The forgotten profession…..

WATC member Jennifer Corcoran

alg_stressed_business-woman-300x209The results of the National PA Survey 2014 were recently announced at office*

Unsurprisingly 78% of Executive Assistants feel that being a PA is undervalued as a professional career.

Personal Assistants it seems are a little like housewives no-one fully appreciates the sheer scale of their remit until they are absent from their workplace.

I myself have been advised as to how I could further my career and progress to be a Project Manager when I am more than happy in my current role as Office Manager and feel that it is a worthy profession of choice and not merely a stepping stone.

Multi Taskers like ourselves are special people and we need to appreciate this.  We are brand ambassadors for our bosses, our company, ourselves and ultimately our profession.  We are the ‘oil’ that keeps the wheels of industry turning. Interestingly it can be hard to quantify what we actually do on a day to day basis owing to our multiple hats. It’s more a case of what don’t we do.

I recently attended a time management course and had to keep a two day log of all tasks and assign them low, medium or high level priority.  It was insightful to see a snapshot of everything I do so I would advise all Executive Assistants to do this as it is also a very valuable appraisal tool.

If we find it difficult to articulate our role how can we expect others to fully grasp its complexities.

At the end of the day Managers want to hear about bottom lines and how you successfully planned and smoothly executed your teams’ success in achieving annual targets and ultimately ROI.

Unfortunately some managers don’t appreciate the competence, talents, and skills of their EAs. They don’t trust them enough to delegate the important but time-consuming tasks that take them off mission. They are stuck in an old­-school submissive secretary paradigm.

Personal Assistants it seems are a little like housewives no-one fully appreciates the sheer scale of their remit until they are absent from their workplace.

I have previously worked for a female boss who used to waltz in ‘a la Devil Wears Prada’ and promptly throw her coat over me. I have also had a male colleague wave a piece of paper in my face aggressively and when I went to the relevant line manager for support I was told that it ‘was a question of job specification’.

Irrespective of title we are all valid professionals and deserve recognition and respect.

I would encourage all EAs to get on Linkedin.

As Executive Assistants, our general knowledge and administrative expertise transcends all industries and our collaborative way of working stands us in good stead to bring value to any networking group.

Poor communication, delegation skills and lack of information can hamper an EA’s overall ability to succeed.  The truth is that an EA is really a full partner in achieving business goals.

Multi Taskers like ourselves are special people and we need to appreciate this.  We are brand ambassadors for our bosses, our company, ourselves and ultimately our profession.  We are the ‘oil’ that keeps the wheels of industry turning.

To conclude there are many reasons to feel optimistic about what next year’s statistics will be based on articles such as the following:

http://one.ozy.com/fast-forward/executive-assistant-forget-the-title-its-a-power-job/34325.article

Bonnie Low-Kramen said it best in her article

‘The Top 10 Career Practices to Learn from Administrative Assistants’.

“They are relentlessly adaptable. They love a challenge. They underplay their power. Making people happy is their goal. They read minds. They love to put out fires and bring order to chaos. They are master jugglers. They are hungry to learn. They are connected. They yearn to make a difference.”

Somehow I don’t think this profession will be forgotten for much longer…….

Related Posts

X