How to expand your role when there is no room for growth

It can be challenging to break through the glass ceiling as an Assistant when your organisation has no room for growth. I’ve heard it repeatedly from Assistants, they are often stuck in a pay scale or band that doesn’t reflect their work, or their Executive doesn’t look for the potential in what they do, or they find it hard to showcase their skills. When there is little or no room for growth, it can be frustrating and demotivating. If you want to know how to expand your role when there is little room for growth, here are some ways to create new opportunities for yourself.

Take initiative

Taking the initiative is one of the best ways to expand your role. That means being proactive and voluntarily stepping up when needed. This can include proactively finding solutions to problems before they arise or picking up the slack when someone else needs help. It also involves anticipating needs, such as preparing materials before meetings or organising documents ahead of deadlines. This will show your Executive and colleagues that you are reliable and willing to put in extra effort when necessary.

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Demonstrate your expertise

Another great way to stand out is by demonstrating expertise within your Assistant role. Developing a deep understanding of your responsibilities will make you invaluable, as it allows you to provide informed opinions and advice that others may not have access to. Developing a deep understanding of your Executive’s schedule, key responsibilities, goals and objectives will also help you make decisions to drive the business forward. In meetings, you can answer questions or voice your opinion based on understanding what the business requires and how and where to add value. Once you have that level of knowledge, you’ll be more confident to demonstrate your expertise and show those around you a willingness to take on more challenging and ultimately fulfilling work. This knowledge will also allow you to troubleshoot issues quickly and effectively, saving time for everyone involved.

Networking and connecting with others

Networking is vital in advancing your Assistant career, especially if there is no room for growth at your current organisation or role. Reach out to other Assistants and connect with like-minded professionals on LinkedIn or other professional networks such as The EA Campus. You never know who might have an opportunity that’s perfect for you! Plus, networking within your organisation opens up avenues for collaboration, mentorship, advice, and inspiration from those who have been at the company for a while and can help you move forward.

Take on more challenges

If no formal roles are open at work, try taking on additional responsibilities within your current Assistant role. Ask yourself what tasks or projects you could take on that would challenge you and help you learn more about the business. Doing this will not only help broaden your skill set but also give you visibility with higher-level employees who may recognise your efforts and potentially offer more advancement opportunities down the line.