Q: Heather Asks:
Background: The majority of my career has been as an EA to a VP of Operations for a local Fortune 500 company. They “restructured” leaving my team with a job almost 2 yrs ago. I was lucky enough (or so I was lead to believe) that the role I was hired for almost 2 yrs ago was for a fast-growing local company that within the next 3-5 yrs will have a complete C Suite overhaul of new leaders due to retirements.
The c suite leader who hired me and I report to, I don’t do ANY work for. They hired a new VP to take the current CEO’s job in about 2 yrs. I do very minimal tasks for him as well and my role description consists of miscellaneous things from issuing credit cards for anyone to issuing cell phones to anyone to ordering catering for anyone in the building to filling the frig in the boardroom when it gets low. You get the point.
I’ve tried to talk to my leader but he isn’t interested at all and pushed it off as “it should I just remain with you since it always has been part of that role for the 60 yrs we’ve been in business”. The only c suite leader who understands the value an EA can bring is the new VP who is taking over for the CEO but he runs SO thin right now all he’s doing is putting out issues left and right and traveling constantly so I’m told by my leader that he “doesn’t have compacity for another associate” but yet I see him mentoring other front -line associates since I do sit right outside his office.
I don’t trust any of the leaders here, including the VP of HR since she “drinks the Kool-aid too” since she’s been here so long.
I don’t know where to turn to influence them to revamp my role to more closely align with my skills, talents, and experience while also convincing them that most of my current tasks belong with an office assistant or office manager type role.
A: It sounds like you are feeling frustrated and undervalued in your current role as an executive assistant. It’s important to remember that you have valuable skills and experience and that you deserve to be recognized and valued for your contributions.
Here are a few steps you can take to try to improve your situation:
- Communicate your concerns: It’s important to try to address your concerns directly with your manager or the C-suite leaders you work with. Make a list of your specific concerns and try to schedule a meeting to discuss them. It may be helpful to come to the meeting with specific suggestions for how your role could be redesigned to better align with your skills and experience.
- Seek feedback: If you are not getting the support or recognition you feel you deserve, it may be helpful to seek feedback from others in the organization. You might ask for feedback from your peers or from people who have worked with you in the past. This can help you get a better understanding of how others see your work and what you can do to improve.
- Consider your options: If your efforts to address your concerns within the organization are not successful, you may want to consider exploring other options. This could include looking for opportunities to take on additional responsibilities or seeking out new job opportunities elsewhere.
- Seek support: It’s important to remember that you don’t have to navigate this situation alone. Consider seeking the support of a mentor, coach, or professional organization to help you navigate your career and identify strategies for improving your situation.
Overall, it’s important to be proactive in advocating for yourself and your career. While it may not be easy, by speaking up and taking action, you can work to improve your situation and achieve the career growth you are seeking.