expectations of today's assistant

Expectations of Today’s Assistant

Welcome to April! We are into the 4th month of 2016. How is it going for you so far?

Office Dynamics is all a buzz with the anticipation and excitement of Administrative Professionals Week the end of this month. But we don’t just celebrate assistants the last week of April, we love to celebrate the profession the entire month. Why? Because administrative professionals are the backbone of every organization. Yes, leaders are extremely important but they really can’t function at their very best if they don’t have a great administrative or executive assistant or some type of support person.

I know this for a fact. Over the past month, I have been very fortunate to personally speak with and interview 14 top executives from various large corporations. That might not seem like many to you but to get a high-level super busy executive to take 30 minutes to a few hours to speak with me is a really big deal—especially in such a short time period.

Bottom line is that executives rely on their assistants from everything to scheduling their meetings and phone calls to travel planning, preparing presentations, keeping them on schedule, organizing their day, listening to their ideas, maintaining confidentiality and so much more.

I always say that there isn’t any one big secret to being a star-performing executive assistant. It is doing 100 things very well. That is not an easy expectation to live up to. Assistants are expected to work flawlessly and seamlessly. Their executives don’t like it when they make a mistake or mix up their schedule. Executives expect their assistants to read their minds, run their life, make time for their work out, be technically savvy, understand the reality of the executive’s environment, speak on their behalf, take the initiative, and be 3 or 4 steps ahead of them. As I said, this is no easy job. Not if you take the administrative profession seriously.

So in kicking off this wonderful month, I would ask that you celebrate with Office Dynamics all month through our Blog-a-thon, free webinar on April 26, flash sales and much more.

I’d like to also acknowledge the wonderful executives and companies who recognize that their administrative assistants are valuable and who have invested in their assistants’ education and professional development. You are the drivers of change who will make a difference for those in this profession.

Wishing you a fantastic week!

Joan Burge

Join in the comments below April 1 – 29, 2016 to enter our Blog-a-Thon for the Administrative Profession!


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35 thoughts on “Expectations of Today’s Assistant”

  1. A dynamic relationship with your executive is important, but I think it’s the relationship with other Admins that truly make it possible to be miracle workers. I always appreciate the skills others have that aid me in accomplishing the impossible.

  2. As gatekeepers of the offices, administrative professionals are indeed valuable members of the organization. We are expected to make things happen and get things done. I love what I do and I would like to expand in my role in order to make significant contributions. Thanks to Office Dynamics for providing us with resources and inspiration to soar higher.

  3. I also am very fortunate to have an executive who is also a mentor. She appreciates what I do but holds me to a higher standard of expectation. After 30 years in the assistant profession, it is so wonderful to have, if not a true partnership, an executive who respects me and cares about my future growth!

  4. Being proactive, thinking strategically and networking are critical keys to successfully keeping ahead of an executive’s schedule.

  5. Thank you so much for your encouragement, timely tips, and wonderful resources! I have enjoyed browsing your site over the past few months. I am looking forward to the blog posts this month!

  6. I have an executive team that communicates to me that they recognize what I do for them and they are appreciative for everything. They note I am a team member and not just an assistant. They also encourage me even after over 17 years to continue growing. They are aware if i learn anything new I will find a way to put it into play and they benefit from the rewards as well as I do.

  7. Happy Administrative Professionals Month to all of you and thank you to Joan, Jasmine, and the Office Dynamics team for providing so many wonderful resources for us to use as we develop and expand our careers!

    1. Hello Jody! You are welcome. We love what we do. I’m not sure everyone is aware of the different things we have available to assistants. Our educational resources range from our monthly free webinars to books, ebooks, online training, annual conference, on site training and more. We look forward to being of continued service to the profession.

  8. Thank you for your Blogs and all you do for our profession. I have learnt so much and my executive has benefited from it. Being given more responsibility as well because they have recognised my potential.

  9. Hello, my title is Executive Assistant to a Senior Vice President. My SVP retired last year and the SVP who is running the department was splitting a Executive Assistant with another SVP in a different department. I was led to believe that I would become his EA once my boss retired and he moved into our area permanently. That did not happen. I have been told that as long as I am not being demoted and not losing any money, what does it matter? I am not doing all the tasks I did before and I feel underutilized. How can I fulfill myself in my current position?

  10. I am lucky in that my immediate boss shares his appreciation. My company, in general, is not good at uplifting employees. It’s a “if you don’t hear anything, you’re doing good” attitude. I’ve learned to accept it but, like many of my coworkers, we would prefer change. In the meantime, I take heart and cherish the “atta girls” I get from my immediate boss. It means a lot.

  11. Thanks for all the message you send out each week. They help me to stay positive. I take any feedback I can get as long as it’s constructive. When it isn’t constructive I do my best not to take it personal and move on to make myself a better person.

  12. Thank you for the reminders, Joan. This role is one I love to fulfill, but there are times when I feel “unappreciated.” I must remember that I am NOT only an assistant, I am a coordinator of my executive’s work (and sometimes social) life. I recall this and remind myself how much I am appreciated by the mere existance of my job/role. Happy April, all!! 🙂

  13. I always look forward to April with the Office Dynamics Team! I can always count on great information, the opportunity to win a prize or two and great training.

  14. Jean Weaver, CAP-OM

    I wonder how many of the executives you interviewed mentioned the value of their admin being flexible?
    Wishing you a fantastic week as well!

  15. Have a great week!

    “No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another….”
    Joseph Addison

    1. I wish you much success in the administrative/executive assistant field, @jkelly02. My advice is to attend Joan’s programs in-person and on-line as much as possible. You will be steered in the right direction. Until then, communication with your boss is key to understanding his/her needs and being successful. Make it a priority.

    2. In the Administrative career or profession, always go to website like Office Dynamics that can help you learn and enhance your skills with free videos, suggested books to buy, etc. In addition, network and join organizations like IAAP, etc. Become more tech savvy, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. You want to keep abreast of industry your company is in, and in addition explore ways to learn and grow. Don’t every stop learning and educating yourself, and remember there is a large network of individuals with experience and expertise that you can get help from.

  16. I do a lot for my executive and always get a thank you, but still do not feel sincere appreciation. I was recently out on a medical LOA and he didn’t even mention that I was missed while gone. I do a have good back up but I was expecting more of a greeting upon my return. How do I bounce back from this disappointment?

  17. If a busy executive takes time out to meet with you, it is a big deal. And, the admin will have the support needed as well as being respected.

  18. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and support! Although they may not say it often, I know our executives are grateful and appreciative of all we do!

  19. In the lack of a support person, they (the executive) are their own assistant. Let us support you; let us serve you; this is what we do.

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