A candid look at the modern EA role, written by EAs for everyone.
Reach further, climb higher, shine brighter—creating impact that lasts!
Welcome to the first in a series of blogs written with invincible EAs in mind.
The nature of the EA role means that it’s an integral part of any organisation.
Use this insightful and privileged position to ensure you are adding the most value and maximising your learning within the heart of your business.
Who knows where your EA role can take you?
The EA role has evolved with the underlying premise of making those who receive our support look brilliant! We make the impossible possible whilst ensuring the mechanics of the business run smoothly. Working alongside our hard-working executives who are thriving on the challenges to improve their business results, whilst at the same time looking for their next promotion, sometimes taking the assistant that made them stand out in a crowd with them. But what about us? How do we ensure that we are also destined for ongoing success? That our EA career pathways are on an upward trajectory to greatness. How do we know we are realising our full potential? My EA colleagues at Baringa and I think we have the answer to this.
1. Learn something new every day
It starts with a daily commitment to learning, making sure every day comes with an opportunity to learn something new. Googling a new business term you’ve just heard, comparing shortcut hacks in your favourite software with your IT colleagues, putting on a podcast as you take your lunchtime stroll and sharing what you’ve learnt, finding out what products and services the firm sells or offers, keeping yourself in constant touch with your business. With every second of every hour already accounted for in the EA day, the key to implementing this level of inquisitiveness can only come through what you already know and building on it. Figure out your areas of interest together with the things you know you need to know in order to be a respected and valuable member of the team. Think about the areas that you could see yourself specialising in if you got the chance. There are many different directions that an EA career can take you, our adaptability and ‘can do’ mindsets provide a platform from which we can launch ourselves. Being the very best versions of ourselves is a mantra we have at Baringa and we are fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues doing just that, day in, day out. The ‘yearn to learn’ is therefore part of the fabric of our environment.
2. Immerse yourself
As well as the day-to-day learning, take something that is topical and interesting in your team space and immerse yourself in it. Practice being inquisitive. Pretend you are a private investigator and you are solving a mystery: what is it about your products or services that would make a customer buy from you? What’s the uniqueness that your company brings to the market that can’t be found anywhere else? What part are you playing in your organisation as your knowledge unfolds? These lines of curious enquiry really broaden your levels of understanding and will be noticed by those around you. Keep a record of everything you are learning, not only is it motivational as you see yourself develop, but it will prove to be invaluable at performance and promotion review times.
3. Invest in your network
Finally, a really strong network of colleagues both internally and externally is important to steer you in the right direction and role model yourself against. At Baringa for example, we have a clearly defined, formal structure of pods (small teams), with strong EA ambassadors at the helm allowing us to continually develop and nurture our talent. There’s also a great deal of reverse mentoring in play where our young EAs who are often fully engaged with disruptive technologies lead the way. Use your network as an extension of your own service, making sure these complementary and reciprocal relationships can assist you in tackling any problems that may come your way. We continually learn from other EAs through osmosis, subtly picking up on anything new, adding it to our extensive toolkits as who knows when we will need it!
So, ask yourself today whether your career destination is in your own hands or someone else’s!
About the author and this series:
Ina is an EA in Baringa’s Business Enablement team. She’s been an EA for over 3 years and is passionate about climate change, learning & development and client relations.
This is the first article in a series about EA things: tips and tricks how to manage your work life balance, networking opportunities throughout the year, and insights into the importance and value the modern EA can provide.
Follow Baringa to make sure you don’t miss the next article, where we’ll look into growth mindset.