Assistant to CEO

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Amel in Los Angeles, California

77 months ago

Hi all:

I need advices or people who can share their experiences on how to handle a 1st day at work, specifically as an assistant to a C-class CEO. Should I meet with him & define his objectices/expectations ? I know the job, but I must say that the first day is always intimidating ! How can I take charge & look uber confident on my first day, I need to hear from those who have been there & done that ! I know that it will be up to me to be proactive & find out what my CEO's needs such as expectations.. Should I contact HR a few days prior and ask them for a detailed job description ? Tips please !!

Thanks,
Amel
L.A.

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Cathy in Hayward, California

77 months ago

Amel, I am up at 3 am because I am in a similar position. I realize that so much of it is just a presence of calm and can do, no matter what. When I asked for a job description my HR Manager said it was vague... I think each Exec has their own quirks, and so, they will let you know, and there will be a learning curve. I found some brief rules of thumb on the ehow-to web site. But I imagine I will be asking some questions and discovering what my exec likes and keeping track of every little discovery so that I can develop my own routines for supporting them. Good luck to you.

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Amel in Los Angeles, California

77 months ago

lol 3 am ! I was up at 1 am when I wrote this posting, I thought I was insane ! Like I should have something else better to do at 1 am on Friday night in Hollywood, CA ! Maybe clubbing ! But nahhh, instead I have been perusing all kind of sites to get prepared for my first day at work. Thanks for your support ! PS: Do you have the link to that e-how web site ??? Oh, and will celebrate & go clubbin' once after 3 months once I know I am OK !

Amel

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Cathy in Hayward, California

77 months ago

Amel,
You are like my twin. Wow, you must immediately go to www.officearrow.com. It is a place for all these exec assistant to get together and support each other, a lot of useful article. And free and totally cool and not a big deal to sign up. Then you get an email and then you get an E BOOK on exec assisting! Just read it, and my anxiety level went down about 400 points. Although now I realize with supporting two execs (and then eventually 6) I have my work cut out for me.
What industry are you in? I am in full service advertising.
Looks like our 3 months will be up about the same time.
Best wishes to you!
Kathryn

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Amel in Los Angeles, California

77 months ago

Cathy in Hayward, California said: Amel,
You are like my twin. Wow, you must immediately go to www.officearrow.com . It is a place for all these exec assistant to get together and support each other, a lot of useful article. And free and totally cool and not a big deal to sign up. Then you get an email and then you get an E BOOK on exec assisting! Just read it, and my anxiety level went down about 400 points. Although now I realize with supporting two execs (and then eventually 6) I have my work cut out for me.
What industry are you in? I am in full service advertising.
Looks like our 3 months will be up about the same time.
Best wishes to you!
Kathryn

Kathryn: All I can say is "indeed, we are twins" I knew about this site, actually I have it bookmarked already ! Needless to mention, I also have that EA book ( PDF) downloaded & saved on my desktop ! I also have a hard copy ! As far as my background, I worked as an EA for a Venture Capital Firm, I will now work in Retail supporting a CFO. I also worked for a CEO prior to that and as a Paralegal. I actually come from a legal background ( ABA paralegal certificate) but quickly came to my senses & decided to seek work as an EA instead ! ( Pays more)..

Thanks, and let's keep in touch ! Can't wait to hear back from you.

Amel

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Cathy in Hayward, California

77 months ago

Dear Amel,

Amel
I rocked my first day! They hired me temp to perm, with a one week "trail period" The CEO was introducing me saying, "Kathryn is going to try us out for a week." And now he is giving me longer term projects to work on, and seems very pleased. In fact I am supporting 3 executives and likely 3 more (albeit in lesser ways within the next 3 months.) I love workign in advertising. They are a cooky lovely bunch of people. How was your first day?

Kathryn

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Amel in Los Angeles, California

77 months ago

Cathy in Hayward, California said: Dear Amel,

Amel
I rocked my first day! They hired me temp to perm, with a one week "trail period" The CEO was introducing me saying, "Kathryn is going to try us out for a week." And now he is giving me longer term projects to work on, and seems very pleased. In fact I am supporting 3 executives and likely 3 more (albeit in lesser ways within the next 3 months.) I love workign in advertising. They are a cooky lovely bunch of people. How was your first day?

