Professional Development for Executive Assistants

Learn how Base offers comprehensive professional development for executive assistants to thrive in their roles.

Professional development for executive assistants is not only beneficial; at Base, we find it necessary. Assistants are expected to wear many hats. With so much to balance on the day-to-day, it can be easy to push off your own development to help others succeed. After all, that’s your job (and you’re great at it!) But it’s imperative to show a little love for yourself as well by figuring out how you can rise to meet your executive assistant goals.

You may be wondering, “Where would I even find professional development courses for executive assistants?” The answer is: right here! Base offers the resources and support executive assistants (EAs) need to flourish in their careers and personal lives.  

We can help you create an executive assistant professional development plan so you have a clear idea of what you want and how you would like to advance in your career. Every great journey starts with a plan.

So, take some time to get to know yourself a little better. What are some things you would like to accomplish in the next month? The next six months? What about in the next year?

No matter if you want to improve your time management, travel coordination, organization, or something else, creating professional development goals for executive assistants is the best way to grow as an EA. Keep reading to learn more about executive assistant professional development and how it can help you excel in your professional and personal life.

Professional Development Goals for Executive Assistants

When it comes to thinking up executive assistant professional development goals, it may take a bit of brainstorming to find the perfect fit for you. Try to imagine what goals could help in your daily life and even those that would warrant major bonus points in the eyes of your executive. Below, we’ll dive into some executive assistant professional development plan samples, so you have a solid jumping-off point as you work to set yourself up for the future.

Executive Assistant Time Management

Day-to-day time management for executive assistants is critical. You see, there’s a pretty significant difference between thriving as an EA and simply surviving. One of the most substantial ways you can professionally develop as an assistant is to learn how to manage your time in a way that has a greater benefit to you. While this may seem like a fairytale, it’s actually all about intentional practice.

Time management is all about planning and exercising conscious control of the time you spend on different activities. Not only does it allow you to have more organization, but it also works to increase your overall efficiency, productivity, and value. With so many benefits, time management is a great professional development goal for executive assistants to start with. We could all use some help managing our time better, and this form of professional development will help strengthen your career as an EA and have a positive impact on your overall life.

Base can help assistants of all types effectively navigate their unique set of time management obstacles. As a team of EAs ourselves, we understand that as a professional assistant, your time at work isn’t necessarily your own. Time management for executive assistants is hugely dependent on having access to the proper tools and support. 

As an executive assistant, you need a way to have your email, calendars, and files all in one place. You also need a single space to view and update meeting changes, agendas, and all the various other things that pop-up throughout your day. With Base, we’ve created the first-ever, EA-focused platform to completely transform the way you spend your time. Our executive assistant software can help to put at least four hours – more if you use our full suite of features – back into your workweek. Not only can our solutions have a positive impact on your time management day by day, but it also improves long-term time management as well.

Event Planning for Executive Assistants

After the past few years we’ve collectively had, it’s no secret that the world is going to be itching to get out and about again in the near future. This makes right now a prime time to start honing your event planning skills. Whether you make it a part of your professional development or not, EAs are expected to plan events both big and small. While one week you may be asked to coordinate a board meeting, the next you might have to plan out every detail of your executive’s week-long business trip.

Even though you may be a pro at multitasking and staying on top of deadlines, if you’re an executive assistant planning for events, you could likely use a hand. With so much going into event planning—on top of the laundry list of tasks that also require your attention—having access to EA tools and support is a must.

From planning meetings and product launches to brunches and vacations, you’ll want to have a good idea of your executives’ unique preferences. While some will give you free rein over the decision-making process, most will likely want some level of input throughout the planning process. Instead of sending 40 different emails, texts, and Slack messages, your executive will need to sift through; our EA-focused platform puts your questions into a live, interactive feed. 

With Base, you can put inquiries about flight preferences, meeting scheduling, and various other itinerary questions directly in front of your executive. They’ll love that they can quickly look through your queries, and you’ll love their ability to provide quick input to your important and often time-sensitive questions—especially when taking on the challenge of event planning.  

We can make executive assistant event planning less of a hassle for both EAs and their executives. When you have a wide range of questions, updates, and reminders your executive needs to address so you can do your job effectively, you’ll relish the ability to collaborate. Our software’s streamlined communication tools are proving to be a game-changer in strengthening the EA-executive partnership.

