At Base, we have the executive assistant personal development tips you need to advance not only in your career, but in your personal life as well. To unleash your full potential and achieve your goals as an executive assistant (EA), you need to learn how to focus on yourself.
Separate yourself from your executive assistant role for just a moment. What is it YOU want? How much money do you want to make in your career? What do you want your personal branding to look like? What are your skills, and how do you want to up your game as an individual?
While we think it’s awesome to love your job—and we hope you do! But we also want to help assistants learn how to focus on their personal growth. Too often, we see EAs going above and beyond to cater to everyone else’s needs while completely forgetting to fill their own cups. We get that it can be easy to do when your job is to assist others, but don’t forget to invest some of your time and energy back into yourself.
To help make this process a little easier, we’ve broken down the various steps you can take to set your future self up for success both in your career and personal life. Keep reading to learn more about personal development goals for executive assistants.
If you’re just starting out as an executive assistant or wouldn’t mind a quick crash course, this section will cover the salary range of an EA, resumes/cover letters, job descriptions, and more valuable information on the basics. You may be wondering: What does it mean to be an executive assistant, and how can I pursue a career as one? Well, an EA’s job is to support other people’s work, and pursuing a career as an executive assistant begins much like any other career—with education and a plan. Here’s what you need to know:
Education & Salary
You don’t need a degree to be an executive assistant. In fact, U.S. News has ranked Executive Assistant as the second highest paying job one can have without a degree. If going to college isn’t in your plan, you can have a career as an EA without getting a diploma.
The average executive assistant salary in the United States is $69,669, but the range typically falls between $62,366 and $77,761. While salary will depend on factors like education, assistant experience, certifications, and additional skills.
If you’re planning to begin your journey down the executive assistant career path, you’ll need help building a resume and cover letter. You may not have much to put down at first, and that’s okay—Base can help! We’ve built a strong community where you can access educational content, best practices (like resume tips), and additional resources to elevate your profession.
Think of some necessary skills someone like an assistant would need to have. While everyone seems to put “communication skills” as fluff on their resumes, this is actually a super important ability for EAs to possess. Our platform and resources will help you develop the communication skills and other necessary expertise you need to stand out during the hiring process. With our assistance and your dedication, you’ll be able to flesh out a resume and cover letter in no time.
Many factors play into the job description for an EA, depending on the industry, responsibility of the executive, size of the company, and much more. The common duties expected out of the average executive assistant include the following:
- Scheduling appointments
- Implementing new processes and streamlining activities
- Being a strategic resource to those you support by aligning the work you do to their goals / OKRs (objectives and key results).
- Prioritizing what’s most important to the executive(s) you support
- Sending emails and inbox organization for maximum efficiency
- Filing and organizing files
- Tracking budgets
- Scheduling travel
Learning How to Upskill Yourself as an EA
If you want to learn how to upskill yourself, it will take some time and consideration on your behalf. While you may have some plans in mind when it comes to advancing as an EA, we invite you to first think about how you can really start to stand out as an individual AND professional. Whether it’s figuring out your personal branding, honing your conflict resolution skills, or getting up-to-date on the latest technological advancements, Base is here to offer the support you need.
Our goal is to set you up with the information and skills that will help enhance your uniqueness while also fitting into your executive assistant development plan. We’ve listed a few examples below to get you thinking:
For starters, executive assistant personal branding will help you clarify your career goals and make you stand out in the job market. Having a personal brand makes you more compelling, making you more likely to be considered for a potential role.
Successful personal branding is all about figuring out the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you unapologetically you—and working it. Strategically presenting yourself to the world has its benefits, as well-thought-out personal branding will do a lot to differentiate you from the competition. Having a brand that focuses on the human side of you rather than just the hustle side of you allows a bridge of trust to be formed with prospective clients and employers. Relatability is a sure-fire way to forge connections and make you stand out no matter what field you choose.
Try working on your own branding by ensuring important information about you can be found in your online portfolio or social profiles. A personal branding statement for administrative assistants is a must and should be a catchphrase that sums up your expertise and individualism. This way, you can provide people with a quick glance into what you can do so they can clearly understand how you can help them.
As an executive assistant, communication skills should be at the top of your personal development list. One of an EAs best qualities is their ability to communicate in a way that is effective and creates a good image of your company and executive. Over the course of your career as an assistant, you’ll be asked to create countless letters, emails, memos, calendar invites, itineraries, and more. A huge part of the job revolves around effective communication and having a good grasp of spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Moreover, effective communication skills will help you deal with clients and customers professionally and respectfully. Being able to communicate effectively isn’t just about your messaging; it’s also about the ability to actively listen to other people’s concerns. We’ll help you develop the skills and confidence you need to ask questions while properly and diplomatically addressing those concerns.
Have you attended any executive assistant networking events? You should! This is a great way to make connections, collaborate, and celebrate with EAs of all shapes and sizes. Many events feature leaders and influencers in the assistant community that can shed some light on how they’ve managed to excel in their careers.
Going to networking events can help you refine your career goals as an executive assistant. Remember when we were talking about relatability? Networking and attending events helps you realize that even those EAs you idolize had to start somewhere! In hearing other people’s stories, you’ll come to realize that a lot of their journeys started a lot like yours. Keep going! There’s so much to learn and share.
Executive Assistant Work-Life Balance
A day in the life of an executive assistant can get pretty hectic without the right boundaries set in place to ensure proper work-life balance. One cool thing about many EA jobs is that you have a pretty flexible schedule. The downfall is that people can confuse your flexible availability for being “on” 24/7. This can cause constant interruptions during your important and necessary “off” time. Not only is this inconvenient and overwhelming, but it can also introduce some major stress in your life. Here’s how to accomplish executive assistant work-life balance: (you can also view the below in greater detail in our ebook!)
Learning how to set and stick to boundaries is critical for EAs. Whether we’re aware of it or not, our actions teach people how we will and will not be treated. When someone continuously crosses our boundaries, and we let them, it can make that person think it’s okay to disregard our needs.
Don’t let this be the relationship between you and your executive. Make your non-negotiables clear early on in the relationship—and stick to it! Your peace is worth protecting. And your executive should have nothing but respect for your decision to put yourself and your other non-negotiables first. Sticking up for yourself and your time is worth initiating a conversation with your executive about. The earlier, the better!
We often get the question: is being an executive assistant stressful? And to this, we say: It depends on what you deem ‘stressful.’ Without the right skills, support, and boundaries, yes, being an EA can be very stressful. With all the different hats assistants are expected to wear on the day-to-day, it can become overly complicated to keep track of everything. Know now that as an EA, you will be fully expected to work beyond your job description.
While, in many cases, people who are drawn to a career as an EA also happen to be up for a challenge, the constant challenges that arise can become daunting. If you’re not setting boundaries, taking breaks, asking for help, self-caring, or the various other things you need to do to make your life as an executive assistant less stressful, it can be hard to love what you’re doing. Make sure you manage your stress effectively by honoring what comes up and giving yourself some grace.
The Perfect Executive Assistant Network for You
If you’re thinking about embarking on the executive assistant job search or could use some valuable tools and advice to help make your job as an EA a bit more streamlined, Base has you covered. Creating an executive assistant personal development plan is a breeze when you’re set up with the right network.