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5 simple reasons why EAs need a support network
Whether you’re starting on the road to being a successful EA or are already on the way to a successful career, having a support network is a crucial part of the equation. Here are five reasons why having that support in place will be of enormous benefit:
1. Learn faster & 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 ensure that you don’t make similar mistakes.
Your support network also then becomes a means of gaining access to knowledge that can help you excel in your role. Imagine that you’ve been tasked with the role 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 spending countless hours finding a how-to guide online and hitting the ground running. Not only creating a successful event but an exclusive event with a difference!
If you’re coming up against a particular task or challenge you’ve not faced before, chances are that you’ll have someone in your network that can help you meet that challenge.
2. Access a wider circle of influence
It’s natural human behaviour to seek out those similar to ourselves. Anyone who has ever moved to another country, or attended a new place of work, will understand the intrinsic need to form communities of like-minded people.
What a support network offers an EA is a group of professionals who 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 8 years prior to her appointment. “Through those years, I have gone from strength to strength in unlocking my full potential. 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 in the EA Circle.
“Sharing of knowledge and experience is invaluable and something you cannot read about. The discussions in The EA Circle meetings are very empowering.”
3. Seek help finding a mentor
Your support network should include a wide number of EAs who have been there before and, as such, are perfectly placed to act as mentors for others who 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.
4. Develop your knowledge
As a busy EA, it’s not always possible to find the time to attend industry conferences or read influential blogs to get up to speed. Your support network should be your one-stop shop to accessing 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 the process.
5. Realise you’re not alone
Dimitra notes being an EA can sometimes be a really lonely job, requiring a great deal of focus and a juggle of time and priorities. Having a support network in The EA Circle 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 such a close-knit group.
If you feel you're at the position where you could be a mentor to other EAs, you may want to consider entering our Page Personnel EA of the Year 2018 award!