One of the biggest challenges assistants face in their careers is not always having a clearly defined path for growth. But building a successful and fulfilling career as an Executive Assistant (or using the role as a launching pad for other opportunities) is absolutely possible!
By implementing the tips below, you’ll be equipped with the strategies and mindset to unlock growth, seize opportunities, and propel your Executive Assistant career forward.
How can EAs break barriers?
In our recent Base Live panel at Admin Week Summit, two expert panelists shared their perspectives on how assistants can seek out opportunities for growth and development, navigate often ill-defined career paths, and achieve professional goals.
- Diana Brandl – Speaker, trainer, and host of The Future Assistant podcast
- Hallie Warner – Chief of Staff and co-author of “The Founder & The Force Multiplier”
Watch the full video below or keep reading for the highlights from the conversation!
3 tips for assistants to unlock new growth opportunities in the role
Here are the three biggest takeaways from our panel discussion. Got any to add? Join our Executive Assistant Community and share with assistants across the globe who are learning from one another and growing in their EA roles every day.
Research & experiment within your role 🧪
As an Executive Assistant, you hold a unique vantage point within your organization. Your role allows you to see and interact with various aspects of the business on a daily basis. This broad exposure is a remarkable opportunity to unlock growth and explore new horizons in your career. So leverage your position as a generalist! Use it to discover what truly excites you.
Diana and Hallie encourage EAs to take advantage of this vantage point by actively observing and engaging with different departments, teams, and projects — even if it’s outside the direct scope of your role. Pay attention to the tasks that pique your curiosity and make note of the areas that ignite your passion. Do you love strategic planning meetings? Do the intricacies of financial analysis fascinate you? By identifying the aspects of the business that spark your interest, you can then work to hone your skills and develop expertise in those specific areas.
Your exposure across various facets of the business give you the chance to gain a comprehensive understanding of how different departments and functions interconnect. This holistic knowledge will prove invaluable as you work to get what you want out of your career!
Find creative ways to reach goals 🥅
As generalists — and as supportive humans — it can be easy for assistants to get bogged down managing day-to-day operations and handling routine tasks. However, for your own growth opportunities, it’s essential to find ways to actively contribute to the achievement of big goals and objectives within the company.
Hallie shared that, instead of solely focusing on completing assigned tasks, she strives to function as a strategic partner. This means defining what success looks like in the organization and having a deep understanding of her executive’s objectives and initiatives. From there, she is able to leverage her unique skills and expertise to solve problems and bring those objectives to life.
This more strategic approach not only shows your value — but also allows you to grow and learn in your own unique way. As you tackle significant goals and objectives, you will inevitably face new challenges that push you outside your comfort zone. Embrace these opportunities for growth, and view them as stepping stones toward advancing your skills and expertise.
Remember: As an Executive Assistant, you have the power to make a meaningful impact, and approach your role with creativity and innovation. In doing so, you can elevate your contributions, expand your skill set, and unlock new avenues for growth within your career.
Identify gaps & how you can fill them 🪄
As an ambitious Executive Assistant, you’ve probably already identified gaps or areas of opportunity within your organization. And if those gaps align with your career goals, you should absolutely take advantage of them as opportunities for growth.
If there’s a specific role you aspire to move into — whether it currently exists in your organization or not — take the initiative to network and connect with professionals who currently occupy a similar position. These conversations can provide valuable insights into the skills, experience, and knowledge required to succeed in that position. Armed with this knowledge, you can begin strategic conversations with your executive about your growth objectives.
Having a clear picture of where you want to go and openly sharing your aspirations is vital. It enables you to align your personal goals with the organization’s needs, creating a mutually beneficial relationship that makes it easy for organizations to say “yes!”. By proactively identifying gaps, pitching innovative ideas, and addressing potential concerns, you position yourself as a forward-thinking Executive Assistant who is capable of driving positive change within the organization — and reaching your own career aspirations in the process.
Unlock opportunities with a powerful tool built for EAs
If you’re an EA looking to take your career to the next level, we’ve got just the thing. The Base platform is made exclusively for Executive Assistants, giving you one go-to place to organize, communicate, and take action. Sound interesting? Get a demo of Base and see what we’re all about.