Archive for the ‘Executive Assistance’ Category

Doing the Dishes

I don’t know when I started, but I’m pretty sure it was when I was still young.  My siblings and I each had our assigned day to wash the dishes.  My parents refused to buy a dishwasher because, hey, they had dishwashers!  It wasn’t until we all grew up and left home did they opt for buying a machine.

I have to say, I carry on that tradition to an extent.  My kids are assigned to do the lunch dishes. However, they tend to be much more enterprising than I was!  One day the eldest offered to pay her sibling for the service.  Today, the youngest exchanged her family game choosing privilege for the service.  In the end, they both felt like it was worth it to have someone else do the task.  Maybe the virtual assistance business is rubbing off on them!  They clearly see the value of outsourcing a minimal task for the right cost.

So here’s the question, can you recognize the benefits of virtual assistance?  I would clump busy work like data entry jobs, address book management, data mining, newsletters, etc, under the category of business “dishes.”  These jobs don’t need to occupy your time!  You should focus on what will grow your business and improve your company.

What would you rather be doing: the “dishes” or calling the shots?

Executive Assistant at Your Service

Executive Assistant. Executive Secretary. Office Assistant. Administrative Assistant. Personal Secretary. Whatever name it is called, it performs a similar role of giving support to an officer or executive of the company. My first job was an executive assistant to an embassy officer. Fresh from the university, I admit, it wasn’t the work I expected. I did almost everything that officer sitting on his high chair could do for himself. From preparing drinks for his visitors, answering and making his phone calls, typing pay checks, calling his driver, getting school schedules for his kids, arranging his vacation, to summarizing daily headline news. More than that, I also did research, talked to government officers, wrote letters, and coordinated special events for the embassy all at the same time. But months passed and I actually got good at it. I was able to multitask. I think my planner was more packed than his! So if you will ask me what executive assistance is, it’s multi-tasking. It’s organization. It’s management. It’s gaining the trust of the executive that you sure are dependable for anything, can keep things confidential, and can figure out which workload needs priority.

Well, if you will ask me why do executives need an assistant, let me share my second job with you. I gave up my first job at the embassy because I wanted more challenge—more than preparing drinks and typing pay checks. But don’t get me wrong, I was so grateful that that was my first job because if it wasn’t for that training I wouldn’t land up meeting my second boss at the real estate company. My second job wasn’t exactly called an executive assistant because she already had one. But she said she hired me to be her “corporate assistant.” I understood why she needed one apart from having a secretary. Simple: She’s an ultra busy lady! Documents unstoppable came in and out of her office for her signature. Managers and supervisors lined up to enter her office to ask for her advice. Letters of clients were piling up on her desk. Her phones were all ringing at the same time. Her email was receiving a hundred of messages a day demanding an urgent reply. Then there were office problems too that needed her attention, applicants who needed to be interviewed, sales and collection targets that needed to be achieved and reported to the CEO. Now how could she respond to all that without an assistant? Yes, there I found the challenge I was looking for. She needed someone who could help her implement the company policies and monitor how they were doing. She needed someone who could get back to the clients and address their individual concerns. She needed someone to monitor the sales and collection targets to make sure they were hitting the numbers. She needed someone to strictly assure everything in the office was running smoothly. She needed an assistant whom she could delegate confidential tasks to without losing control of the operations.

Yes, I do believe being an executive is really not an easy job. Everything rests their shoulders—from the least of business matters to the greatest decision making. It will break or make the company and employees’ future. Tough job. But that’s what executive assistants are here for—to be at their service, to help, to assist, to support—from least to greatest.