Executive Assistant Salary Range

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Sharron in Hoffman Estates, Illinois

60 months ago

The last post on this site was more than two months ago. Have we all given up, become depressed, found jobs? I'm still looking but without any expectations for being hired - I'm too old. (Not that I see myself that way!)

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Annette in New Delhi, India

60 months ago

AJ, meant to thank you for your response and help with matrimonial lawyers but somehow I lost touch. Do you still have names of any good attorneys who can practice in both States, NJ and NY. Problem is I need someone who can do on a contingency basis as I have no funds right now....yup! still unemployed...the NJ Judge has been very supportive and allows me to represent myself on con-col from India! He has even suggested I come before him minus any counsel and he will help sort matters out. But my husband in a deliberate move not to have me return to USA (as I will blow his lid on all fronts) had filed a Missing Persons Report which although the Judge has ordered him thrice to set aside, he hasn't yet abided the orders! All my life I have been walked upon...so its not just 1 bad husband, but also bad bosses who come onto you like it was their birthright and still one has to suck up to them as our daily bread and butter and that of our childrens is wholly dependent on these kings! I am this close to coming to USA but wonder if my experience and qualifications will help me get ANY job! even if its just washing cars or baby-sitting! Any suggestions?

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Sharron in Hoffman Estates, Illinois

60 months ago

Annette,
I did not post the attorney advice but I have cut and paste that posting. It includes a link. Hopefully, the information is still valid.

As for US unemployment, the percentage is continuing to climb further into double digits. I have applied for jobs at all levels, including receptionist, and have had one callback in every few hundred applications. As I recall, you are only in your mid-40s. That may make a difference.

Here is the text of the posting: I hope you don't mind me butting in, but attached is a link for Divorce attorney's in the Tri-State Area. You will need an attorney or a firm that practice in both states. It you give some more time, I will be able to send you a list of good attorney's. In the meantime enjoy the Ivana Trump advise column

www.divorcemag.com/NY/

Please continue to post on this board and let us know how you are doing.

Sharron

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AJ in New York, New York

60 months ago

Annette,
I do not know of any lawyers at the top off my head. I do know off someone (wealthy, connected) who got a divorce, hence will try and google their name and see what comes up? In this case, the wife walked away with a fairly good deal and she had never worked, was a stay at home mom.

The job situation in the Tri-state area is not that bad, there are jobs, however, age, race, prior salary all make a big difference. I look daily, but have not applied, as I have a lot of personal crap in my life, that I need sorting out first.

Since the NJ Judge is already aware of your situation-

1. Can his office recommend anyone? (probaby not, but worth a try)

2. Can you get the name of an attorney with a good (win) record from some of the cases that came before him/her court?

3. You definately need a top notch attorney, judging from what you say about your ex and since he has already declared you a missing person, I would assume that he is capable of physically harming you. Maybe, I'm paranoid, but there are way too many cases in the papers. So, when you do decide to return to the U.S., please make sure your ex., is not aware of your address, even if that means not disclosing it to your children.

4. Your husband has no right to stop you from entering the U.S. Have you tried contacting the U.S. Consulate in New Delhi?

Attached is a link, which lists attorney information and marital property laws in all 50 states:

law.findlaw.com/state-laws/marital-property/new-jersey/

Sharron:
Good luck to you! Old is gold! Experience comes with age!

AJ

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admin in Norcross, Georgia

59 months ago

I have been working at a company for the past year where I was the Administrative Assistant/ Receptionist/ also Executive Assistant to the President. Basically I handled a facet of roles for the company and was HIGHLY underpaid making on 32, 000 per year. I worked late hours and was rarely given any feedback/positive feedback.

I have now accepted a position as an Executive Assistant to 3 Executives. They have never had an assistant before, and I will be making 42,000 per year. Based on my years of experince as an admin I feel that this is pretty reasonable( I have around 2 years give or take)

I just wanted some advice on how to moveup salary wise as the years progress so that I make around 80,000 per year either with this company or another. I also wanted feedback on if you thought that this was an appropriate salary for an EA.

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Sharron in Hoffman Estates, Illinois

59 months ago

Congratulations! It was brave of you in this employment environment to pursue a new job. Your first job was typical of the requirements of today's job market: fulfilling the responsibilities of at least two additional positions and being paid the rate for the lowest compensated one. Many companies have given the title Executive Assistant to positions to qualify as exempt - no overtime pay. These companies require that the EA support at least two/three executives. And, of course, they pay much below pre-recession wages. The criteria for the EA is many fewer years of experience.

