Ever wondered what it’s really like to be an Executive Assistant? We caught up…
Posted by Helena Jones
3rd September 2019
A Day In The Life Of… An Executive Assistant
Ever wondered what it’s really like to be an Executive Assistant? We caught up with our placed candidate, Kim, who kindly gave us an insight into a day in the life of an EA!
Tell us what a typical working day looks like for you…
As an Executive Assistant, there are typical tasks that need to be done every day, but my daily routine does depend on my Managing Director’s whereabouts and schedule.
I start everyday by responding to emails and checking the calendar for the following day, making sure that all meeting invites are accepted, scheduled into my Director’s calendar and that a meeting room is booked for each. It’s common for meetings to be re-scheduled, sometimes last-minute – my line manager has a very busy calendar with back to back meetings most days so rescheduling meetings is a bit like a line of dominoes falling! You have to be a real problem-solver in this job!
Once a month, I coordinate an event where several hundred people can join and receive the latest news and events from our leadership team – I’m responsible for a lot of the coordination of the event, as well as making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Minute-taking is something I do a lot in my role. I attend meetings and note actions that are required. I then circulate these among the team and follow them up. I raise expense claims, requisitions for purchase orders, organise all travel arrangements – booking flights and hotels, publish blogs, greet visitors and even, on the odd busy day, grab lunch for the team.
What skills must a good EA have?
Organisational skills are crucial. Being able to plan and think ahead is something I do daily so you need to be on it! You also need the ability to multitask as you are often the ‘go to’ person in the office for all sorts of queries from the team. Being able to prioritise your tasks is a must!
One of the key things I’ve learnt during my role as Executive Assistant is being a people person is essential. Figuring out the way my line manager thinks and works so I can use my initiative and organise everything in advance – that’s my secret weapon! If you’re adaptable, approachable, friendly and helpful (with lots of patience) you’d be an excellent Executive Assistant.
What piece of advice would you give someone considering a career as an EA?
Communication is key!
What element of your job do you love the most?
I love being organised. I find it really satisfying when all the aspects you’ve worked towards align. It’s the best feeling ever!
What do you find most challenging about your job?
For me, it’s having to learn all the new IT systems – it can be confusing to start with, but the change is always an improvement and makes my working life easier.
Besides a computer, what’s sitting on your desk right now?
A large notebook, a pen, a phone, headphones, some fruit and a cup of tea.
Pencil versus pen – who wins for you and why?
Pen – for the permanence, but coloured pencils for relaxing! I love to colour and draw in my spare time; I find it very relaxing.
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