An Executive Assistant (EA) plays a key organisational role, handling everything from managing an executive’s personal schedule to organising executive board meetings. The EA operates at a board level supporting Managing Directors (MDs), Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs). The are many overlapping duties between an Executive Assistant and a Personal Assistant. However, an EA will be most likely required to support company projects and support the executive team in ensuring administrative tasks are completed to achieve project milestones. The Executive Assistants core hours are usually based on the traditional Monday to Friday 9-5 working week, however the role is notorious for working additional hours, both early mornings and late evenings depending on business needs.
EAs are essential in large scale corporate business. They are integral in ensuring the executive team or individual is supported in meeting the overall strategic direction of the business. EAs are often found in banking, financial, professional services, Government, and ministerial departments.
You do not require any formal training to become an Executive Assistant, however it would be an advantage to have some training behind you, to showcase that you are educated and informed about administration and business activities.
Administrative qualifications such as Certificate II, III & IV and Diploma in Business Administration are important in showcasing your education and knowledge. Many EAs also complete various courses at private business colleges and TAFE to further develop their knowledge and skill of business operations.
There are other methods you can use to gain further knowledge in Administration, Finance, Keyboarding, Software Operations, and Customer Service courses, through one day events and seminars which can be displayed on your resume.
- Easy going
- Communication - verbal and written
- Communication - email, online, fax, mail, memo
- Computer and Computer Software Operations
- Relationship Management
- Delivering Information
- Designing Forms and Documents
- Diary Management
- Document Preparation
- Event Management
- Meeting / Conference Bookings
- Office Equipment Operation
- Office Management
- Procedural Development
- Records Management
- Relationship Management
- Reports and Presentations
- Systems Analysis and Improvement
For the most part, Executive Assistants become the assistant to progressively higher level executives. As you move to more prestigious businesses and business central areas, the pay will also likely increase. The knowledge gained from working closely with Executives can be greatly beneficial for future managerial roles.
Career advancement in this field can lead to other roles such as:
- Office Manager
- Operations Manager
- Human Resources Officer
- Human Resources Manager
- Training Facilitator
- Training Coordinator
- Small Business Owner
- Business Manager
- Business Development Manager