You probably have nurtured a desire to become an executive assistant but you do not know yet all you may require to have a successful career. That is why I’m here – to guide you. One of the major skills you must possess if you want to learn how to become an executive assistant is the skill of effective human resource management and multi-tasking.
Successful executive assistants are pro-human resource managers who also have a perfect skill of juggling between a number of tasks simultaneously.
- Who is an Executive Assistant?
- What do Executive Assistants do?
- What is the difference between an Executive Assistant and an Administrative Assistant?
- What qualifications do you need to be an executive assistant?
- How to be the best Executive Assistant: Steps
- Steps to becoming an Executive Assistant: Frequently Asked Questions
- Author’s Recommendation
So you want a career that allows you to connect with and manage people of diverse character and temperament in a corporate organizational setting while attending to a variety of tasks almost at the same time, then this is the career for you- an executive assistantship.
As an Executive Assistant, you will be required to make critical decisions and contributions in your workspace and this will require a lot of initiatives. Executive Assistants have a major voice in office operations and politics and may often contribute to a business’s strategic direction for a number of years.
Just as it has been said, taking up a position as an executive assistant in a renowned organization may come with a lot of demanding responsibilities but with well-meaning rewards too. So to be successful at it, being smart and proactive is the watchword.
So in this article, I’m going to show you how to become the best executive assistant. Do follow me very closely.
Who is an Executive Assistant?
An executive assistant, also known as a personal assistant is a person responsible for providing various kinds of administrative assistance and support services to high profile executives, especially those at a high level in politics, business or other organizations.
They are aides to these individuals who are usually well-known public figures with a great deal of influence in their communities.
Usually, an executive assistant is seen as the face of an organization because you would rarely get to the executive without passing through them.
The job of the executive assistant may be likened to that of a secretary but however, executive assistants have additional responsibilities that can have an effect on the success or profitability of the organization they are working for. Some of the time, they may get the function of representing their boss or even the organization in an official meeting or engagement.
What do Executive Assistants do?
If you must become a successful executive assistant then you will need to learn about some of the tasks executive assistants do so as to prepare yourself for them.
Below are some of the administrative functions you will be doing as an executive assistant. They include:
Furthermore, another very sensitive role you will be playing as an executive assistant is to provide high-level, confidential administrative support to the office of the CEO. You must learn to keep very sensitive concerns of the CEO and perhaps the organization confidential.
Another important role you will be playing in your job as a personal assistant is organizing and conducting research for the executive you are working for. This research could be in the area of business development, politics or any other areas. Usually, this research will enable the executive to make business decisions or enable a politician to know how best to meet the real needs of his people.
The executive assistant is usually the team lead of the executive’s circle. This is because they have the most comprehensive understanding of the needs of the executive and so he has the role of supervising and training other younger clerical staff.
What is the difference between an Executive Assistant and an Administrative Assistant?
Though often used interchangeably, there is a huge difference between an executive and an administrative assistant. Some times CEOs of companies and corporations make mistakes when trying to higher the services of the former.
In general terms, the duties of these two professions are almost the same, but the executive assistant typically takes on more important tasks than the administrative assistant. Usually, an administrative assistant helps with running a business office and handles basic clerical duties and in many cases, administrative assistants can progress to become an executive assistant.
The work station of these two professionals is the same. It doesn’t matter whether one is working as an executive assistant and the other as an administrative assistant. They have almost the same job description and workflow. This is one of the similarities between the two guys.
As an executive assistant, one’s work is typically more concentrated on attending to the needs of the executives that he/she works for. He/she would be responsible with managing the daily schedule and setting up personal appointments for one or more executives or high-level professionals in a company. He/she might also be given the authority to supervise other staff in the office, overseeing their projects, as well as to prepare demos and slides the executives will use.
As an administrative assistant, one’s duties would often include entering business data into a computer database, maintaining documents and files, scheduling meetings, directing visitors and answering phone calls. Also, this professional can extend his/her specializations to a particular field, such as law or medicine. A legal administrative assistant organizes legal documents and conducts basic research under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal, while a medical administrative assistant files medical records, handles pharmacy calls and greet patients.
There is a huge difference between an executive and an administrative assistant, where generally, the former enjoys more prestige and makes more money than the latter. The main reason for this is that executive assistants cater to executives and basically serve as the right hand of those in power, such as presidents, vice presidents, CFOs and CEOs.
