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Executive assistants mingle about office duties like typing, scheduling meetings, and taking calls. Their duties require specialized training, as their roles are becoming more sophisticated. This field is expected to grow at a rate of 13% in the next ten years, and more of these jobs will be found in construction, healthcare, and educational institutes. From the BLS reports, the median annual earnings for executive assistants were $43520 as of May 2010. Most employers were colleges, universities, and other academic institutions, with average earnings of $44680.
Becoming an executive assistant one requires to have some educational credentials to succeed in the dynamic business market. Some common courses include typing, computer applications, business law, records and information management, office administration, and business communication.
Table of Contents
An executive assistant plays a crucial role in an organisation. In the ever changing business environment, it is the executive assistant’s job is to assist the key decision maker to stay focused, effective, and a better leader. The key skills of this position are excellent communication, creativity, and ability to work independently (Yukl, 1998; Zeng, 2011, pp 2 –93; Priem, 1994, pp 421–437).
Given that the tasks involve being in charge of managing most of the support activities within the administrative sector, that is, ascertaining that ideal operations of the senior management team carries out all the goals of the organisation. Normally this job entails being an office manager or working as a secretary to the managers of a company. Hancock Pty Ltd is a small firm wishing to recruit an office manager, this position has three direct report; the receptionist and two administrative staff (Scarborough, & Zimmerer,2006;Shimek & Wen,2008).
In the ever changing office environment, the critical skills required of an effective senior executive assistant is communication. How the incumbent interacts with peers and other decision makers is paramount on how ideas exchange across the organisation. Other vital skills are interpersonal effectiveness, project management skills, financial planning abilities, and effective writing skills (Torrington & Hall, 2004, pp. 205; Drew, 2007, pp359-369).
Effective writing skills are particularly essential for an office manager to put the right words on paper quickly. Therefore, they must be able to communicate more clearly, concisely, and persuasively. Words matter and an effective office assistant must learn, develop, and enhance how to use them. The key areas that require effective principle of writing: successful correspondence, message shaping, writing to the point, avoiding writing traps, diplomacy and politics, refining the writing, and managing minutes in a meeting (Eije ,2006; Eisenhardt,1989, pp 57-7; Fan, Wong, & Zhang,2007, pp 330-357).
An outstanding executive assistant should possess soft skills, and abilities to maximise appropriate communication skills for personal and professional potential. The positive traits needed include; self awareness, personal openness, conflict handling, frustration and stress control, assertiveness, and making commitments to development. Appropriate communication skills are key to developing a positive image, giving and receiving feedback, presenting ideas with confidence and clarity. Commitment to personal development is related to making choices and managing personal change, building self esteem and emotional intelligence, developing networks, having creative visioning abilities, and being results oriented. Being assertive implies being able to understand both external and internal sources of conflict, ability to gauge the expectations of others, developing self confidence, and having behaviours and words that count.
Project Management skills are a must for executive assistants, they must have the ability and structure to manage short term and long term projects.
The incumbent should act as a central partner interacting with all the departments, checking budgets and schedules. They should be aware of factors that affect projects success or failure, developing and implementing classic ways of managing them, understanding customer needs for effective project initiation, planning, implementation and control. The appropriate office manager should be able to deal with the unexpected, communicate the right things to the right people at the right time. They must also have excellent project closing skills, and must be able to appreciate the importance of communication within a project team. They must be confident and able to accept responsibility for new projects, ability to identify, and apply appropriate tools to effectively manage the processes. Hancock needs people who can stay in control of projects in dynamic business environments, and dealing with unexpected setbacks (Finkelstein, &, Hambrick, 1989, 121-134).
Basic financial skills are necessary for this position. An understanding of figures that give information on the business is key to better supporting the manager with preparing reports and analyses. The executive assistant must be able to talk the language of finance and accounting, financial statements, financing international business, business plan preparation, and preparing meaningful budgets (Agrawal, & Knoeber, 1996, pp377-397; Alam, 2011).
The incumbent should have a basic understanding of how financial tools are applied in planning, measuring, and controlling an organisation’s pe.............
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