Executive Assistant Calendar Management

Another thing that may be worth putting at the top of your professional development to-do list is calendar management. Luckily, we’re pros when it comes to optimizing calendars and excited to let you in on our go-to calendar management skills for executive assistants. The following are ways in which our software can help you conquer the chaos when it comes to managing your executives’ jam-packed schedule: 

  • Calendar Integration: Once your executive’s calendar is integrated into Base, you’ll have the ability to create meeting notes, as well as drop events, files, attachments, and more into your Digest. This way, your executive will have a comprehensive view of everything they need in one, easy-to-access place. (Even better: Our calendaring feature, Scheduler, will be released this spring – get on the waitlist here and stay tuned!)
  • AI Automations: Sometimes, when you receive an email, all that’s required out of you is an acknowledgment and creation of an action item. When utilizing AI for calendar management, you can teach it to recognize this instance based on a keyword or phrase. Once the buzzword or phrase is stated, you can set it up to trigger an automated response and task in your chosen management platform.
  • Template Scheduling: For many EAs, scheduling meetings for your executive takes up a large portion of your day. While you can definitely automate some of this task, there are still those inevitable back-and-forth emails from time to time. Since you use the same phrasing and wording so often, it’s beneficial to make and schedule templates ahead of time, so you don’t have to retype them over and over again.
  • Color Coding: When you’re looking for a simple executive assistant calendar management tip to stay organized and approach the week with more clarity, color coding is a great solution. While it may not seem like a simple color-coding system can make much of a difference, we’ve found that it really helps us visualize the week ahead and stay aligned with our different goals and priorities. However you choose to color code, you can use this solution to help you maintain focus, stay on task, and keep work-related anxiety in check.

Productivity Tools for Executive Assistants

The Base platform has redefined productivity for EAs. We’re the first to create executive assistant software made for the way assistants actually work. Not only will this high-quality solution put hours back into your workweek—your executive will reap the benefits as well. 

We understand that many executives struggle with time management. When a leader is constantly being pulled in a million different directions, it’s often up to the assistant to look at their executives’ schedule, prioritize, and set boundaries. We made our executive assistant productivity tools to heighten efficiency for both EAs and their executives in an easy, quick, and comprehensive way.

Our Analyze tool can actually examine your executive’s calendar patterns and uncover insights into how their time is spent. Within seconds, you’ll receive a visual representation of how your executive’s day, week, or year is divided up between meetings, travel, value-add activities, and more. With executive assistant software that puts this valuable data at your fingertips, you can stay one step ahead of your executive. Your executive will love your ability to point out ways in which they can correct inefficiencies, set goals, and take advantage of strategic opportunities. 

A calendar audit with Analyze is a great place to start when looking to enhance productivity. Take a look at your calendar or the calendar of your executive and ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many hours were spent in meetings?
  • Did each meeting begin with a clear agenda and end with a clear action item?
  • How many meetings were internal vs. external?
  • Are any meetings recurring? How long are they? Could they be replaced by a shorter meeting or email update?
  • Are all these meetings causing a constant shift in focus? Could blocks of time be designated for meeting types, so it’s easier to stay in one focus zone?
  • Is there a time of day when there’s typically meeting overload? Does that coincide with energy levels? Would it be better to block off work time at the start of the day or the end?

When thinking about revamping productivity, there are so many aspects to consider. Base makes it easy for EAs and their executives to dissect their day-to-day. This type of reporting is integral to helping EAs and executives alike meet their goals and make the most of their valuable time. 

The Executive Assistant and CEO Relationship

While it’s not uncommon for executive assistants’ to underappreciate their own value, we’re here to tell you an executive would be nothing without their assistant. The relationship between CEO and executive assistant is likely the most impactful relationship found in an organization. We’ve already gone over many beneficial ways in which EAs cater to their executives, but another way to flex your professional assistant muscle is by having an organized, designated space for all your executives’ important information. 

Cue Dossier! This Base feature offers a secure and single location for all your executives’ personal preferences, contact information, trip itineraries, and much, much more. Your executive will be impressed with your ability to anticipate their needs, and you’ll love having a professional cheat-sheet on your executive. Building a strategic executive and executive assistant relationship is pivotal to your success as an EA.

Ideally, your executive should be dedicating some time to communicate with you and ensure you’re set up with everything you need to succeed. If you have an executive that has become unattentive for whatever reason, put yourself back in their line of view. Since many EAs are used to putting others’ needs before their own, it can be easy to forget to advocate for yourself. Speak up about what you need to develop professionally as an EA; chances are, your executive will do what they can to help. 

Schedule a meeting with your executive and let them know what you have planned for your future together. Whether you want specialized software made for executive assistants or you’d like to get your PMP certification, you deserve to put your needs first. The executive assistant and executive relationship can become overwhelming without sufficient communication, so make sure you speak up! And remember: executive assistant professional development is just as important for your executive as is for you. When you succeed, so will your executive, their employees, and their business. Know your worth!

The Best Platform for Executive Assistants

Professional development for executive assistants is our MO. We’re here to help you access the tools and support you need to thrive in your EA role and become the best you can be both professionally and in your personal life. Let Base help you create some balance with our comprehensive executive assistant-focused solutions.

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