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Comments (19)

Host

What are the top 3 traits or skills every executive assistant must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your executive assistant expertise?

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Belinda in Norcross, GA in Norcross, Georgia

98 months ago

A great book to help you with this is "Managing Up" by Rosanne Badowski. She was the EA to Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. I found it very informative and helpful with my two bosses.

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maria in Bucharest, Romania

82 months ago

Host said: What are the top 3 traits or skills every executive assistant must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your executive assistant expertise?

communication skills
able to prioritize
computer proficient
languages proficient
inter-personal skills are a must
calm is a must as well

At least the above ...and more to follow...i've been doing this job for almost 7 years and there's always more things to learn ...

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nina in New Delhi, India

80 months ago

co managing daily work and projects with your boss
good relationship with other departments (HR and Accounts)
multi tasking while priorotizing work

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majorshadow in Chula Vista, California

47 months ago

Song Title: Sweetest Lemonade (Bad Boss,Block Negativity,Reach Your Peak)
Subject: Soul song pokes fun at the bad boss and inspires the under-dog to strive to improve his or her position in life. Song suggests that the table could turn, making the boss the under-dog and the under-dog the top dog.
Video URL: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYcHW1kuP-k

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George in North Sydney, Australia

35 months ago

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Bhargavsharma in Hyderabad, India

35 months ago

Hey Hi

I recently got an opportunity as an executive assistance role in one of the MNC company . Now my question to all of you is will EA role really help full for career as i would settled my self as GM in 3 - 5 years of my time . Please give us your valuable suggestion which be helps in taking my decision.

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nimmi in Fairfax, Virginia

34 months ago

EA in Falls Church, Virginia said: You know, I truly love being an EA. I have a college degree, my boss is amazing, and I enjoy managing his day-to-day, his personal life, and knowing everything about what makes him tick. I enjoy being the gatekeeper. I like that people have to get through me to get to him.

For people to say that I'm "settling" for being an EA is offensive to me. I have a good job that I enjoy, the money is great, and I have made many contacts working for my boss that have and will be valuable in my arsenal. My boss thinks I'm invaluable and often says he wouldn't know what to do without me. I also get a pretty substantial bonus every year.

I know people in other jobs that "make company decisions" that absolutely hate their jobs, so tell me, are they really that much better off than I am because they aren't ok with being an "assistant for the rest of their lives?"

I'm sorry but that to me is a very condescending thing to say.

i totally agree with you. I have a question. I have been working as EA for more than 10 years but in India. I live in VA and looking for EA positions but no success so far. I have no idea what is going wrong here. any suggestions?

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EA in D.C. in Baltimore, Maryland

33 months ago

Hello, I start work as an EA in downtown DC next week. It is a temp to oosition...but i'vr got one foot in the door. Try applying with The Ford Agency (also in DC).

Good luck

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E.Tracy Christian in Elkridge, Maryland

33 months ago

I wish you the best; do not look at it as a temp position, it is your position. Work smart and stay on top of your game. You never know where the job may take you in the future.

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nimmi in Fairfax, Virginia

33 months ago

EA in D.C. in Baltimore, Maryland said: Hello, I start work as an EA in downtown DC next week. It is a temp to oosition...but i'vr got one foot in the door. Try applying with The Ford Agency (also in DC).

Good luck

Oh Wow!!!It doesnt matter..temp or permanent..love your job and show them what you are capable of and you will be good to go..Congratulations..
As of me no luck so far ..still looking for an EA job..soemthing is seriously wrong here since I am not even getting an interview call..How did you find this job?

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nimmi in Fairfax, Virginia

33 months ago

E.Tracy Christian in Elkridge, Maryland said: I wish you the best; do not look at it as a temp position, it is your position. Work smart and stay on top of your game. You never know where the job may take you in the future.

Yes..you are right..

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nikki9door in Airdrie, Alberta

32 months ago

How about excellent spelling? Looks like a few who responded to this thread would benefit from a few language lessons!

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Phyllis in Mount Laurel, New Jersey

29 months ago

I in Toms River, New Jersey said: These are all good tips, but why not aim for something higher? Do you want to be an assistant for the rest of your life? Do you always want to be the one arranging meetings, instead of the one making company decisions? An exec. assistant position is fine for a few years, but then why not go to college , take courses, make your way up, and continue moving up in your career. Don't just be satisfied with the position of assistant.

