Girl Talk Career Blog

April 19, 2010

The Indispensable Executive Assistant

Filed under: All Things Office — lisalahey @ 8:34 am
Tags: , , , , ,

The Indispensable Executive Assistant  
Ask any CEO or senior executive or Executive Director what their dream office would include and no doubt you’d hear an exceptional, can-do-anything, indispensable EA.  Well CEO’s, I have a feeling there are a lot more of us indispensable EA’s out there than you’d think. Trouble is if you get what you pay for. In other words if you only throw $30 – $40 meager grand a year at someone then that is all the EA you are going to get. Start thinking $60K and up on the other hand and you’ve just hit yourself into a new, seriously professional ballpark. Isn’t that right Girlfriend?

It’s only fair to ante up more bucks and perks when you have a look at a combination of two things: the formal educational background and the EA’s experience. Most corporations suggest 5 or more years is essential for a superlative EA. Perhaps. But some people are a quick study with an amazing work ethic and they learn a lot faster than that. Does it matter how many years an EA has beneath her (or him) if she can do the work and then some? I’d say not.

Let’s list a few key characteristics in an indispensable EA:

  1. Superior software skills – MS Office is always a given. Nowadays terrific internet skills don’t hurt either. If she can toss in a few graphic software programs like 3D imaging then you’re whistling dixie.
  2. Great software calendar management skills. That usually goes without saying since the days of the day planner seem to be heading into the Neanderthal Era. Now it’s the blackberry era and usually they connect nicely to Outlook.
  3. Superlative english skills – writing, reading, editing, drafting, proofing, you name it and if she can do it then better and better.
  4. Fabulous administrative workflow skills – yep, keeping the whole damned office running seems to come down to the EA nowadays. It makes sense. If she’s going to manage a departmental budget and calendars, hire and train new recruits and arrange meetings and conferences well she’s basically the one in charge here, not you Mr. or Ms. CEO.

But why listen to me going on and on in such a dry manner?  Click the link above and you get an utterly indispensable powerpoint presentation about The Indispensable Executive Assistant written by one who knows – the real thing. Me, of course.

As if I had to tell you, Girlfriend.

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