However, It does not mean that the tasks of an administrative assistant cannot be assigned to executive assistants, as most probably, they can. Anyhow, executive assistants are the ones who are mostly called upon to do duties that require greater sensitivity to time and more finesse, so they should have a certain degree of business insightfulness.
What qualifications do you need to be an executive assistant?
To become a personal assistant, you need to acquire at least a high school diploma. Having management training is an added advantage in the job description of the personal assistant, as well as experience in a secretarial or administrative position. You should also that computer skills are required. The personal assistant applicant applying for the position should be familiar with the latest technology.
Usually, no license is required, however, you must be up to date in all ongoing training in your field. Networking is an important step in getting a personal assistant position. Learn to have a good rapport with people. The applicant must be well trained in office duties.
It is also pertinent that to be a successful assistant, you must be able to speak and organize well. The ability to multitask is essential. A personal assistant should have excellent computer skills. Calm professional behavior is important. Applicants must have the ability to work for irregular hours aswell.
When different tasks appear, the personal assistant must have a strong work ethic. Usually, the assistant should have the ability to drive when needed.
While a personal assistant can get a job without experience, the job requires management experience. Depending on job requirements, it can be quite easy to get jobs without much experience.
However, it is easier for those with previous experience to gain jobs than those with no experience.
How to be the best Executive Assistant: Steps
Below are some proven steps that will guide you to a swell time in your career as an executive assistant.
Complete basic vocational training
Usually, if you want to be an executive assistant, you can be it in a number of ways. The skills required for the office can be learned through vocational education programs offered by secondary and technical schools or through undergraduate or associate programs offered at community colleges. Some times you may be trained by the employer.
Employers can look for employees with hands-on experience using specific programs such as Microsoft Access and Word. If you must thrive in this career, then you must update yourself with some basic knowledge of frequently used office software apps.
Gain management experience
Before applying for an Executive Assistant position, it is common to have experience in a lower level managerial position with fewer responsibilities. Administrative assistants in beginner roles tend to receive some job training that can facilitate progress.
Obtain a bachelor’s degree
Because the career paths of executive assistants are quite flexible, this step can be done before, after or in conjunction with experience gained in the field. Employers typically do not require applicants to apply for a degree in a specific field as long as they have the necessary experience; However, a diploma related to the potential employer sector can be viewed positively. It is unusual for colleges and universities to offer four-year programs in office administration, but courses are offered in English, business administration, computer science, and general accounting.
College students who think they may want to work as executive assistants should not expect their degrees on their own to give them a job in the field. Experience is essential, so working part-time or training in an administrative environment can be valuable.
Get a professional certification
Getting professional training can help administrative assistants improve their knowledge and skills, and can also help them get promotions to executive positions. The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) provides training for a Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) and an Accredited Management Management Professional (CAP), which requires a 3-part and 4-part examination, respectively. To take either exam, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with years of experience or a year associate’s degree with three years of working experience. Those without certificates need at least 4 years of administrative experience to qualify.
Steps to becoming an Executive Assistant: Frequently Asked Questions
Can you become an executive assistant online?
Yes, you can find online programs that lead to executive assistant career.
How much does an executive assistant to a ceo make?
The average salary for an Executive Assistant to CEO is $57,939 per year in the United States.
How long does it take to become a executive assistant?
If you are going to become an executive assistant with just a vocational training certificate, then it will take few months to may be one year. But If you are going to earn a degree, it might take you a few more years. On average, its going to take you up to 5 years earning a degree.
Can you make good money as a executive assistant?
Executive Assistants made a median salary of $57,410 in 2017. The best-paid 25 percent made $72,080 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $44,960.
Finding a job as a personal or executive assistant is a sound choice. There is job variety, and assistants are needed in a number of different fields. The executive assistant job description usually comes with minimal educational requirements, so becoming one is not so difficult. Many job opportunities are available, and you can be sure the salary is above average. However, you will need to be up to date on the various necessary skills needed to thrive in your job.
Does this article meet your immediate needs? If yes, leave us a 5-star rating in the Review Box below. If no, leave us an opinion in the comment box to express your concern, or ask a question and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
- APPLICATION LINK
- ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
- SCHOLARSHIP WORTH