Did I have dreams of being in the corner office? Not really. Did I have aspirations of being in the Oval office? Yes – I dreamed of being either an FBI profiler, a fashion magazine editor, or President. In high school I did my senior capstone project on serial killers, but wasn’t ready to commit to a life of crime. After I started college as a Journalism major and realized that a core part of the position would be talking to strangers on the daily, I quickly switched to a more appropriate course of study – English with a Writing Concentration. The only strangers I met were in the pages of Chaucer, Marquez, and Camus. As for being President? It hasn’t completely lost it’s allure (despite the current state of politics). But let’s be honest, I’m much more of an Olivia Pope, than a Fitzgerald Grant.
So, here I am now, almost 10 years out of college, next to the corner office. And it feels like home.
Being an Executive Assistant (Chief of Staff, Executive Secretary, Coordinator of Chaos, Executive Administrative Assistant, etc.) is not just a stepping stone to another career (as it may have been in the past) it is a dynamic and fulfilling career all on its own. I hope to empower Executive Assistants to own (but never abuse) their power, develop their leadership skills, and continue to learn and grow and make themselves an invaluable strategic asset to their CEO and their organization. I also hope to help Executives understand what a valuable asset they have or can have if they hire, train, and invest into their EA the way their EA invests into them. The best EA/CEO relationships are not hierarchies, but partnerships.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s 2014 data, there are approximately 2.5 Million top executives (CEOs, COOs, government officials, education leaders) and 3.9 Million assistants (executive assistants, medical assistants, paralegals, administrative assistants). That is about 1.5 assistants for every executive. My point is, we need each other to survive. And in order to thrive, Executive Assistants can and should both lead and assist.
Let’s get started.