Kathryn

Contrats ! I am so happy for you ! As far as me, my first day won't be until Monday Next week ! I am so anxious to get started ! I go have a case of last minute jitters, and I hope all will be OK..

Anyway, congrats, I am confident you 'll get what you want !

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Cathy in Hayward, California

77 months ago

Amel, Likewise, I am sure you will get what you want.

The thing I think that has helped me most is not trying to "look good" but just relaxing and breathing and opening my heart whenever anyone is speaking to me, espc my execs. I have found at least in the getting to know you phase, this is more effective than anything I had to say, I really only had to beam openess, and listen to them. Now I am getting s**t done, but it is inside of the relationship I formed with them by just being focused on them, and open.

Imagine what you want, you can have it.

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Very Experienced in St. Louis in Saint Louis, Missouri

76 months ago

Amel in Los Angeles, California said: Hi all:

I need advices or people who can share their experiences on how to handle a 1st day at work, specifically as an assistant to a C-class CEO. Should I meet with him & define his objectices/expectations ? I know the job, but I must say that the first day is always intimidating ! How can I take charge & look uber confident on my first day, I need to hear from those who have been there & done that ! I know that it will be up to me to be proactive & find out what my CEO's needs such as expectations.. Should I contact HR a few days prior and ask them for a detailed job description ? Tips please !!

Thanks,
Amel
L.A.

Amel...you must be very young and inexperienced in the field or you would not be asking these types of questions. A very experienced EA would KNOW what to do, but...they're older...like me and probably require a higher salary. I'm not insulting you...I was young once too and remember very well a few sleepless nights before starting a new job. My recommendation would be to meet with the Executive a few days after you've been on the job, and ask what they expect of you. Your duties should also be clearly defined by HR. However, shouldn't this have already been taken care of in the interview? Good luck, I'm sure you'll be fine!

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Very Experienced in St. Louis in Saint Louis, Missouri

76 months ago

Cathy in Hayward, California said: Dear Amel,

Amel
I rocked my first day! They hired me temp to perm, with a one week "trail period" The CEO was introducing me saying, "Kathryn is going to try us out for a week." And now he is giving me longer term projects to work on, and seems very pleased. In fact I am supporting 3 executives and likely 3 more (albeit in lesser ways within the next 3 months.) I love workign in advertising. They are a cooky lovely bunch of people. How was your first day?

Kathryn

I think that's "trial" period...not trail.

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Anna B. in New Rochelle, New York

76 months ago

[QUOTE
Hi,
I was in your shoes once and have since earned a dual paralegal certificate to try to get ahead. I think it best to just ignore HR so you don't have too many 'items of interest' placed in your personnel folder, which could hurt you in the future. Best to just go with the flow and be yourself, or stay true to yourself at all times? Just do the work and avoid confrontation with HR at all costs. You'll do well if you just keep your head down and do the work and avoid gossip at all times! It's best to be less popular and a little more grownup. Regards, Anne Beth

who="Amel in Los Angeles, California"]Hi all:

I need advices or people who can share their experiences on how to handle a 1st day at work, specifically as an assistant to a C-class CEO. Should I meet with him & define his objectices/expectations ? I know the job, but I must say that the first day is always intimidating ! How can I take charge & look uber confident on my first day, I need to hear from those who have been there & done that ! I know that it will be up to me to be proactive & find out what my CEO's needs such as expectations.. Should I contact HR a few days prior and ask them for a detailed job description ? Tips please !!

Thanks,
Amel
L.A.

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Lynn in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

76 months ago

Very Experienced in St. Louis in Saint Louis, Missouri said: Amel...you must be very young and inexperienced in the field or you would not be asking these types of questions. A very experienced EA would KNOW what to do, but...they're older...like me and probably require a higher salary. I'm not insulting you...I was young once too and remember very well a few sleepless nights before starting a new job. My recommendation would be to meet with the Executive a few days after you've been on the job, and ask what they expect of you. Your duties should also be clearly defined by HR. However, shouldn't this have already been taken care of in the interview? Good luck, I'm sure you'll be fine!