When I accepted my first position as an EA, I had worked for more than ten years in increasingly more responsible positions. I supported one primary C-level executive. As the economy faltered from time to time, a C-level executive was added. My responsibilities included all that are now assigned to administrative VPs. My starting salary was in the high 50s. My last salary was in the high 60s. At that time, I knew EAs who were making 70s - 100s. Most EAs had to have at least 7 years of experience, preferably 10, as well as some education beyond high school.

Today, companies are hiring freshly minted BA/BS degrees (they don't care about the skills/people just the paper); paying entry-level salaries; requiring two, three, or more additional support job responsibilities in order to hire VPs (at much higher salaries) to fulfill the responsibilities formerly assigned to EAs. But, no EA can do the receptionist, administrative assistant, mailroom, janitorial duties along with administrative management. All of these newly created mid-executive positions are being filled with people who have no managerial and no executive experience. So, they have no idea how to use support and are either ineffectual or ridiculously demanding (read bullying). Currently, it is many chiefs and few workers. Unfortunately, the work is not done by the chiefs.

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sailing away in Port Orchard, Washington

59 months ago

Here, here Sharon! You are so right about the abundance of ineffective and ridiculously demanding mid-level chiefs. I work for one and do not see a way out in the near future unfortunately but do strive to feel fortunate that I do have a job, ridiculously demanding though it is.

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Sharron in Hoffman Estates, Illinois

59 months ago

Dear Sailing Away, it shouldn't be a choice between accepting any/all type(s) of treatment or unemployment. Is no one looking after the workers? We are, after all, footing the bill!

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sailing away in Port Orchard, Washington

59 months ago

Sharron in Hoffman Estates, Illinois said: Dear Sailing Away, it shouldn't be a choice between accepting any/all type(s) of treatment or unemployment. Is no one looking after the workers? We are, after all, footing the bill!

Nobody is watching this hen house except the foxes.... I mean bosses. In my company the employee retention plan is as follows....work or get fired. Some get laid off anyway and the random way in which that occurs scares the employees into staying b/c they are afraid they cant find work elsewhere and unemployment wont cover the mortgage pmts. no commincation or business plan in place but dont get me started about the inexperienced folks running the show here. I am working on my exiting strategy but am in the same boat as all others- need a new job before I can leave. Too scary these days otherwise..to take a financial risk.

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Sharron in Hoffman Estates, Illinois

59 months ago

If you have been following this forum, you know that I moved from Southern California to Illinois at the end of August. I have been unemployed for more than a year. Before September 2008, I worked for 6 months at a California State entity. I was unemployed for a month prior to that job due to the implosion of Washington Mutual where I worked for only 11 months. Before WaMu, I was unemployed for a month after working for 9+ years at a firm. New CEO/BOD just decided to retire the remaining C-level executive in the Los Angeles office. The corporate office moved to Reston, VA. That was the beginning of the FALL. The economy began to slip. Executives across the country began to cut workers to hold onto their jobs.

Just before the lay-off of my 9+-year job, I was planning to purchase a home in South Carolina with a view to retiring in about 5-8 years. Not only did that not happen, after WaMu and CSU, I had to move in with my daughter. After a year there, I moved to Illinois to live with my son. I have no idea what I will do next.

I have applied to hundreds of job postings and have had 6-7 interviews (if you count the phone interviews); 4 made it to the in-person interview. But, no one has offered me a job. I can only attribute this to my age. It is annecdotally similar for most job seekers who are older than 45 yoa.

So, your fears and the fears of your colleagues are well founded. But, I hope that employees exact their revenge when the economy turns around.

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sailing away in Port Orchard, Washington

59 months ago

I am sorry to hear about your hard times. The unpredictability of the economy is a very scary thing and even though some days, I want to walk out of my job on principal alone, I know that unlike most in our field, I am at least being paid pretty well and it would be very difficult to find another position. For the time being I have to stick tothe saying, " better the devil you know than the devil you don't". will continue looking around and once I find a better opportunity, I am outt here.

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Sharron in Hoffman Estates, Illinois

59 months ago

sailing away in Port Orchard, Washington said: I am sorry to hear about your hard times. The unpredictability of the economy is a very scary thing and even though some days, I want to walk out of my job on principal alone, I know that unlike most in our field, I am at least being paid pretty well and it would be very difficult to find another position. For the time being I have to stick tothe saying, " better the devil you know than the devil you don't". will continue looking around and once I find a better opportunity, I am outt here.

