When your Executive leaves to start a new role, it is understandable that Assistants are concerned about what to expect from a new Executive. You build up such a strong relationship with an Executive, that can take years to get right, and the thought of going through that again is daunting. There are challenges, but with any new experience, there will always be new opportunities. You have time to reset and learn new techniques that can make you a stronger and more efficient Assistant to your new Boss. Here is everything you need to know when working with a new boss.
Working with a new boss? Here is everything you need to know
We have two great articles for Assistants who are working with a new Executive.
Be proactive in introducing yourself and setting up your initial meetings. Send your new Executive your resume, your past performance reviews and any information that will let them get up to speed on your qualities and skills. When they arrive, have an initial meeting with them, ideally somewhere informal, so that you can get to know each other. Following this meeting, suggest that you schedule a series of meetings working through topics that will eventually help you both work together. For example:
- Meeting one: Get to know each other
- Meeting two: Talk through critical tasks and responsibilities
- Meeting three: Reviewing objectives and goals for the rest of the year
These bite-sized meetings will ensure that you are getting used to seeing each other and discussing strategy along with working out how your relationship will develop.
Have confidence that you are good at your job. Changes are coming your way; this is inevitable. But, there are reasons that your new Executive has been brought into the business, so try to stay positive. But, if you find there are a lot of challenges do remind yourself that you are good at this job and you have a lot to offer.
Be clear on your boundaries and set expectations. You need to have a frank and honest conversation with your new Executive about the role and what they need in an Assistant. You also need to let them know your expectations, how you like to work with an Executive and what you have going on in your
Don’t act like you know it all. Even if you have been in the role for years, they haven’t, and they may want to make some changes or introduce you to new ways of working. So, be open, positive, happy to try new things and enthusiastic.
Help your boss navigate their first few weeks in the organisation. Be there to answer any questions and give them the inside knowledge that you have, which will help them understand the office culture and where the power lies in the business.
Learn everything you can about your new manager. Ask if they have completed a personality test (if not, suggest you do one together), ask about their background, how they worked with their previous Assistants, and what they are hoping to achieve in their new role. If they have not worked with an Assistant before, this is an excellent article to get started on how to support them.
Shadow your Executive. Once your boss gets into the swing of things, it is worth spending a week shadowing their movements. Attend meetings with them and follow their schedule so that you can see how they operate in meetings and make decisions. Your relationship needs time to develop, but if you can quickly work out their style, you can see how you will complement each other.