Excuse me, but could you possibly be MORE condescending and critical of Amel??? You said yourself, that you didn't always know EVERYTHING. You were once in Amel's shoes. Maybe I missed something in your response, but it seemed very insulting in my opinion. Since you have so much experience, why don't you use it to help others who are just starting out; instead of trying to point out how wonderful, perfect and well compensated you are? Drop the snobby attitude and then maybe someone will value what you have to say!

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Jeri in Omaha, Nebraska

76 months ago

I am curious how Amel's first day went! I didn't see anything in the postings on it.

I have been an executive secretary (currently unemployed and looking)for over 20 years and am curious if it is as difficult to find a decent paying exec. level admin. job elsewhere in the country as it is here in the Midwest.

Jeri

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Betsy in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

75 months ago

Company closed making $60,000+ Bonus as AA to Owner. Can't find anything for almost two years now. Been close a couple of times. Not even looking for what I was making. The experience sometimes turns people off because they figure you will not last long.

Jeri in Omaha, Nebraska said: I am curious how Amel's first day went! I didn't see anything in the postings on it.

I have been an executive secretary (currently unemployed and looking)for over 20 years and am curious if it is as difficult to find a decent paying exec. level admin. job elsewhere in the country as it is here in the Midwest.

Jeri

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Jeri in Omaha, Nebraska

75 months ago

Betsy - So you have been looking for TWO years~??? What have you been doing for money those two years? Good grief. I am having the same problem. I was making $47,000 which is top dollar for an exec. admin. here in the mid-west and now I find I can't get so much as an interview simply because you have to tell them your prior wages and when they see what you were making they don't even want to talk to you. And yes, I have told them I will work for less (much less) and they are still hesitant because they don't want to hire someone at a reduced wage because they fear you will keep looking and leave them eventually. I wonder if anyone has any suggestions or comments regarding this wage issue. That is very discouraging that you have been looking that long. I too have come close to a job offer several times (2 interviews at the same place) but then the offer goes to someone else.

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Lourdes in Mission Viejo, California

72 months ago

Amel in Los Angeles, California said: Kathryn: All I can say is "indeed, we are twins" I knew about this site, actually I have it bookmarked already ! Needless to mention, I also have that EA book ( PDF) downloaded & saved on my desktop ! I also have a hard copy ! As far as my background, I worked as an EA for a Venture Capital Firm, I will now work in Retail supporting a CFO. I also worked for a CEO prior to that and as a Paralegal. I actually come from a legal background ( ABA paralegal certificate) but quickly came to my senses & decided to seek work as an EA instead ! ( Pays more)..

Thanks, and let's keep in touch ! Can't wait to hear back from you.

Amel

Hi Amel,
My name Lourdes and I just became an EA to General Counsel, from your Paralegal experience any tips/advice would be appreciated I will be going to the website and download the book also, as everyone here I want to be an excellent EA :-) thank you all for your support and advice :-)

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Lourdes in Mission Viejo, California

72 months ago

Anna B. in New Rochelle, New York said: [QUOTE
Hi,
I was in your shoes once and have since earned a dual paralegal certificate to try to get ahead. I think it best to just ignore HR so you don't have too many 'items of interest' placed in your personnel folder, which could hurt you in the future. Best to just go with the flow and be yourself, or stay true to yourself at all times? Just do the work and avoid confrontation with HR at all costs. You'll do well if you just keep your head down and do the work and avoid gossip at all times! It's best to be less popular and a little more grownup. Regards, Anne Beth

who="Amel in Los Angeles, California"]Hi all:

I need advices or people who can share their experiences on how to handle a 1st day at work, specifically as an assistant to a C-class CEO. Should I meet with him & define his objectices/expectations ? I know the job, but I must say that the first day is always intimidating ! How can I take charge & look uber confident on my first day, I need to hear from those who have been there & done that ! I know that it will be up to me to be proactive & find out what my CEO's needs such as expectations.. Should I contact HR a few days prior and ask them for a detailed job description ? Tips please !!

Thanks,
Amel
L.A.

Good Advice Anna :-) anyfeed back on supporting EVP General councel would be great :-)

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Evelynh in Australia

72 months ago

Very Experienced in St. Louis in Saint Louis, Missouri said: I think that's "trial" period...not trail.

You have got to be joking. I know this quote was posted four months ago, but you must be a very angry EA – very cold. Get over yourself!