That sounds like a smart plan.

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annette in New Delhi, India

59 months ago

AJ, thanks for your much-needed advise. I'm probably going thru the worst phase of my life right now...no job in 10 months, bank balance is zilch...my landlord will evict me anyday now....my elder daughter got admission in the Culinary Institute of America..there's a shortfall of USD 5000 on her fee payable by 1st December....I have NO FUNDS, barely surviving at poverty level and father has declined all help...i'm all the more worried about her mental trauma as she has been a victim of incest in her childhood by her father and this her dream being denied her will kill her.....litigation is in full swing in India and I am unable to pay the lawyers so they take a back seat...although US Consulate is granting me a visa to come to USA and I am determined to fight for my children's rights, but due to my husband's filing a Missing persons report based on an ex-parte custody order he got fraudulently by telling the courts I am mental and a threat to my kids, he is telling my children that I will be arrested upon arrival! Strange coz there is no wrongdoing on my part, I have come to realize that the courts which were instituted to help people like me, exist only for crafty people..US Consulate knows my entire case since the time I landed here, but they play cold turkey..now I have gotten in touch with the last shelterhome I stayed, they said they can help me in that but not for my properties as they are not within their compass...bottomline, almost all my problems today are because of my marriage partner and now recently because of my lay off, and guess the reason for it....because my boss entered into a business dealing with my cousin (without my knowledge) and it turned sour...sorry guys for bothering you with my woes but i really needed to ventilate...as the tears dont stop! love u all...

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EA in Bellevue, WA

57 months ago

Perplexed said: Your comments are all interesting. Most EAs where I work don't do any true brain work, have high school degrees, and are paid nearly double what I earn with multiple advanced degrees.... Those of you who are EAs and earn $65-100K per year are incredibly lucky--you're earning more than many degreed people who had other plans, but would be thrilled to earn your wages.

Yes...the harder we work, the "luckier" we get. LOL

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EA in Bellevue, WA

57 months ago

Perplexed said: So, how in the world can you demand the wage you want? I have higher level skills than any Sr. EA in my company and I am grossly underpaid at under $45K. I wish I could demand what I want. Are you sure you are worth more than $45K without more than a high school or two-year secretarial degree?

You clearly don't have a clue what the right hand assistant to a top-level executive does. I am very certain you could not perform this job. It's no one else's fault that you chose to go to school for a low-paying career. Now you're bitter and attacking others that earn more than you. Shame on you.

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EA in Bellevue, WA

57 months ago

Perplexed said: It sounds like your 9-year position encompassed what an EA role SHOULD be comprised of. Most EA roles that I have observed are basically secretarial roles - maintaining calendars and arranging travel. The only educational requirement is high school. Sadly enough, they get what they pay for and unfortunately, though, this means that less qualified people have been hired into roles for which there should be higher expectations and higher levels of responsibilities, while being overpaid. And people with more skills, experience, and education are paid only half what the less qualified and sometimes incompetent individuals earn. There's something wrong here!

What's wrong are your research skills, IMO. You don't know what you're talking about. That's the problem (and the beauty) of public forums...anyone can put their two cents in...right or wrong.

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EA in Bellevue, WA

57 months ago

Veronica102 in Las Vegas, Nevada said:

In the case of someone just graduating from school, naturally you do have to start somewhere between the bottom & middle of the pay scale. In the comment about "don't take less than you're worth", the worth stems from the business acumen and expertise developed over time and years of experience.

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ilc in Toronto, Ontario

54 months ago

I'm not based in the U.S.A, but I have seen salaries as high as $60K in Ontario, Canada. Average I would say depends on where in Toronto the company is (uptown, midtown, downtown). Downtown positions pay a great deal more. I've also seen salaries as low as $42K for an EA, but averaging about $50-$55K.

Just thought I'd give a Canadian comparison (and we are at parity right now with the U.S. dollar) :)

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Sharron in Hoffman Estates, Illinois

54 months ago

Thanks for giving us the view from Canada. Are those C$ or US$? In recent weeks, I have seen 1 or 2 positions advertised for downtown Chicago that are in the US$60k - US$70k. But, for the most part, positions are advertising <US$15/hour. And, very few actually mean EA. The responsibilities are either AA+ reception, shipping, cleaning (!), running errands, getting lunches or EA+ mid-management, i.e., HR, reporting, marketing, with EA pay. Although I continue to apply - and, update my resume every few months - I have no hope of being hired because of my age.

