Planning Out An Executive Assistant Career Path

Planning Out An Executive Assistant Career Path

In any business, small or large, employees should have a clearly defined career path. Therefore, the career paths of executive assistants should be no less clearly defined than any other employee within your business.

Some argue that their career growth path to the top should be the most clearly defined within your business.

However, business owners still struggle when it comes to career development for their employees.

Here we will discuss some of the key reasons why an executive assistant career path is paramount to the overall success of your business.

Why Is An Executive Assistant Career Path Important?

All employees who display drive, ambition, and talent will strive to progress higher up the business ladder. It is seen as a natural progression.

If your business doesn’t have clear career progression pathways for your workers to follow, they more than likely become complacent and bored in their roles and often leave your company to further their careers.

For example, if you hire an administrative assistant, they may display promise and have the desired leadership and organisational skills needed to become an executive assistant within your company.

Therefore, it is vital that their promise is spotted and they are given the proper guidance, training, and support to help them further their career.

With the proper training and support to help them follow their new career path, it is far more likely that they will remain loyal to your business.

If your employees see they are being given additional responsibilities to help them enhance their careers, they will remain motivated and productive to reach their goals.

Excellent administrative assistants often become executive assistants, but this can only happen if you, the business owner, encourage them to gain experience through training and shadowing your existing executive assistant until they are ready to become part of the executive team.

How Can An Executive Assistant Advance Their Career?

You will be forgiven for thinking that once a person reaches executive assistant status within a business, they can’t progress any further.

There is a misconception that executive assistants have reached the top regarding office status.

However, those in an executive assistant role can progress further if you, the business owner, have the foresight to see that your executive assistant has the skills and experience to take on more responsibility within your organisation.

The person you identify may have extensive executive assistant experience, and you believe they prove an asset to your company by using their executive assistant skills in a higher role.

For example, you may wish to promote them to senior executive assistant and chief of staff.

This title means they have full day-to-day responsibility for the staff who work for your company. In addition, the position allows them to implement their communication and interpersonal skills for the betterment of your business.

You will only promote someone to the chief of staff if you fully believe they have the emotional intelligence and decision-making skills to help run your business smoothly.

Of course, as the business owner, you reserve the right to have the final say on any significant staffing decisions, but if you employ a chief of staff, it is best to let them get on with the job.

Career Salary Expectations

An employee’s salary is linked to their job title and job description; therefore, the higher up the ladder a person’s career progresses, the more money they can expect to be paid.

Executive assistants on a median salary can expect their wages to increase if they take on extra responsibilities by doing different tasks like working closely with higher management and other executives at the company.

Like with any job, your salary will vary greatly depending on your experience within the role you do.

It also depends on your qualifications as well. For example, someone with just a high school diploma can’t expect to earn as much as someone with a degree.

Which area of the country you work in also plays a significant part in dictating how much money you earn.

If the wages throughout that area are at the lower end of the scale, then the business owner will only pay you according to the standard of living.

Executive assistants are often privy to the inner workings of your company and work closely with the executives and decision-makers at your business. Therefore, they are likely to be on a higher pay scale.

Salary Negotiations

When you employ an executive assistant, remember that the person will be fully employed by your company, meaning they will be entitled to extra company benefits.

These benefits often include company healthcare, pensions, holiday entitlement, sick pay, and performance-related bonuses.

Suppose the person you hire as your executive assistant comes from a business background with experience as a forward-thinking professional within your industry. In that case, they are in a stronger position to negotiate a higher salary.

There are many challenges when negotiating a salary with executive assistants, so it is important to remember what you require from them now and possibly in the future.

If you need them to have extensive project management skills, this must be reflected in the wages you pay them.

It is often a good idea to negotiate a loyalty bonus into their contract, especially if they have left their current company to come to work for you. The last thing you need is to advertise for a new executive assistant every few years because your executive assistant has found a new job.

An incremental loyalty bonus is a good way of ensuring your executive assistant stays with your company for the long term.

Developing The Right Type Of Skills

When you hire an executive assistant, their job description may change as their skills develop, but the job title often stays the same.

All your employees must keep developing their skills, and your executive assistant is no different. In addition, executive assistants often take responsibility for upskilling other staff members by dealing with travel arrangements for company courses or organising online courses.

Displaying the right emotional intelligence when dealing with other staff members will help your executive assistant keep unwanted hassles from interfering with your essential tasks as the business owner.

If done correctly and with the proper knowledge, the EA role will help you focus on essential business projects without worrying about daily staffing matters.

The less you are involved with staffing issues, the better.

Each person within your company is employed in certain positions to do an excellent job and keep your business running smoothly. The job of the executive assistant and the HR department is to ensure this happens without involving you too often.

Taking The Initiative For New Responsibilities

When your executive assistant, or administrative assistant for that matter, shows initiative in their new role, it shows that they take their job seriously and want to become someone executives can trust.

Every office has a different way of doing things.

Some office environments can be formal, while others take a far more relaxed approach.

The success of your business, now and in the future, often depends on how professional your office is run. If your executive assistant knows how different offices operate, they can implement other ideas and practices into your business.

Being open to using different methods often helps to create a harmonious working environment where everybody knows their role but is not afraid to make suggestions that may improve the daily running of the office.

Those who take the initiative often do tasks that fall outside their job description.

As a business owner, you must recognise and reward your executive assistant when they take the initiative to implement something for the betterment of your business.

Recognising their actions shows them that their efforts are appreciated and that you have your finger on the pulse of everything in your company.

Improve Management Skills

Even executive assistant experience can improve their management skills, as can you as a business owner.

Improving management skills can be done by working on areas where you know you are weak.

It could be the way you speak to your staff. Even in a busy working environment, each staff member must feel part of the team and valued as an individual.

Sometimes going on a management course or shadowing other managers will help your executive assistant to improve their management skills.

Remembering when you were an office junior and were treated poorly and how that made you feel will help you not make the same mistakes.

Having additional responsibilities doesn’t mean it is okay to mistreat other staff members, for example, by talking abruptly to them during phone calls.

As simple as it may seem, using good manners goes a long way in management, and people are more likely to go the extra mile for you if they genuinely respect you.

Holding regular meetings to see how people are managing a new task will ensure the lines of communication are never closed off.

Management skills often take time, knowledge, and experience to develop but always try to manage your staff in a fair and understanding way. It will save you a lot of unneeded hassle in the long run.

Call Us To Hire An Executive Assistant

Having read this article, you will appreciate that every organisation must have a clear executive assistant career path to remain successful.

Having the right employees with the relevant skills in the right roles is essential if you, as a business owner, want things to run smoothly.

Even experienced business owners don’t want to deal with the stress of hiring a new executive assistant. You don’t have to. Give our team a call to find out how we can help.

You will be surprised how quickly we can solve your executive assistant needs.

We will source, interview, hire and manage your executive assistant for you so you can get on with running your business.


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