Growth Areas for an EA

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

As EA's we are often pushed a side or bucketed into just being an "Admin" - This is not true and we are so much more. This article is to support EA career development and growth discussions with your manager. During these discussions, ensure that you are advocating for yourself and defining what you would like your career path to look like, and what ideas you have for growth. Maybe you’d like to continue the EA role for the entirety of your career, or maybe you want venture down another path, make sure you discuss what this looks like for you with your manager.

The following suggestions may not be applicable to every admin, PA or EA role. Feel free to leverage these topics as talking points with your manager on what may be applicable to your role and aspirations.

  • Get involved with hiring admin roles - shadow, then lead interviews to support EA hiring

  • Onboard EAs into your organisation

  • Become a Mentor to the admin professional roles

  • Get involved in an EA community, to support events, networking, and other outreach programs

  • Practice the skill of “contracting” with leaders and stakeholders to manage bandwidth appropriately

  • Attend business reviews to learn about team priorities, projects, and initiatives. Make suggestions for optimization

  • Identify areas of interest in the business or other skill sets and prioritize time to learn more in trainings, workshops, or conferences

  • If as an EA, you have bandwidth and would like to learn and expand your scope, discuss with your manager about adding additional leaders for you to support

  • View the calendar as more than just “calendar management”, dig into meeting details, identify opportunities for efficiencies and support leader’s scaling their time. Audit meeting logistics and take action as needed (Check out our meeting audit template)

  • Review calendars to identify cycles and patterns, suggest improvements to optimize time and avoid fire drills. Create work back plans / rhythms to support proactive planning.

  • Partner with the organization’s PMO or HRBP to dive into cyclical priorities. Suggest areas of partnership if applicable

  • Deepen business acumen through supporting org-wide goal management; business or HR goals. Create reports, audit updates, distribute reminders

  • Review business priorities / deliverables and discuss possible areas of ownership to increase stakeholder visibility

  • Create org-wide rhythms of business to increase org awareness and planning, and reduce reactive responses

  • Work to build processes and plans; help leaders and organizations digest information quickly, and ensure closed loop follow ups

  • Calendar management; identify efficiencies - where can time be saved or best optimized

  • Increase ways to drive self-service through knowledge management systems

  • Regularly audit meetings; confirm owners, attendees, agenda, doc preparation, to ensure effective meetings

  • Facilitate meeting pre-briefs with requestors to ensure high value (i.e. review docs, objectives, provide feedback as necessary.)

  • Identify and outline roadblocks and feedback from prior cyclical activities; engage owners to ensure solutions are being discuss, or provide recommendations on improvements

  • Review annual goals/priorities to determine areas you may be able to support and/or own to completion

  • Identify workarounds to obstacles and anticipate the needs of the team, autonomously

  • Think through options where the team can do more with less. Evaluate tradeoffs and prepare recommendations

  • As an EA you are a SME in your field; apply that business knowledge to appropriately prioritize on behalf of your leader(s)

  • Work to make decisions, manage complex situations/problems, and independently identify solutions

  • Determine methods or accomplish objectives that support department vision, goals, and/or increase leader capacity

  • Identify ways to support the org through morale, engagement, or learning

  • Inventing new ways to connect the team through virtual roadblocks

  • Mentoring can be very important to the EA role. Whether you work in an organisation with many EAs or are working alone - It can be difficult for EAs to develop and learn from others. Mentorship is a great way to ensure you have someone to brainstorm with, discuss roadblocks, and learn tips and tricks for navigating difficult situations. EAs can, and likely should, have more than one mentor; who may be an EA or in a different role. Check out our Buddy Program to meet like minded EAs within the EA Network Ireland Community.

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