So do assistants think the role has diversified?

So do assistants think the role has diversified?

So do assistants think the role has diversified?

Last month I posted a blog about diversification with the assistant role. As always, I was interested in what other assistants had experienced in their roles. Has the role really diversified? If so, to what extent and is the diversification a good thing? Here are your responses…

“Very interesting article but not surprising. I think many of us already know how our roles have diversified in our own firms. Indeed, this is not your mother’s admin role anymore.”

“My role has changed drastically over the years. Event Management, Project Management, Human Resources and Finance have become a big part of my job. In the past I’d be answering phones, taking memos and maintaining files – nowadays you are an extension of your Executive. You have to be able to think strategically and offer solutions rather than simply carry out requests. I find myself being a ‘Jack of all trades’, and constantly learn, which is rather exciting.”

“When I first started as an EA, I was answering phones, filing, and typing memos. I find that now I am involved in finance, creating presentations, gathering information, assisting with Human Resources. It is encouraging to be challenged and I enjoy it greatly.”

“We’ve clearly been seeing the same trends, that the role is diversifying at a rapid pace. Tasks and responsibilities involving heavy project management are becoming commonplace for the admin too.”

“When I was working as an EA the role seemed to evolve over time. I started out as a receptionist and ended up as an EA. This role included updating my Executive’s CV, keeping licenses current for my exec, helping with the immigration process (my exec wasn’t a citizen at the time), and my absolute favourite, figuring out how to get a lot of expensive furniture imported from Asia! I think that job really taught me how much I was able to do – as one person called it, “knack by necessity”.”

“I’ve been working as an assistant for 11 years in four different companies and I don’t see my role has changed or diversified. I’ve always had additional responsibilities in the fields of marketing and communication, and it’s something that I love doing.”

“I have been working as an Executive Assistant for 2 years now. I came from a background of office management & finance, I was able to take all the roles that I have had over the last 20 years and roll them into an executive assistant role. However when I took on my 9-5 assistant role I was assistant to 3 executive as well as the event planner and I also did some office Management type work. I have struggled to maintain ALL expectations from my office while still keeping my executives happy. I have learnt that when you take on such diverse roles often your execs do not take into consideration that you have many things on your plate not just the role for their assistant. And In turn your 1-1 time and relationships with your execs suffer.”

“I have since left my 9-5 role and started a Successful Virtual assistant company where I can focus on the needs of my client rather than the needs of the office.”

“Wow has my role diversified! I was hired 4 years ago as the PA to the Managing Director and that was it. I’m now PA to him, his partner in another business (2 email addresses is fun!), the Finance Director and the Chairman AND Office Manager, Account Manager to our 6th largest account (as of last year, it should be our 5th and maybe 4th this year) as well as looking after all of our 99 trademarks in the UK, Europe and Worldwide – I said no to patents lol! Weirdly I actually do get a chance to breath during the day but multi-tasking and a keen ability to prioritise as my new best friends.”

“My job hasn’t exactly diversified since I started (~8 years ago) but it certainly does cover a lot of different areas. My primary job function is financial (account manager) but I am also expected to be an executive/personal assistant to my boss. This means everything from drafting memos and managing calendars to calling in prescriptions and rescheduling dental appointments. I’m also the IT person for my boss’s computers and iPhone. I also handle some event planning (I probably like this the least), and now that he’s the temporary head of the dept, I’ve also helped him with the management/logistics involved with that.”

“This is my 15th year working in the administrative field, and while I have climbed the administrative ladder, I have not strayed outside of the admin industry. Four years ago I was approached to work in sales, but it is not an area I personally enjoy, so instead I opted to take an Executive Assistant role. In this role I managed staff, but was not given a manager title. Last September I successfully negotiated a change in title and salary, but am still the lowest-paid manager in our company, even though I have more management experience than several other managers. I agree that while we have come a long way, there is still a lot of work to be done.”

“Ten years ago I started out as the Timekeeper and Personnel admin and today I do that as well as Budget Analysis, Systems Administrator, Event Planner, Facility Management, as well as serve as the primary back up to all the other admin positions. I’ve had one 2.5% raise and title upgrade as a thank you for taking on all these jobs when 2 positions were eliminated. I feel that I’ve been forced to become too diversified.”

“I believe that the assistant role has diversified, to the point where all the additional responsibility which we now take on is just seen as the ‘norm’. I have been in administration for 18 years. When I first started out administration was just that, dealing with diaries, looking after travel, typing, filing and perhaps covering the receptionist. Now it goes beyond standard administration – we create presentations, chair meetings, arrange events, manage offices, plan office moves as well as all the original duties. Now don’t get me wrong I love all these additional aspects, but as many of you have said as assistants we have not yet gained the recognition or reward for all this additional responsibility. Most assistants are unable to be promoted, we are constantly seen as the junior members of a team, no matter how long our tenure or experience and the salaries are just not comparable. A lot of this I think comes from the fact that assistant roles were traditionally held by women and even today most assistant roles are held by women. I hope that in the near future, we see a change in how assistants are viewed, recognised and rewarded. I love the fact that in every role I’ve had it has continued to evolve and grow. As a result so have I.”

“Diversification = Opportunity from my perspective especially for the #EAPAVA crowd. It opens new doors for all!”

To everyone that commented and responded to my questions – thank you!

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