How to be an exceptional Executive Assistant

Female executive assistant excused from a meeting to take a phone call

The role of an Executive Assistant is ever evolving and to ensure you continue to develop your career, it is crucial to demonstrate that you can adapt in a dynamic role while continuing to deliver to a very high standard.

With the potential for a more dynamic role, meeting and exceeding  expectations is key, to deliver exceptional results and subsequently build a strong relationship with the people you are supporting.

“In the recent times the role of an Executive Assistant has become multi-faceted. Professionals who are willing to take on more non-traditional duties are desirable to any business,” said Katie Drewitt, Principal Consultant of secretarial & support recruitment at Robert Walters.

Keep an open dialogue

As an Executive Assistant, it is fundamental to have clear communication channels when it comes to meeting deadlines and delivering on tasks.  

“It is crucial to maintain an open dialogue with your Director or Manager so that they can best manage their own time,” explained Katie. “If an Executive Assistant does not deliver what is expected of them, they may jeopardise the trust placed in them to deliver results.”

Show initiative

As the first point of contact, it is your duty to ensure that all emails, phone calls and other communications received are recognised. Even during busy periods, it is crucial that you manage your time and even if you are unable to complete the task immediately, sending a simple email to acknowledge you received the message in the first instance is a must.

As an Executive Assistant, it is fundamental to have clear communication channels when it comes to meeting deadlines and delivering on tasks.  

“It is important to maintain a sense of priority. Knowing when a task is urgent and taking action to complete it with priority can help take the stress out of a situation,” continued Katie.

Going the extra mile

Ensuring that you take the time to become more involved with the day to day activities of the wider business will help to keep your boss happy.

Rather than simply completing a task assigned to you, consider going above and beyond what is asked from you by providing various solutions to problems that arise and investigating options before you present them to ensure they are feasible and achievable.

“When it comes to keeping your manager happy, it’s best to under-promise and over-deliver. This ensures that you don’t set expectations too high and when you deliver, you exceed expectations,” said Katie.

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