Surviving each day as an executive assistant requires the right balance of skills, personal motivation, awareness and interpersonal communication. Your job can become overwhelming rather quickly if you miss a deadline, forget a meeting or fail to email the correct staff about an all-hands-on-deck task. Use these tips to help you prioritize your tasks and get a better handle on the expectations you face each time you enter the office
Keep Sensitive Information Close
An executive assistant discovers things about a company before other workers and the general public. Layoffs, mergers, acquisitions, staffing budgets and information about employee disagreements all come across your desk or inbox at one time or another. Maintain professionalism and keep this type of sensitive data to yourself. If your boss can trace any leaks back to you, your career may take a nosedive very quickly.
Fix Issues As You See Them
You must learn to exercise independence when issues arise that you know need to be fixed. Your boss can't do everything, which is why he hired you in the first place. Know what you can and cannot handle, and keep your executive informed of the most relevant items.
Written and verbal communication remain the key to every aspect of your executive assistant job. With proper communication, everyone meets deadlines, arrives on time for presentations, turns in paperwork at the right time and knows what to expect from your boss on a daily basis.
Show up on time, every day, and adjust your schedule appropriately so your team remains ready to work. If you already know you have quarterly duties that require a different schedule every three months, alter your plans accordingly. Your job as an executive assistant means you must be bright eyed and bushy tailed early in the morning so the rest of the day goes smoothly. Make a note of tasks to accomplish the night before as you leave the office so you know how to prioritize the morning. Eat a healthy breakfast and get plenty of sleep the night before so your mind remains sharp to take on a new day at the office.
Manage Time Well
Prioritizing everyone else's day means learning great time management skills. Use apps, calendars, alarm clocks, alerts and as many tools as you need to plan the day ahead. Stick to the plan as much as possible to avoid surprises, and be sure to keep your executive on track with a plan B at the ready when surprises do arise.
The executive assistant role wears many hats, such as event planner, travel agent, customer service specialist, mediator and amateur psychologist. The sooner you know how to handle having varied duties in a catch-all job situation, the better your daily routine becomes at your desk.
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