Job offers insight into inner workings of an organisation
Which job offers unique insight into the inner workings of an organisation?
If you want a career that offers unique insight into the inner workings of an organisation and its leaders, New Zealand’s leading recruiter suggests you become an Executive Assistant (EA).
Recruiting experts Hays interviewed 536 top EAs face-to-face to determine what makes them successful and what unique benefits the job of trusted assistant to a top executive provides.
“There is no other job that can offer you as much unique insight as that of an EA – unless you become the CEO yourself,” says Jason Walker, Regional Director of Hays in New Zealand. “EAs are the trusted partner of their executive. They make their executive as efficient as possible by offering support, professionalism and technical expertise. In turn, they become a collaborative assistant who has their executive’s confidence.
“The job of EA can be very rewarding, and takes a unique DNA. Professionals who tick all the boxes gain a real sense of achievement and are recognised for their positive contribution to the business.
“They also gain a number of unique benefits, such as leadership insight, diversity of work, control of their development and the ability to work in any industry,” says Jason.
Unique benefits of an EA career:
• Leadership insight: “As an EA, you work closely with an executive and get to know their working and leadership style,” says Jason. “You also get close to top-level management and are privy to information that is not known outside the leadership circle, such as future strategic initiatives or operational decisions. You get a unique insight into the business.”
• Diversity of work: “As an EA you work on a variety of different projects. No two days are the same. EAs may juggle various, and often conflicting, deadlines and demands on their and their executive’s time, but they also gain experience in a wide range of tasks and their responsibilities continue to evolve and grow over time.”
• Control of your own development: “Once an EA has built a strong and trusted relationship with an executive, they often find that they can focus their career development on an area of their choice. Of course there will always be new challenges and work that an executive needs support with, but you can also volunteer to take on additional duties in an area of interest. For instance, many EAs also take on additional OHS, facilities management or basic accountancy, HR or marketing duties. In the unique position of trusted EA, you can develop your expertise further in areas that attract your interest,” he says.
• Work in any industry: “As an EA you are not restricted to one particular industry. You can even take advantage of peaks in particular industries to ensure your career continues to move forward.”
• Moving with your executive: “Our consultants meet many EAs who are so irreplaceable that they move companies with their executive,” says Jason. “One EA we spoke to mentioned that when her boss is thinking about moving companies, he talks to her first about his need for a new challenge. Her reaction? ‘Where are we going next?’ Consequently she has worked for several large and interesting companies, learnt new systems and worked with new people all while supporting the same person over the years.”
In their report ‘What it takes to be an EA’, Hays Office Support explore the qualities that make a great EA. They share the common characteristics of the 536 interviewed EA’s to identify exactly what it takes to succeed in the role. If you’ve entered the administration profession with the aspiration of becoming a top-level EA, Hays’s report also provides insights on how you can develop your skills to reach your goal.
Profile of our EA
Of the 536 EA’s interviewed face-to-face by our recruitment consultants between April to June 2014, 30 per cent currently work in the Government sector, 13 per cent for a not-for-profit, 20 per cent for an ASX/NZX listed company, 12 per cent for a non-listed company, 9 per cent for a construction or property organisation and 3 per cent for an accountancy firm.
36 per cent work for an organisation with over 1,000 staff. 14 per cent work for an organisation with 501 to 1,000 staff, and 24 per cent work for an organisation with 101 to 500 staff. The remaining 26 per cent work for an organisation with up to 100 staff.
47 per cent are EA to a Chief or Executive level professional, 21 per cent to a General Manager or Head, 19 per cent to a Director or Partner, and 3 per cent to a Senior Manager.
Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.
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