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Anya in Los Angeles, California

72 months ago

Pay and opportunities are usually better on the coasts - because geographically speaking there are more professionals than paraprofessionals.

Good Luck Amel - congratulations. I find that temp-perm in LA is a sham

But i am not raining on your parade.

Keep us posted.

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EA in Auckland, New Zealand

65 months ago

Hi Amel,
I'm interested to see how your EA job is working out.
Hope all is going well.

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Hubby to ExecAsst in Naperville, Illinois

65 months ago

To all assistants looking for support/ideas - I hope this helps...
My wife has been an exec assistant for Fortune 50 CEO's for 10 years.
Salary: slightly over $100k base.
Location: Midwest

Tips and Ideas -
1. You need a great support staff at home. I have to help my wife at the home with the kids when she travels. And there is a great deal of travels since the CEO ontourage travels on corporate planes/jets often. This support is critical!
2. You should TRY to support One executive when you can - having multiple bosses is just a setup of not being able to make one exec happy since you are split among many.
3. Focus on working for executives that are being "groomed" for the CEO job if getting to work for the CEO is difficult.
4. Know that there is a difference between a Secretary and tru Executive Assistant! This is key, and while you may do both - focus on the latter to grow! - What is the difference? Typing letters, calendar entries, phones, printing, binding, schedules, setting appointments.. - To us, this is more on the secretary / administrative side of being an assistance. Executive level - Know the business details. Who are the key vendors and why? Who have key relationships to the CEO - and WHY? Be involved in the business so much that you are part of the presentations or at least invited to the presentations critical to the business. This way you see your CEO's business partners / vendors, and relationships with more light as you understand the 'WHY' - from the presentations.
5. Your commitments to the CEO is a 24hr 7 days a week role.
6. Stay on top of technology (iphone. Blackberry, Tripit, airlines alerts...etc) - Be proactive and setup alerts even for his personal travels so any delays - you get notified, and take charge of finding an alternate route and offering options.
7. Communicate / Schedule lunch at least once a month - once you focus on the business,discussion topics are releva

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08-14-2009 in Round Rock, Texas

64 months ago

I'd also like to know how Amel's job is working out after all this time.

I'd also like to know how that dried up, taciturn old bat in St. Louis is coping with unemployment? Doesn't matter how great your "hard" skills are if you have a terrible attitude. That shines through in any office. Booo boo! >:(

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Car

64 months ago

Hi,
I have a quick question, I hope someone can clue me in on this problem.
I started working as ad admin during the late 80's - early 90's. Finished my degree and pursued a telecommunications career path...which was both rewarding financially and mentally. I was promoted, etc. When telecom took a blood bath during early 2000, I was downsized. The next position I took was that of a corporate recruiter. It was a great job; however, our organization was purchased by an overseas corporation and again I find myself without a job.

Here is the question: I type 90 plus - take shorthand (probably rusty) but I know I can do an admin job; however, I am getting the "you are not qualified" by the admin recruiters of various temp organizations in the midwest city which I live.

Any sound advice on how to return to the market. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Management. Worked with brokers on wall street, recruited, etc. and I am getting -- you aren't qualified.

What gives -- any answers are greatly appreciated.

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UberExecAsst in Denver, Colorado

63 months ago

Car said: Hi,
I have a quick question, I hope someone can clue me in on this problem.
I started working as ad admin during the late 80's - early 90's. Finished my degree and pursued a telecommunications career path...which was both rewarding financially and mentally. I was promoted, etc. When telecom took a blood bath during early 2000, I was downsized. The next position I took was that of a corporate recruiter. It was a great job; however, our organization was purchased by an overseas corporation and again I find myself without a job.

Here is the question: I type 90 plus - take shorthand (probably rusty) but I know I can do an admin job; however, I am getting the "you are not qualified" by the admin recruiters of various temp organizations in the midwest city which I live.

Any sound advice on how to return to the market. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Management. Worked with brokers on wall street, recruited, etc. and I am getting -- you aren't qualified.

What gives -- any answers are greatly appreciated.

Downplay your management positions and take the 80's off your resume as it shows age. Thats what I did and it worked fine. In interviews stress how you love working as an EA and even though you've had management opportunities you like supporting the exec at the top. Good luck!