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Sr. EA

54 months ago

Unfortunately, age discrimination is alive and well. That being said, hang in there for the count. Sooner or later you WILL interview for a true EA position with an employer that does not discriminate and is lookiing for the best of the best, i.e., a professional EA with years of maturity and experience. There may be fewer of them, but they are out there, and they are the positions that will pay the best salary most likely. I just accepted an EA to the CEO position with a starting salary of $65k, a nice office (my own office), free covered parking, and great benefits that include free lunch everyday!

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Sr. EA

54 months ago

By the way, I was looking for over a year!

IMO, if the staff person or recruiter interviewing you is in their 20's or 30's, they lack the experience to be really good at placing people, and are the ones most likely to discriminate based on age - missing out on the mostly highly qualified and skilled of applicants.

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AJ in New York, New York

54 months ago

Sr. EA,
If you don't mind my ask, what city or state do you live in. In NY, all the jobs listed for an EA have been from 8:30AM to 6:30 PM and possibly longer, on call at all times. Own office, is unheard of here, but the benefits are there.

AJ

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Sr. EA

54 months ago

I am in Seattle. My hours are 8-5. But as you know, when you support the CEO and/or other senior-level executives, hours beyond the normal 8-5 are to be expected at times. That goes with the territory. If I do work late, I am allowed to come in later the next morning if I choose to. (That depends on what's on my calendar & the CEO calendar, of course.)

If I were in New York City or San Francisco, I would expect a minimum salary of $70k, but would most likely seek a salary of $75k-$80k.

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aj in New York, New York

54 months ago

Good for you. I worked for 3 partners and supported the Managing Partner's assistant. My day would start at 8 AM and end 6:30 PM, and possibly longer. We had a string of assistants who came and went, some lasted a day, 6 weeks, 6 months, year etc., leaving two of us with all the work, not just supporting our partners. The work orginated from the Managing Partner, hence we were the first faces anyone saw. Finally, two of us resigned one month apart from each other. The money was great, but the hours were terrible, no lunch breaks etc, left me a very cranky person.

I will get back into the field sometime this year, but only because I have finally decided to go back to school and work towards a masters degree, haven't decided on the field. Something that will be in demand for the next 20 years. Any ideas?

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charlene-o in San Diego, California

54 months ago

Hi Sr. EA,

Can you tell me what industry you are working in and what part of town? I may be moving back to Seattle in the next year or so, and it would be good to know what sectors are paying well there. I've been working in Biotechnology for the last 13 years and it has paid extremely well, however, I know there isn't much going on in that area in the NW...

P.s. Congrats on the new job!

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Sr. EA

54 months ago

You might want to look at Portland, Oregon also. It's a very nice area and the cost of living is lower there than in the Seattle area.

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charlene-o in San Diego, California

54 months ago

I suggest anything in health care or working with the elderly. Perhaps an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology (teaching computer skills to adults)? Basically, if you follow the demographic trends, you will quickly see what type of work/workers will be in short supply and where you can fit into the "new world," which is quickly unfolding...

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charlene-o in San Diego, California

54 months ago

Sr. EA said: You might want to look at Portland, Oregon also. It's a very nice area and the cost of living is lower there than in the Seattle area.

The only problem with Oregon is chronic unemployment (and underemployment) and the resulting low wages, but it is a fun town. I grew up in Bremerton / Seattle, so if I go back, it will be because of my aging parents. Ideally, I would like to stay here in San Diego. I can't get over the fabulous weather and after 13+ years, I still feel like I'm on vacation!

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aj in New York, New York

54 months ago

charlene-o in San Diego,

Not sure about healthcare, but will look into M.Ed. in Instructional Technology.

Thanks for the advice, if you get any more ideas, please let me know. It is going to be hard going back to the books, but I think well worth it.

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ilc in Toronto, Ontario

54 months ago

Sharron in Hoffman Estates, Illinois said: Thanks for giving us the view from Canada. Are those C$ or US$? In recent weeks, I have seen 1 or 2 positions advertised for downtown Chicago that are in the US$60k - US$70k. But, for the most part, positions are advertising <US$15/hour. And, very few actually mean EA. The responsibilities are either AA+ reception, shipping, cleaning (!), running errands, getting lunches or EA+ mid-management, i.e., HR, reporting, marketing, with EA pay. Although I continue to apply - and, update my resume every few months - I have no hope of being hired because of my age.

