Take a moment, and visualize yourself as an absolute master of your craft. Every aspect of your role is functioning like a well-oiled machine, all inquiries have been addressed, every loop has been closed, and no curveball gets past you. Even better? You now work from home so you’re able to squeeze in a morning walk and grab a coffee before logging on. We can see it – can you?
Premier has always specialized in connecting Executive Assistants to their dream jobs, and we’ve seen firsthand how the economic repercussions of the last year have impacted administrative professionals. The sobering reality is that Executive Assistant positions were one of the hardest-hit job functions from the recent recession. Executive Assistant positions declined by 55% during the height of the pandemic and are predicted to have a slow recovery due to the fact that many companies are opting to invest in automation and software rather than bring these roles back on. That may sound bleak, but there is a silver lining to all of this! While it’s true that the landscape has shifted slightly, fact remains that the skills that make for an exceptional Executive Assistant: organization, communication, adaptability, and the desire to help – are still in high demand.
If you’re struggling to land your next EA role, you may want to try changing your approach – and open yourself up to the possibility of working remotely.
Here’s what executive assistants can do to adjust to remote work or land a new position:
The demand to coordinate travel and in-person meetings has turned into the need to create digital connections on all levels of the organization, from the C-Suite to the support staff. Today’s Executive Assistants must understand the renewed importance of maintaining open communication channels and resolving miscommunication swiftly, and with grace. Since Executive Assistants can no longer rely on visual communication cues to gauge whether the executive they support is busy or not, it’s recommended that you schedule regular check-ins throughout the day/week to stay in touch. This also underscores the importance of clarifying and agreeing upon communication preferences/ working hours early on to respect everyone’s work-life balance.
If You Aren’t Already, Get Comfortable with Tech.
One of the many hats Executive Assistants wore during the pandemic was becoming resident IT experts. Companies now rely on a new suite of tools including, but not limited to Zoom, Slack, Fuze, Outlook, and a host of other digital management tools. It takes some getting used to, but the results are worth the learning curve.
Executive assistants who take initiative and seek out innovative solutions to execute the duties of their role more efficiently stay relevant.
Upskilling is key!
Break out of your comfort zone and learn to use apps/software for scheduling, data storage, client information management, digital event planning, and meeting coordination. Always have a finger on the pulse of new trends. Remember: being an early adopter can bring considerable benefits to the team.
During the pandemic, support staff responsibilities expanded to include a broader range of duties like cost and budget management. As businesses rebuild, executive assistants can aid the transition by embracing new responsibilities. The typical administrative work environment and role demands have changed, but the essence of administrative support is the same: support. Find innovative ways to step up, anticipate gaps, and pivot to support the team.
The Executive Assistant job description has changed over the years and will likely continue to evolve. But the backbone of the position—the desire to support, create connections, and successfully build relationships—remains unchanged.