If I had a pound for every time I bit my tongue while working as an assistant, well, I would be a very very wealthy lady! In our role, we are confronted with so many different situations and personality types it can be really difficult to think before we speak. But as assistants this is exactly what we have to do – particularly with our Executives. Maintaining a good relationship with your Executive is really important and sometimes you will have to forgo the urge to say exactly what is on your mind! There are always things you should say to your boss… Even though you are thinking it! Here are my top four:
That’s it… I’m outta here!
Okay, so yes, there have been a few occasions I wanted to storm into my Exec’s office and resign then and there before triumphantly grabbing my stuff and walking out the door. But, I didn’t… Because I didn’t have the guts and also it’s not cool. Even if you are heart set on leaving because you’ve just had enough, it is important you don’t burn your bridges. By all means, find another job, hand your resignation letter in and work your notice. You just never know what the future holds and you may one day need something from your ex-employer. Never ever threaten to leave without the intention of seeing it through… This is just a bad idea!
So, what exactly is in this for me?
Asking your Executive this question will open a huge Pandora’s box of stuff that is best not opened. As an assistant a lot of what you are asked to do isn’t going to benefit you in any way. It will, however, benefit your Executive, your colleagues and your business. That is your job. You benefit from seeing your Executive succeed and work more productively. You are the ultimate team player and, I think, the rewards are pretty amazing.
I’m sooooooo bored!
The work that assistants do can absolutely suck sometimes, but rather than speaking to your Executive about it you simply have to get on with the boring stuff. When the crap stuff outweighs the good stuff, then you can talk to your Executive about your workload and what motivates you. But this should be structured properly through one to one meetings with your Executive and you should have some idea as to what you want to do about the problem. Telling your boss that you are bored will cause two things to happen. Firstly, your Executive will be pretty pissed off that you are bringing this problem to them because at the end of the day you are paid to be in there and secondly, you will be given a load more crap work to do that fills your time rather than productive challenging work that will stretch you. Nobody wins when you tell your boss you are bored!
I’m not doing that
I admit, there have been loads and loads of times I wanted to tell my boss I’m not doing something they’ve asked me to do. But, then I remembered that this is part of my role and I sucked it up and did it anyway. I moaned about it afterwards with friends and family obviously, but not to my Executive! The debate about what an Assistant should or shouldn’t do for their Executive’s rumbles on… I think unless your Executive only asks you to do menial tasks you should do the odd thing that isn’t necessarily in your job spec (reload a stapler with staples found in their desk drawer for example…)