Whether you’re just starting out as an executive assistant (EA) or are already well on the way to a successful career, having a professional network is a crucial part of the equation. A professional support network can open up new opportunities and give you access to invaluable advice to help you grow your career.
Here are four reasons why an executive assistant support network can be a game-changer.
1. You’ll learn faster and make fewer mistakes
In any role that requires a degree of strategy and management, there’s the danger of making mistakes that could cost you (in time) and the business (in revenue). Getting guidance and feedback from other EAs with similar experiences will help you overcome the same challenges and fast-track your learning, ensuring that you avoid making similar mistakes.
Your support network also becomes a means of gaining access to knowledge that can help you excel in your role. Imagine that you’ve been tasked with the responsibility of planning an exclusive event for the board on behalf of your CEO but have never undertaken this sort of activity before. Reaching out to your fellow EAs, before you take that first step, can mean the difference between wasting time trying to understand the best process and hitting the ground running.
If you’ve come up against a particular task or challenge you’ve not faced before, chances are that someone in your network that can help you meet that challenge successfully.
2. You’ll have access to knowledgeable industry professionals
A support network offers EAs a group of professionals that are aligned in values and goals, and who can be a source of wisdom and influence for those keen to advance their careers. The EA Circle’s Executive Manager, Dimitra Zographos, was a member for eight years prior to her appointment.
“Through those years, I have gone from strength to strength in unlocking my full potential,” Zographos says.
“By understanding what keeps executives up at night, what the strategy of the business is and how I can add much more value to my executive and the business by learning from my peers. Sharing of knowledge and experience is invaluable and something you cannot read about. The discussions in The EA Circle meetings are very empowering.”
Your support network should also include a wide number of EAs who have been there before and, as such, are well-placed to act as mentors for others that are still reaching those heights. You benefit from the experience of those who have sound practical advice to offer and who can help shape and direct your career on an upward trajectory.
3. You’ll stay up to date with industry trends
As a busy EA, it’s not always possible to find the time to attend industry conferences or read all the industry news to get up to speed. A support network is your resource for policy updates, industry trends, the latest tech and processes that can affect you and your company. There’s also the chance that you may be the one in a position to help others in your network with keeping up to speed in these areas, providing you with an opportunity to demonstrate value and help others in return.
4. You’ll always have people to lean on
Zographos notes that being an EA can sometimes be a lonely job, requiring a great deal of focus, and a constant juggle of time and priorities.
Having a support network means you don’t have to walk this path alone, giving you the means of being able to openly discuss the day-to-day challenges you face with like-minded EAs in a similar position in a confidential and trusted environment. You can’t put a price on the camaraderie that comes from being part of a professional support group.
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