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In-Demand Job Skills: Executive Assistants

Since early 2020, countless businesses across the United States have struggled to find their footing in an economic landscape that has been fundamentally reshaped by the COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of businesses have completely gone under. For those lucky businesses that have managed to remain afloat, it’s been a daily struggle to adapt and overcome the challenges of the pandemic. 

But it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. Every crisis, after all, is also a catalyst for change. While the pandemic has certainly presented business leaders and employees with some extreme hurdles, there have also been silver linings. For example, the nationwide transition to remote work has demonstrated to many employers that a distributed workforce model is not only practical, but actually a more cost-effective option than having all of their employees work beneath the same roof. 

Through all of the twists and turns of the pandemic, furthermore, there have been those rare employees that have risen to the occasion and acted as leaders for those around them. If you’re one of those employees, then we encourage you to consider pursuing a position as an executive assistant in 2021.

Here are the Most In-Demand Skills for Executive Assistants in 2021

Are you someone who aspires to land a job as an executive assistant in 2021? If so, then we’re willing to bet that you have a passion for leadership, a love of learning, and an intrinsic, unrelenting drive to excel in your career. Those have been valuable qualities since the beginning of time, but they’re becoming more valuable than ever before in today’s pandemic-era business environment.

There are also a number of more specific technical and interpersonal skills – otherwise known as “hard” and “soft” skills – that have become prerequisites for the vast majority of executive assistant jobs. If you’re interested in pursuing a role as an executive assistant in 2021, it will be essential to understand these required skills and integrate them into your professional toolkit.

With all of that in mind, here are the top four skills that every aspiring executive assistant should aim to practice and master in the new year:

Keen attention to detail.

As an executive assistant, you’ll be responsible for managing and updating a huge number of sensitive assets, including schedules and expense reports. These high-level assets can often be quite dense, which means that it will be essential for any executive assistant to be able to demonstrate strong organizational skills, as well as a knack for being able to keep track of important and easily overlooked details.

Fluency with Microsoft Office.

The Microsoft Office suite – including platforms with household names such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel – is a primary component in any executive assistant’s toolkit. Once you’ve become intimately familiar with the finer points of the Microsoft Office suite, you’ll have a much easier time navigating and managing the various new responsibilities that will fall on your shoulders as an executive assistant in 2021.

Communication and collaboration skills.

An executive assistant must be a strong team player, regardless of the organization or industry that they work within. As an executive assistant, you’ll routinely be required to delegate tasks for time-sensitive projects among a broad and diverse group of professionals. In the era of COVID-19, furthermore, you’ll also need to be able to communicate comfortably using platforms such as Zoom and Google Hangouts. For these reasons, it will be crucial to hone your skills and your confidence as a communicator, collaborator, and team leader in order to land a job as an executive assistant in 2021.

Expert-level prioritization skills.

There will inevitably be days during your career as an executive assistant in which you simply feel overwhelmed with the number of important tasks that demand your attention. Of course, you already knew this when you signed up for the role. In fact, it was probably one of the major factors that led you to become interested in pursuing a job as an executive assistant in the first place. Some people, as it turns out, just tend to thrive under pressure.

If you’re not careful, however, that pressure and overload of work can quickly lead to burnout, and burnout is no joke. It’s important, therefore, for every modern executive assistant to be able to direct their focus in the most productive and efficient manner possible at all times. Executive assistants, in other words, need to be able to discern between those tasks that absolutely demand immediate attention, and those that do not. Once that skill has been perfected, executive assistants will then have a much easier time optimizing their day-to-day workflow – and getting the most out of their time – without pushing themselves to the point of burnout.

Start Searching for Executive Assistant Jobs Near You

Now more than ever, job candidates across industries are seeking the help of professional recruiters to simplify their job search. At Patel Consultants, we have the resources and networking capabilities that you can rely on to start connecting with top employers in your area. So if you’re ready to cut through the static and get connected with the job opportunities that will make a difference in your career, please reach out to us today!