Hi, I had quoted in Canadian dollars. From reading the posts here, I would say EA's are getting paid a great deal more than in Canada!

Good luck and have a wonderful weekend!

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PNW in Seattle, Washington

53 months ago

THANK YOU for this thread. I thought I was the only one out here seeing this trend - pay less - expect more. I have 20 years under my belt from EA to 1-4 c level plus management exp. My story - after many years of PT EA work I went off to full-time - came in at below where I wanted because benefits have to be factored in (I had none). Add about 10K or more to your salary when good benefits are given. That said - I was hired in with 3 others - all but me came in at 50K - mid 50 range. I support 4 - they 1. hmmm. Now there is no hope of an increase due to freeze for another 2 years. Happy to be working - but now the pace has been set. I am finding companies are hiring the 'deer in the headlights' folk who fear the loss of a home vs. taking a pay cut. I was almost there. Now - I want my due and nowhere in Seattle will I find that door being open.
SR EA - good for you - I understand that it took you 1 year. I have placed that on my own goal list - 1 year and 10K more. Now I see that 20K is in range. Where or Where does one find that!? Years ago it was not what you knew but who - now with applications on the internet only - you can't get noticed as fast. Working my connections - keep all options open. I am considering leaving the EA field after 20 years and taking on another role just to start moving up in the salary range. It is not a good time for sure.

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amy in chicago in Libertyville, Illinois

53 months ago

how old are you? Seattle is not New York or Chicago.. and there is a tough market even here in Chicago, for anyone over 40 years old in the EA world it is going to be rough time. There is a younger generation being hired.. college grads with no experience will take 50K easily for a job that is normally 75K - 95K.

Tough time to be out of work. KEEP your job, if you can afford it. But long term vision is STop taking jobs that support multiple executives and then you, too, will be considered a personal assistant / eA or a chief of staff (1 support) that's where the jobs are paying for senior administrators. And those are very few and far between --since this job market is really awful and will continue to stay that way.. and NO ONE IS walking away from a paycheck these days. No job openings.

Hang in there. Don't look around.. just do your job, keep your salary and one day.. you will be rewarded.

If you are under 40, that is.

All the best - :-)

Amy Evans

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PNW in Seattle, Washington

53 months ago

amy in chicago in Libertyville, Illinois said: how old are you? Seattle is not New York or Chicago.. and there is a tough market even here in Chicago, for anyone over 40 years old in the EA world it is going to be rough time. There is a younger generation being hired.. college grads with no experience will take 50K easily for a job that is normally 75K - 95K.

Tough time to be out of work. KEEP your job, if you can afford it. But long term vision is STop taking jobs that support multiple executives and then you, too, will be considered a personal assistant / eA or a chief of staff (1 support) that's where the jobs are paying for senior administrators. And those are very few and far between --since this job market is really awful and will continue to stay that way.. and NO ONE IS walking away from a paycheck these days. No job openings.

Hang in there. Don't look around.. just do your job, keep your salary and one day.. you will be rewarded.

If you are under 40, that is.

All the best - :-)

Amy Evans

Thank you Amy - I am 50..........so the golden ring is not within my grasp I guess. So if the young set is taking the slots - then perhaps I should consider retiring!!! I have seen posted jobs in the 57-60 range but typically jobs do not post range. Maybe it's time to change goals.......not seek the EA jobs if the younger ones are taking them for less - the market will only use us (older) folks for interview balance. Thinking of adding to my statement on LinkedIn - 'Seasoned, salty, sista ready to guard the door, kick butt and take names'.... or not :D

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Sharron in Huntington Beach, California

53 months ago

PNW in Seattle, Washington said: Thank you Amy - I am 50..........so the golden ring is not within my grasp I guess. So if the young set is taking the slots - then perhaps I should consider retiring!!! I have seen posted jobs in the 57-60 range but typically jobs do not post range. Maybe it's time to change goals.......not seek the EA jobs if the younger ones are taking them for less - the market will only use us (older) folks for interview balance. Thinking of adding to my statement on LinkedIn - 'Seasoned, salty, sista ready to guard the door, kick butt and take names'.... or not :D

