The job of an executive assistant may differ greatly from one organization to another. The exact work detail for this line of job is based on the organization of the business where the assistant is employed and the level of assistance that the executive needs from the assistant. An executive assistant is like an upgraded version of a personal secretary. She manages the work life of her executive and sometimes private affairs, as well.

In general, the executive assistant has 5 responsibilities. These are:

Clerical Duties

An executive assistant usually handles communication, organizes information, prepares email and calls, plans events, set travel preparations and general managerial duties.

Contrary to what you see in movies, an executive assistant job does not always entail flashy travels and celebrated meetings. Her everyday job is clerical in nature. Executive assistants are usually in charge of managing their boss’ paperwork. Paperwork may include creating letters, documents, collecting and evaluating information.

This includes email, snail mail, business correspondences and simple filing of documents. Assistants are also expected to operate a calendar, keep a track of meeting and conference schedules and appointments.

A part of her daily task would include answering and making phone calls, sending messages to the appropriate contact person, and handling correspondence like emails and formal letters. An assistant is also expected to handle paper and electronic files. She is also responsible for saving time of her executive by reading, studying and forwards communication to the proper department.

Admin Tasks

In a small business, the executive assistant would be the one to conduct human resources work like posting job vacancies, interviewing candidates and conducting an examination for the job applicant.

Sometimes, the job description would also include tasks like approval of vacation and sick leaves. She is also the go-to person when it comes to documents that need executive approval.

Specialized Tasks

An executive assistant’s tasks often require trade knowledge and business expertise, especially when it comes to supervising research, arranging reports, negotiating with tough clients and circumstances and forecasting business demands.

An outstanding executive assistant is someone who can manage to work under pressure of meeting deadlines and face difficult work situations.

Supervision of other assistants

An executive assistant may have her own assistants depending on the size and structure of the organization. They may generally be secretaries or entry level clerical employees. The executive assistant is normally accountable for guiding their duties, and appointing assignments to them.

The boss may have little or no say in the secretarial structure the executive assistant may set. The executive assistant has the decision on commendations, pay raises and development of her assistants.

She is also the one who conducts training and coaching on her subordinate assistants so they can do a more effective and efficient job.

Maintain executive’s office

An executive assistant makes sure all equipment used for everyday operation is working. She is expected to do preventive repair requirements, follow manufacturer’s tutorial, troubleshoot malfunctions, call for technical repairs, keep an equipment inventory and research new devices and procedures for better productivity.

She keeps herself abreast with professional and technological knowledge by attending informational workshops, reviewing industry literature, establishing professional networks and participating in business groups.

Career Outlook for an Executive Assistant

The overall hiring rate for executive assistants is expected to grow 13% from 2010-2021, which is as fast as the average for all jobs.

Salary Outlook

As recorded in 2012, an executive assistant earns an average salary of $46,670. This is according to a report from the Labor Department.

The highest annual salary for an executive assistant is nearly $72,340 while the lowest amount is around $31,050. The highest paid executive assistants are based in New York City, Nassau in New York and San Jose, California.

Your Decision

With this short description of a life of an executive assistant, are you willing take the challenge and become one?

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