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The current economic and employment downturn has found many people wondering about their futures. If you have been laid off from your job, are having trouble meeting the increasing cost of living on your current salary or are simply trying to find your first career, the job of an executive assistant may be perfect for you. The steps of how to become an executive assistant are relatively simple and will provide you with everything you need to enjoy long-term success in the business world. If you are ready to make a drastic change for the better in your life, go to college to get your executive assistant business career training. Keep reading to learn more.
What is an executive assistant?
People who complete the steps of how to become an executive assistant will find themselves charged with a great deal of responsibilities. These responsibilities may include screening phone calls and other communications, managing finances and budgeting, composing presentations and reports, coordinating and overseeing projects and working closely with members at all levels of the organizational structure. In addition, an executive assistant is often charged with handling every aspect of the executives meetings, travel and scheduling. In many organizations, executives depend on their assistants to keep them updated on relevant information. This may involve conducting Internet research and summarizing reports and other communications. In some instances, the executive assistant will serve as proxy for the executive, attending meetings and supervising receptionists, secretaries and other lower-level staff.
Before taking the steps to become an executive assistant, it is important to be sure that you are well-suited for the career. In order to be successful as an executive assistant, you need to be resourceful, efficient and organized. You also need good computer and communication skills, the ability to work well with others and the flexibility to adapt to different roles quickly. You must also have strong analytical and decision-making skills and be able to work well and multitask under pressure.
Becoming an executive assistant
It is never too early to start working on becoming an executive assistant. If you are still in high school, you are in a prime position to begin preparing for this great career. Take relevant classes such as economics, accounting, business principles, computers and keyboarding. If your school offers classes in office administration, participate in those as well.
It may be possible to meet the requirements for becoming executive assistant with an associate’s degree, but a bachelor’s degree will offer you the widest range of employment opportunities. Make sure the traditional or online degree program you choose is accredited. There are many schools that offer acceptable degrees and the one you choose will depend upon your personal preferences and needs.
While working toward your degree, it is a good idea to get as much relevant work experience as possible. You can get this experience by working in a regular business or through an internship. If you do not get this experience, you will have to work in a lower-level position before landing a job as an executive assistant. Generally speaking, employers look for a minimum of three to five years of experience for executive assistant candidates. You can also help your chances by becoming certified through either the International Association of Administrative Professionals or the Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals. The certification exams require that you meet certain educational and experience guidelines.
Once you have met all the requirements for how to become an executive assistant, you will be ready to find your dream job. Apply to all companies and organizations for which you are willing to work. Make sure you submit a clean, professional resume that includes relevant education and employment experience. Once you are called for an interview, dress for the part, carry yourself with confidence and be prepared to explain what you can do for the betterment of the company. Soon, you will be working as an executive assistant, a job that can provide you with an excellent salary and benefits as well as a deep sense of responsibility and job satisfaction.