I like your style, PNW. Amy, as it happens, I interviewed for an EA position, supporting one of two C-level executives, in Schaumburg, IL. The placement person who contacted me, after seeing my resume, stated that the salary level was $70,000 -$80,000 and asked if I would be interested in interviewing. I walked into the office of the placement service; was interviewed; told that the position paid $50,000 - $65,000; told that 2 candidates for each position would be presented to the execs. The decision would be made quickly. At the beginning of the next week, I emailed a follow-up and status inquiry and was told that I would hear the next week. It has been two weeks, I have heard nothing! This is the way each in-person interview plays-out. No one is looking for anyone over 45 yoa. So, I applied for a position as secretary/office manager for a church - part-time, moderate pay. Miraculously, I was hired. I will retire (having lost more than half of my 401k in the crash) and supplement with this position. It has been an interesting 18 months. Let's see where the next few years take me!

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PNW in Seattle, Washington

53 months ago

Sharron in Huntington Beach, California said: So, I applied for a position as secretary/office manager for a church - part-time, moderate pay. Miraculously, I was hired. I will retire (having lost more than half of my 401k in the crash) and supplement with this position. It has been an interesting 18 months. Let's see where the next few years take me!

Sharron - you are doing the exact opposite of my career path. I was with a parish for 7 years as a Adm. The very GOOD part of this was that it was a position that was in line with my own core belief system - so the trade was spiritural wellness - low financial gain. Work the parish - really - you can find many diverse groups of people from all career paths. Network that and they will embrace you as not just their friend but someone they can trust and recommend. Doing that will net you a new position in 1-2 years time. Be patient. Now - about the real world of 40+ career seekers. As a female seeking to be recognized for my gifts and talents - what have I done to promote myself today? Complaining is not going to make it happen. I learned today that I am not alone - it's not totally my fault that things aren't clicking. So I will now focus on pitching myself as what I am - the next best thing since sliced bread....I know...that just aged me but it's true. Deal :D

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SAA in Irvine, California

52 months ago

This is an amazing forum... just discovered today. I appreciate everyone's candor in sharing their fear, pains, and successes. I am going to my final interview tomorrow to be the EA to the CEO and Pres. of a company. It has been about a year for me. It is scary finding out about range of salaries! Wish me luck... I'll let you know. I send my good wishes to all of you.

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Sharron in Huntington Beach, California

52 months ago

How was the interview? Best of luck to you!

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Lynn in San Francisco, California

41 months ago

I just had the EA to the CEO email this to all the EA's in the company. I got mixed feelings from it. It's a long read, but let me know what you all think: hbr.org/2011/05/the-case-for-executive-assistants/ar/pr

It's a paper written by Melba Duncan for the Harvard Business Review on Executive Assistants.

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Sharron in Huntington Beach, California

41 months ago

Lynn in San Francisco, California said: I just had the EA to the CEO email this to all the EA's in the company. I got mixed feelings from it. It's a long read, but let me know what you all think: hbr.org/2011/05/the-case-for-executive-assistants/ar/pr

It's a paper written by Melba Duncan for the Harvard Business Review on Executive Assistants.

I think tha Melba Duncan is pitching the value of skilled assistants. She has made valid points, as we all know. She is also attempting to revitalize her business. Corporations finally eliminated the assistants in their budget cuts. Since placing skilled assistants as well as training them is her business, she needs to convince Corporations of the value of assistants.

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Misha in Los Angeles, California

41 months ago

I have been Administrative Assistant since last 4 years in Chicago and now i just started EA position Last month in CA city of industry as EA to Executive Marketing Director and i got terminated in month when i started every one told me he is very picky person on each and every thing, I did everything what he asked me to and than every time i asked him How it went in that past month he gave me answer like every one loved it (I prepared lunch once) than i did some of his personal work prepared his nephews Graduation party in TX I also booked his travel,hotel which is basic EA duties and i saved him some moneys too when i did all that he was like wow you impressed me by researching and saving some money and all that, and than he was going for business trip for five days and before going i asked him do you want me do anything while you are gone and he said no I asked him few times but he said no he said just ask Customer service manager if they have anything i asked her few times and she said no than i just asked her few question relative business how it works and everything, between that i did email him few times but he didn't answer me but said to me to create one average report how much it's gone cost for each person for upcoming event in Vancouver which i did it and send him right on next day, he came back from trip i asked him how it went he said it was all good easy to access like rent car and other stuff which i arranged as well. than right after weekend i went to work on Monday and he asked me to come to his office and started asking me question what need to be done and i was like okay but i told him and than he is like its been month but you didn't come on to expectation on what i am looking for it was surprise look on face, than i was like okay can you please explain me what i didn't do than he is like you did everything but i wanted you to do everything by your self, now my question how would i know in one month what do you expect me know about it

