibilities?
If there are areas that you see can benefit from automation and optimization, it may be worth suggesting to your boss. Especially considering that these days, there is plenty of administrative assistant software like Cabinet that is designed to do exactly that: innovate your process.
From an international meeting scheduler to report generation, you can have it done on one platform. The power of automation lies in the fact that it can significantly improve productivity. With the best admin software, you can set yourself up to be a highly successful executive assistant that gets things done.
VALUE #3: BUSINESS ACUMEN
Remember this: your goal is to know the industry as well as your boss does. While this is not a requirement, this is one of those skills that will help you make a lasting impression and help you succeed as an executive assistant.
Because you will be making plenty of small-scale decisions that may have big implications. Plus, as your relationship with your Executive improves, there may be opportunities to engage in conversations about the market. This is a great opportunity to truly leave a lasting impression and build credibility.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can take a look at the reports and documents you have on hand, and pay attention to meetings where you’re included. This is an excellent position to learn as much as you can.
VALUE #4: FORESIGHT
Being able to think ahead futuristically is a superpower that can set you apart as an executive assistant because it demonstrates that you’re planning with long-term growth in mind for the organization.
So, remember what we said about being innovative? Couple that with this mindset:
How do I prevent this from happening again?
What potential challenges can arise from this?
Is this solution or action scalable in the long haul?
If you’re not a natural planner, don’t worry. You can gather current data and processes, then gain insight from there. Opt to consolidate them in one place like an executive assistant software, so you can continuously access them easily. You don’t even have to shell out a hefty sum for this since there are affordable software available like Cabinet that you can use without breaking the bank.
FROM ONE EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO ANOTHER
Your first few weeks may not be easy, but if you strive for excellence then it’s only a matter of time before you find your rhythm and find your way to becoming the EA you’ve always wanted to be.
Just to provide you with extra support, we’ll let you in on a secret: Cabinet has a community of executive assistants that are just a message away! So, if you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to sign up and post them. We’re ready to help you.
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