I've had the fortune and honor of working with wonderful executives since becoming an Executive Assistant. "Becoming" is kind of an odd word to use. It sounds like I had prepared, planned, or even thought to be one. Back then, during my days and nights spent as a younger person in Rowe's Room, what I wanted to be, what I wanted to do for a career was nowhere near being an EA. I wanted to be an actress, I wanted to be a performer, I wanted to be on stage. And those of you from way back when, you knew I was actually good! Who could forget sophomore year's fantastic production at dramafest when we took home most of the awards (including yours truly's "Best Actress")!
Getting back to being an EA...
If you're still thinking of an EA as a "secretary" then you need to pull your head out of the ground (or get a job where there is actually an executive who knows how to use an EA). I'm not going to explain the difference here, you either get it, or you don't.
So, if you do have one, or work closely with one, take note - it is Professional Administrator's Week. Don't let the week go by without letting your EA know that you paid attention -greet him/her! I know you all say "thank you" each time she/he hands you a bottle of water in between meetings (or stocks up your fridge in your cube with water for your consumption), I know you say "thank you" each time he/she reminds you that you can not travel on that certain day or that you can't take a dinner meeting because it is your anniversary or your kid's recital, I realize you say thank you when she spends 3 full days on the phone looking and searching for those window blinds that you dropped off somewhere near your flat in the city, but you can't remember where exactly. Thank yous each time your EA helps you get through your day without any major blunders are nice, we appreciate that you were taught good manners and remember to say "please" and "thank you". However, don't kid yourself and think that you can rest on those. Say an extra "thank you" this week and make it be known that you are capable of remembering something that she didn't remind you of or noted on your calendar.
And while we're at it..beyond "Admin Week," please don't forget to show your EA you took the time to buy her a card over the holidays. Imagine how it feels like to be the one making sure your contacts all receive their cards, yet we don't even receive one! (And no, the generic card from the company, with your signature at the bottom does not count!)
I have had some really thoughtful and very generous CEOs and executives in my career. I'm blessed and privileged to have worked for these classy bosses (and their classy spouses)! I have no complaints as the record of 11 "thoughtful" bosses to 1 "not so much" in my over 15 years of being an EA is very, very good.
And hey boss, remember...this is the person who holds all your personal information at the tip of her fingertips, has a network of other EAs that would put the "illuminati" to shame. So, hey boss, this week...do say a proper "thank you for all that you do for me" to your EA! You don't want your spouse's big bday to be "forgotten" do you?
(To my fellow EAs...Happy Admin Week!)