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Jill in Detroit, Michigan

56 months ago

I didn't get the e book. do you have it that you could share?

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Laura in New York, New York

45 months ago

I was unable to download the e-book. After adding it to my cart, the transaction just wouldn't go through. Anyone know if it's still available?
Thanks!

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Anonymous in Dayton, Ohio

44 months ago

Cathy in Hayward, California said: Amel, Likewise, I am sure you will get what you want.

The thing I think that has helped me most is not trying to "look good" but just relaxing and breathing and opening my heart whenever anyone is speaking to me, espc my execs. I have found at least in the getting to know you phase, this is more effective than anything I had to say, I really only had to beam openess, and listen to them. Now I am getting s**t done, but it is inside of the relationship I formed with them by just being focused on them, and open.

Imagine what you want, you can have it.

"Opening your heart" sounds a bit over the top!!

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Anya in Los Angeles, California

44 months ago

Anya in Los Angeles, California said: Pay and opportunities are usually better on the coasts - because geographically speaking there are more professionals than paraprofessionals.

Good Luck Amel - congratulations. I find that temp-perm in LA is a sham

But i am not raining on your parade.

Keep us posted.

Geesh, I was BITTER and Hostile! lol

I am presently employed as an AA and a Program assistant (working two jobs while i finish a dual degree). I am not an Executive Assistant again, yet - but by graduating in about a month, the opportunities should increase.

In the event you can't find work, don't sit around ~ get a degree if at all possible and do work study in conjunction with your studies so you will keep your skills sharp.

Hth...

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Hiring in Beverly Hills, California

37 months ago

I am looking to hire a great executive assistant. This is for a very respected high end real real estate broker in Beverly Hills. I need that person who loves their job and loves doing it well. They would be involved in escrows, appointments, advertising,heavy phones,ect... Common sense and smarts a must. Anyone know anyone??????

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Anonymus in Los Angeles, California

37 months ago

Hiring in Beverly Hills, California said: I am looking to hire a great executive assistant. This is for a very respected high end real real estate broker in Beverly Hills. I need that person who loves their job and loves doing it well. They would be involved in escrows, appointments, advertising,heavy phones,ect... Common sense and smarts a must. Anyone know anyone??????

Hello there,
Does this person have to come from a real estate background? Or would that be enough if the person is a great Exec. Asst. having worked with top leaders, with 10 plus years of managing projects and top education? Thanks!

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HR Consultant in Bismarck, North Dakota

36 months ago

A Job description is the min., base-level understanding of the job. I think you are right on track; set up a meeting with CEO through his or her outlook scheduler and check for avail. times-not sure if day 1, but ck it out; attach a draft agenda. Need to know soon the persons "pet peeves",. What projects are pending now? What are this weeks deadlines? What staff meetings will you be in? What is the preferred method of communication-/social media tools, perso and how tech. savy they are; and what is your authority, when and what type of transactions can you "stamp", and move on...and ALWAYS keep him or her in loop. Include on that agenda the topic areas key to your and the CEO's success. It's okay to also ask how your performance will be evaluated from a technical-knowledge,skills and abilities stand-pt and behavoral std.pt.; what are your goals and objectives for the year etc. Think of the quests. he or she asked in the interview---these areas are critical. Why did the last person leave? What did you like and dislike about the former person--where were the knowledge gaps. Go out to lunch together--could talk then. But be organized and think ahead--nticipate the future-that's why you were hired. AWhat imsk for key documents so you can read for your self. If HR has advised the CEO properly over the day ta great part of this day has been reserved for you---but I have seen times when the CEO is not in town the day the new person arrives---Call in advance---ask him what's up for day 1; then be prepared, if he is in the office and what you are looking to do---the "real" work starts immediately.

Day 1 is a meet and greet , meet your team members, the rest of exec. team, get to know the key business processes --- Mail drop area and first/last pick-up times, internal/external fed. expr, computer security password, email account; as a former exec support person you know-focus on the who, what, when, where and how of doing your job---HR will steal an hour or 2

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rosyn in Skopje, Macedonia

24 months ago

Hi guys...I am starting in 2weeks with my job - an assistant of the CEO of Jonson Controls....can u please help me with some clues how to manage - I've had 2 years experience as an assistant of NPO

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