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Misha in Los Angeles, California

41 months ago

I have shocked face than he is like it;s nothing personal i am so much confused now i am not sure what to do with it should i go ahead and apply for new position as EA or not if some one can help me after reading the story, if i am missing something here or didn't understand in here what really happened after reading this form i felt like sharing it i normally don't put anything online. Thank you!

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Misha in Los Angeles, California

41 months ago

Now, i don't know what to do with my career should i go ahead and apply for EA position again or not i understand may be some where is my fault but i am not understanding if one of you can explain me what it, I did everything what he asked me to do but only thing is my mind keep thinking is while he was gone for Business trip i was very slow from my side but than i helped some of the customer service for filing and also running their report every day and i asked one coworker to help me understand more business and he brought me the book which i read now i don't know where i went wrong. I normally don't put anything online reading this blog i felt like asking you guys for help.

Thank you!

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mary in Tampa, Florida

41 months ago

You saved him some moneys. Your sentence structure says a lot.
Sorry, Misha. I can't see how you got a got as an executive assistance when all your grammar shows lack of high school education.

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aj in New York, New York

40 months ago

mary in Tampa, Florida said: You saved him some moneys. Your sentence structure says a lot.
Sorry, Misha. I can't see how you got a got as an executive assistance when all your grammar shows lack of high school education.

The "Lack of Grammar" as you put it, does not show her lack of High School Education, but rather English not being her native tongue. For all you know Misha could have a Ph.D., in her country of origin.

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Jayden in San Francisco, California

40 months ago

I've been an EA for about 15 years and enjoyed great growth with each position in the high-tech industry. I was able to transition into a project manager role and earned $75K until I was laid off. After 3 months of looking (yes I was one of the lucky ones) I ended up doing temp jobs at various companies. I took whatever I could as I was the sole-wage earner and needed to pay for medical for my 2 kids (not to mention food, mortgage, etc.) I was able to land a long term temp job as an EA at an financial company for what I was making before, this really surprised me as I only thought that this could be found in high tech. I figured this was because I was a temp. They finally offered me a permanent position working for an extremely demanding woman. It's tough working for her but she offered me $75K and a signing bonus. I earn every penny of it every minute that I work for her, but am happy to have a job. I just wanted to let you all know that there is hope out there and to look in places you wouldn't think to look and to do the things to get the job done with a good attitude. You never know where it can take you. Good luck to all in your job search.

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T-Monique in Carlsbad, California

36 months ago

@misha in Los Angeles, California

I would conclude that your grammar did play a part in being let go. A trait of an EA is a strong command of the English language, and effective written/verbal communication skills. Judging solely from your posts, there is an obvious lack thereof.

As an EA it is imperative that you understand your role is to make room on your Executive’s plate so that he can focus on running a business. Never ask him HOW to do a task. His job isn’t to train you. You figure it out on your own (ask a co-worker for details or find previous completed examples of the task.)

You exemplified initiative by asking your Exec if there was anything he wanted you to do while he was out. But just because your Exec answered with “no”, doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do. When your Exec is away that’s when you get his office organized, make sure he has everything in order, clean his in/out box, etcetera. When your Exec is away he is still your priority. Customer service and filing gets put on the back burner, and the report your Exec requested should have been put first.

It is important to relationship build right away. Get to know your Exec well. I always say that my bosses (the CEO and President) are my career husbands. So I take the time to:
-Know what they like and don’t like,
-How they process information (creative or traditional streamlines),
-Embrace their vision and display it through the results of my work… because I represent them,
-Ask about their personal lives because I’m authentically interested in knowing about their well-being.

Misha, you just haven’t found your Executive match yet (and that is ok). Keep trying. I know times are economically hard; however, just as much as the hiring agent and Exec are sizing you up during the interview process, you do the same to them. It’s during that early stage that you want to find out what type of person you’ll be working so closely with, and if you’ll be a good match.

