Latest Posts

Challenges & SolutionsEA Network & CommunityEmotional IntelligenceRelationships

Mean girl assistants: Dealing with high school office politics

  We’ve all been there before, working with other assistants that seem to be more interested in ‘high school’ antics rather than actually working together and getting the job done, like a united admin team should. Driven by their own agenda, these assistants care little about their team or having a positive impact on those around them. From overhearing whispers in the break room with those who want to make anyone’s business their own, to witnessing gossip sessions at others’ desks, and the awkward quietness that falls when you approach the ‘cool group’ having coffee in the company cafeteria. Openly damaging people’s reputations through their careless backstabbing and banter, you wonder what it is you did to be on the receiving end of it. Is it jealousy perhaps? Are they threatened by you? Maybe they’re resentful that you’re more senior than they are. Whatever it is, it’s not cool, and not the way any effective admin team should operate. Now I got asked to write on this topic of ‘mean girls’, and not surprising given my previous articles written on EA etiquette and the obsession we ...
#fromEAtoBusinessPartnerAdvicePerceptions & PresenceRelationshipsWays of working

How to make an impact on Managers who claim to ...

So you’ve been given a new Manager to look after? Perhaps it’s in addition to one you’re already looking after, or perhaps you’ve started a new role and they’re your new boss. We’ve all worked for the demanding types before, but what about the ‘light touch’ Managers that claim to be completely self sufficient and that don’t need much assistance at all? Our role as an EA is obviously to completely support the Manager above us with whatever they need, but if they’re not that great on the delegation front it can leave us twiddling our thumbs wondering what to do next. Now every EA role is obviously different and responsibilities vary, meaning that the Manager you’re there to support might only make up 20% of your role, with the remaining 80% dedicated to running the office or supporting the team. Many Managers will intentionally act less demanding to free you up so you can support the rest of the team and do the general office administration, and in those cases it’s fine. But when you’re employed to support a Manager/s as the primary function ...
#demolishnegativeEAPAstereotypesforgood#fromEAtoBusinessPartnerAdmin TrendsCareer DevelopmentChallenges & SolutionsJoin the movementMyth busters & campaignsOpinion

From EA to Business Partner: Developing the industry to have ...

I ran a Twitter poll recently asking you all if you felt there was a difference between the role of a Personal Assistant and an Executive Assistant. Hands down, you all agreed that there definitely is a difference, or at least there should be. As assistants, we all understand the difference between the two roles, yet time and time again I see position description after position description posted online for Personal Assistant roles that essentially are identical to that of an EA. This leaves me questioning, unsurprisingly, whether others, outside of the administration and assistant profession, actually understand the difference between the two roles, or any of the other assistant roles for the matter. It’s no secret that collectively as an industry our roles are misunderstood. With stereotypes and misconceptions attached around the purpose we serve and the value we actually add, it wouldn’t matter what type of assistant role you actually perform, to most, we are all just seen as ‘secretaries’, lumped into one large group of general support roles that are nothing but subservient, and dare I say it, submissive. Now from what I understand, in America and even in the ...
AdviceCareer DevelopmentInterviewing & On-job training

Behavioural Interviews: Prepare to shine like a STAR

As a senior EA, it forms part of my role to have to conduct, or sit in on, interviews for other assistant and administration roles and as such last week I spent in day training on behavioural interview techniques, which actually turned out to be quite an eye opener. Having attended many interviews as the interviewee and conducted just as many as the interviewer, it was interesting to learn the proper techniques required when interviewing candidates. But I must say, after 8 hours of interview training, I surfaced feeling rather ‘brainwashed’ after having the importance of candidate equality drummed into me and any unconscious bias I may have once had, eliminated from me forever. Political correctness gone mad I say, but apparently what gets asked of one candidate, must be asked of all! Although I had good prior knowledge of the types of questions required to be asked in interviews, it was interesting to learn the specific formula to apply when asking questions and selecting candidates. More than anything though, as I sat there learning as a future interviewer, I couldn’t help but think of all the gold nuggets that I could share ...
AdviceCareer DevelopmentChallenges & SolutionsUncategorized

Just what now? Juggling your place in the organisational structure

  How do you usually get introduced in the workplace? Can it sometimes be a bit vague, like the person introducing you doesn’t really know what it is that you do? Or are the words that are used to describe your title often preceded with the word ‘just‘? “Oh she’s just the assistant” or “she’s just our office manager”. Meanwhile you’re standing there and thinking to yourself, ‘there is nothing just about what I do!’ How do you think they would react, for example,  if you retaliated back and introduced them as “just our Head of Finance” or “he’s just our General Manager”? Because when we all sit on the same leadership team, there really shouldn’t be any discrepancies in hierarchies. We all should sit on the same level and have the same respect for one another, right? Well, unfortunately sometimes we all know that’s not always the case.  I cannot tell you how many times in my career I’ve been introduced as just the assistant. In fact, worse than that, I recently was introduced by a fellow colleague, as what I would describe, as nothing more than my boss’ ...
AdviceChallenges & SolutionsEA Network & Community

EA etiquette: Eliminating our insecurities to strengthen our community

I know I’ve written quite a bit about EA etiquette in the past and perhaps you’re thinking, ‘not another blog on etiquette!’ but unfortunately I feel the need to revisit the topic once again and open our eyes up to some behaviors that just should not be tolerated. In a profession that is tough enough as it is – with the negative stereotypes that have attached themselves to our roles; the lack of respect we can encounter from those around us; and the skewed perception of what we do and the value we add – it often surprises me when I see EAs isolating themselves from their respective EA communities and facing off against each other, rather than encouraging, supporting and building each other up, as a strong and connected EA team should. I literally find myself gob-smacked at some of the stories I hear and instances I witness of assistants going out of their way to attack and bring each other down in the workplace, rather than helping and encouraging each other as a united team and community. When ...
Load More

Join the movement: Demolishing Negative EA/PA Stereotypes for Good


Join the movement and get on board to bust all the myths and negative stereotypes still associated with the EA/PA role!

#demolishnegativeEAPAstereotypesforgood


Join the movement: From EA to Business Partner

It’s time for a new role in the administration industry, another level for Assistants to strive for. Join the campaign to have the Business Partner role made mainstream in the industry.

#FromEAtoBusinessPartner