That's insulting. I do have a degree -- a Bachelor's in Business Communications. I like the work involved in being an Executive Assistant. It's a career like any other.

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knickols in Newport News, Virginia

26 months ago

EA in Washington, District of Columbia said: When I was a kid I wanted to be a lot of things, Irene, most of them not realistic, like a professional ballerina.

I really cannot believe that you say I'm not being fair to myself. REALLY?! I think I have a pretty fantastic life. My job is great, my boss even better, I live in our nation's capital where I am involved in several different political and community activities, I have a wonderful man and our dog together. I'm pretty damn happy with myself and my choices.

I'm gainfully employed, I pay my taxes, and I'm not popping out kids I can't afford. I wake up and ENJOY going to work!

How come I should want to be, by your definition, something "beyond" what I am already? Just because you wouldn't be happy as an EA, doesn't mean others don't find joy in it.

Do you say the same thing to women who are stay-at-home moms too? I can't believe I'm defending myself to you.

You go girl!

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knickols in Newport News, Virginia

26 months ago

It pays to not live your life by someone else's definition of talent. I love what I do as an administrative assistant. I love the fact that my role within the company is in a lot of ways why it works the way it does. My co-workers often refer to me as being the captain of the tug boat. I am the first line of defense when it comes to a lot of issues and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you!

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Noel in San Francisco, California

25 months ago

I'm seeing valuable advice here! I've been an AA for eight years. I'm ready to be an EA because, directly and indirectly, I've been supporting C-level staff. My title [and salary] just doesn't show this. I have been hard at work in the evenings earning my BS in Applied Economics w/ emphasis in Business. I'll graduate in May. I'd like to be an EA now in the hope that it will lead to lateral and slightly upward opportunities in my field. It also pays well. However, I'm reading mixed things here. Would it be a mistake to be an EA at this time? One person said that firms have a tendency to KEEP you in your role; I've found this to be true in some cases. They love you where you're at and don't see you as capable of much else. Please, what are your thoughts on this matter? Thank you in advance!

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EA at Fashion Company in New York, New York

25 months ago

Melissa in Bridgetown, Barbados said: Hey guys, I am interviewing for a position as an EA next Tuesday, i have a Bsc in Management and i've worked as an administrative assitant for a couple months, i don't have any interview experience though, but I am a pretty intelligent young lady, who is very adaptable and acute. Any advice?

My advice would be, DON'T DO IT. I hate being an E.A mainly because of my boss. He is an evil, heart-less, despicable person. I am looking for another job but definitely not going to be an E.A again. Funny thing is, when I was offered the job, I took it because it said "coordinator" in the title. I thought it could have been a stepping stone to another position within the company. Instead, it turned out to be a dead end job. Unless you like being treated like the help, I say, don't bother to take a job like this. Plus, in the end, all you are seen as is the "secretary"

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W. Donn in Washington, District of Columbia

16 months ago

jagmoney in Jacksonville, Florida said: Hi I am lookin at becoming an executive assistant and I dont really know where to start. Almost all of my work has been blue collar and I would like to try working in an office. I have a high school diploma. I am willing to learn and work as hard as needed just not sure where to start or if someone would be willing to give me a chance. my email is jagmoney3@yahoo.com If someone can give me advice please feel free to email.

I have been an executive assistant for over 20 years and if you want to get into this type of work I would recommend that you start by working as a receptionist. It's a simple place to start, while giving you an idea of what working in an office environment feels like. Normally, you would need a good phone voice, be able to be super polite to EVERYONE that calls, speak clearly and "GIVE GOOD PHONE".....(You would be the "Gate Keeper", so knowing how to talk to people well makes you a good person to handle calls as well as visitors. It's not a menial position as you are the first impression of a company. Your voice and your appearance are symbols of what the company is all about. It's where I started and I worked my way up. It normally pays anywhere from $8.00/hour up to $14.00/hour depending on where you live. Be willing to start at the lower end if you want to grow. (But ALWAYS take the best salary you can). Oh, most receptionist positions are salary positions, which is nice.......Not a hard job to get if you can talk nice and look professional. Look in th want ads for "ENTRY LEVEL" receptionist....that means, no experience is needed and the pay is "Starter Pay"..... GOOD LUCK!!!!

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