Executive Assistant, Natalie Stoneham shares her experiences and advice for those new or thinking of becoming an EA.
Get along and help each other!
As an EA you work with many different people including other EA’s, whether they are in your business or one of your external stakeholder’s, these are the best connections you can have. So there’s no time for egos or competitiveness to come into play here. There will be numerous times when you will need to change an appointment on behalf of your manager, find out the name or contact details, make a booking or diffusing a situation. You can achieve this by working closely with another EA with minimal interruptions to either of your managers.
Always think 2 steps ahead and be organised!
Use the quiet times when your manager is out of town to make all your bookings and travel arrangements, stock up on supplies and general admin such as processing invoices and credit cards. That way when you have a busy day you are completely prepared and not flustered. This will allow you to have your manager’s day running as smooth as can be.
Get to know and recognise the people in your business and your manager’s circle, it’s important to remember all of them by name. Understand the basics of the business, enough that will help you hold a conversation about current issues or prospects within the wider business. This way you will look professional and informed.
Top tips to remember
Stay calm and rational – You are the go to person to ensure everything runs as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.
Be friendly, polite and build relationships – From security at the front desk to the guy delivering catering, you never know when you will need a favour in those last minute situations. Always be willing to return the favour too.
Get to know your area – On your way to work or when out at lunch pay attention to all the businesses around you. That way if your manager requires a last minute gift, booking or repair you know exactly where to recommend or run to.
Confidentiality – Never repeat confidential information, even if you think that person knows the situation. You need to be trustworthy and sometimes be a sounding board for your manager. Don’t underestimate the importance of this responsibility.
Look the part – Even if it is a casual Friday, have a jacket, a pair of heels, a brush and make up in the drawer/ cupboard for those last minute important meetings where you need to look professional.
About the Author –
Executive Assistant, Natalie Stoneham has worked with PKL Recruitment for many years, during this time she has built a close working relationship with PKL. Natalie has been an Executive Assistant for 15 years, her experience as an EA, has lead her to work with many interesting people from all walks of life!