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Celeste in Orizaba, Mexico

35 months ago

sailing away in Port Orchard, Washington said: Nobody is watching this hen house except the foxes.... I mean bosses. In my company the employee retention plan is as follows....work or get fired. Some get laid off anyway and the random way in which that occurs scares the employees into staying b/c they are afraid they cant find work elsewhere and unemployment wont cover the mortgage pmts. no commincation or business plan in place but dont get me started about the inexperienced folks running the show here. I am working on my exiting strategy but am in the same boat as all others- need a new job before I can leave. Too scary these days otherwise..to take a financial risk.

Hello Sailing Away,
I just read this forum, and your story reverberates. Although I haven't been an EA for many years, I literally sailed away from Seattle with my husband a few years ago. He's a prince, but his shoulders have given up on the rigors of cruising, and we're preparing to return to the States. In the interim, we've gotten by on savings and what I can earn teaching English (which is a story I'd be happy to share if others wish.) I'm wondering whether you found a better gig, and hope that you have -- or that yours improved.

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Celeste in Orizaba, Mexico

35 months ago

Sharron in Huntington Beach, California said: I like your style, PNW. Amy, as it happens, I interviewed for an EA position, supporting one of two C-level executives, in Schaumburg, IL. The placement person who contacted me, after seeing my resume, stated that the salary level was $70,000 -$80,000 and asked if I would be interested in interviewing. I walked into the office of the placement service; was interviewed; told that the position paid $50,000 - $65,000; told that 2 candidates for each position would be presented to the execs. The decision would be made quickly. At the beginning of the next week, I emailed a follow-up and status inquiry and was told that I would hear the next week. It has been two weeks, I have heard nothing! This is the way each in-person interview plays-out. No one is looking for anyone over 45 yoa. So, I applied for a position as secretary/office manager for a church - part-time, moderate pay. Miraculously, I was hired. I will retire (having lost more than half of my 401k in the crash) and supplement with this position. It has been an interesting 18 months. Let's see where the next few years take me!

Sharron,
Your comments have been a treasure to read. Thanks for posting here! (I'm new. Just beginning to seek jobs back in the States, now that my husband and I have decided to give up the sailors' life.) Hope all's well for you.

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George in Santa Clara, California

22 months ago

I'm helping a friend who has about 20 years of C-level EA experience serving CEO's and Chairpersons of high porfile companies in the Southern California area. Even though I have the connections, however, they're not in the Los Angeles area. I have some possible ideas, I want to make sure I'm successful in seeing her get someting that matche her desires -- Yes, she is particular on location and the caliber of the work. I would like some helpful information to get me back on a productive track as I jus ran out of 'tier one' ideas. Also, if you are willing to share, what is typically the desired total compensation? I' thinking a range between 90k and 120k for the area? Also, if San Fran happens to be the location. is the same range similar? So, I hope this will initiate some conversation thread that I can learn and pick up some ideas. I have quite a few questions and thought, but best to hold for now. She is enlisted with various head hunters, she is also on the ground hunting, etc etc... THanks -G

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Marshiamello in Denver, Colorado

9 months ago

Sharron in Long Beach, California said: What are the tasks for Executive assistants and what is the current salary range? Does the job that I did for 9+ years have a new job title, i.e., project manager? I have just been terminated from a job that lasted only 10 months - "restructuring/down-turn in sector" and what I am finding advertised for Executive Assistant is more like an entry -level job with entry-level pay.

I worked for a company as assistant to all Cs (in concert and separately) for 9+ years. My salary was mid-range for the time and area ($65,000). I did a number of "project" related tasks. I performed investor relations, stock option, public company reporting tasks as a routine part of my job. I did research of various types for the Cs. I planned and executed two major (~$70,000 & $30,000) events each year - and, all the usual, calendar, travel, lunch meetings, too. There was a change in structure and the last of the original Cs retired. The corporate office moved across the country. I had to find a job.

In my new job, I shuffled calendars and answered the phone and set up conference calls - executive assistant. I had to work through lunch or find my own fill-in. The good thing is that I was hourly, now, and paid time and a half for those 10+ hours each pay period. I made $63,000 for the 9 months that I have worked there. On Thursday, due to the current economic situation in the sector, I was terminated as of January 31. I will receive a generous severance pay-out.

Now, I'm looking for a job, again. Executive Assistants are asked to do no-brainer tasks or are asked to accept $45,000 for similar tasks that I performed in my 9-year job!

I'm surprised that $45K is unreasonable to you and envious of your $63K salary, albeit just 9 months. You go girl and persistence is key!

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