Executive assistants or secretaries are indispensable members of high-functioning organizations. They are tasked with vital responsibilities designed to help key people stay thoroughly organized. Not only that, they make sure that actions are taken at the right time, and certain output is up to the standards of the higher-ups.
If you watch the American television show, Suits, the character Donna Paulsen is the epitome of an outstanding executive assistant. Intelligent, organized, and always on top of things, she never misses a beat in day-to-day operations. And, as the show implies, she is well compensated for her contribution to the law firm.
That is not an exaggerated depiction of the life of an executive secretary. In real life, the job is dynamic, and it can present various opportunities for professional growth. Therefore, if you are looking for an exciting career, consider that of an executive assistant. But, apart from those two reasons, there are eight more that make the job a desirable one.
1. It’s a constant learning experience.
One of the primary tasks of an executive assistant is to stay updated with changes in the industry and company. Therefore, learning something new is a constant challenge. This job will always push you to be better in so many ways.
Due to that, you can look forward to attending different training courses set up by the company for you to become more effective at what you do. Not only that, if you become a part of a progressive company, expect your years of service to gain you different kinds of certifications.
2. It can take you to new and exciting places.
Aside from rising up the ranks, (yes, there are ranks for executive assistants too), you may be able to see more of the world as well. It’s not uncommon for secretaries to accompany their bosses on international business trips.
Travel, be it for leisure, work, or both, is always an enriching experience. You can observe and learn about different cultures. At the same time, cultivate valuable connections. And a lot of executive secretaries say that they find new interests when they go on business trips with their bosses. They get to use these fascinations in establishing work and life balance.
3. You get to have a contribution to important decisions.
As a close observer of the different developments in the company, your opinions are always considered valuable by the higher-ups. If your insights consistently make, instead of break it for the company, you obtain the privilege of taking part in other crucial decision-making.
The future is usually brighter for executive assistants than other employees in the company.
4. Compensation is often more than satisfactory.
The salary of executive assistants is typically much higher than regular employees. Plus, veteran EAs say that the rewards and incentives are even better from the people they serve directly. On top of that, even the families of their bosses are usually kind to them.
Therefore, holidays and successful projects are highly anticipated affairs for them because abundant blessings come from the close connections that you have made.
5. You can develop a considerably close relationship with the families and inner circle of the bosses.
Since you are tasked to do a little bit of this and that for your boss, you get to meet more of his or her close relations. This is an advantage because it can create a different dimension to professional relationships.
This can make you even more effective at your job and a more valuable member of the organization. You can look after the diverse interests and goals of your boss and serve them well to ensure the advantage of the company.
6. You can work in all industries.
The specialty of an executive assistant is versatility. Therefore, your value does not rely so much on the mastery of specific knowledge or skill. Your value is honed by your ability to adapt to and perform well in all kinds of situations.
So, should one day you feel like moving on from the organization that you have been serving, you can easily apply for the same role in a totally different company. Your experiences would often be enough in establishing your worth as a solid candidate for the position.
7. The job develops a high emotional quotient.
One of the most important lessons that Warren Buffett has shared is all about being in control of your emotions, practicing restraint, and not reacting right away. There’s no other job in any organization that will teach you all about emotional control better than being an executive assistant.
A high EQ is a quality that not everybody can have but this is something you can develop through the job. You have to practice emotional every day as you are placed in between the boss and other members of the organization and deal with demands. To keep the job, you have to learn the power of sitting back, observing logically, and letting everybody else’s emotions eventually calm down.
When you develop a high EQ, you can make yourself a winner in any difficult life situation.
8. You can learn so much on the job and have pertinent knowledge for alternative careers.
As mentioned earlier, being an executive assistant is a never-ending learning opportunity. You will find at some point that you know enough or have a good foundation of knowledge to pursue a different yet suitable career one day.
This is an exciting prospect because while you may enjoy the job at the moment, you may find yourself wanting to become your own boss, a teacher, or something else. The culture of study among executive assistants, along with a solid career transition program, will help you with the change that you may want to make far off into the future.
There’s no denying that the job of an executive assistant boasts of a lot of pros. But, of course, it’s important to acknowledge that there are personalities that may not be a fit for the position. But if you feel like yours does, you can make preparations now by taking executive secretary courses – these will help you become a strong candidate for the position and build a satisfying career.
Jerrin Samuel is the Executive Director at Regional Educational Institute (REI) in Abu Dhabi. Since 1995, REI has been at the forefront of education by delivering quality corporate training courses in the UAE, helping many businesses and organizations achieve greater productivity and higher customer satisfaction levels.