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How To Be A Successful Executive Assistant: Tips, Tricks, and More!

Executive assistants play important roles in a company because they are the executive’s left-hand man (or woman)!

A successful executive assistant will go above and beyond to make sure that the company is headed in the right direction by ensuring that the executive that they are assisting is on top of everything and then some.

In this article, we will cover:

Executive Assistant Job Description

What does an executive assistant do? Executive assistants, also sometimes called personal assistants, play key roles in a company because they assist one or more executives, such as high level officials, the CEO, or the owner of a company.

Executive assistants are similar to administrative assistants; however, administrative assistants tend to focus on clerical work, while executive assistants are responsible for assisting an executive of the company, usually with higher level tasks.

While the types of tasks that executive assistants perform can vary from position to position, they all tend to perform similar high level tasks and duties.

These tasks can range from:

Here is an example of an executive assistant job description from

Executive Assistant Salary

According to, the median salary of an Executive Assistant for 2016 was $26.86 hourly, or $55,860 annually.

Keep in mind, this can vary based on years of experience and where one lives, just like any other job position.

How to Become an Executive Assistant

To become an assistant, consider getting a degree in business or a related field such as administrative support or office management.

At minimum, executive assistants usually have a 4-year degree, but some executive assistants work up from being an administrative assistant, or receive a certificate or degree from a two-year program.

When working for larger companies, however, one might need multiple years of experience as an executive assistant to be considered for the position.

In addition, executive assistants may need knowledge in the field which they plan to work in. For example, if they are planning on being an executive assistant in a legal environment, they must be familiar with legal terminology and procedures.

Tips for an Executive Assistant

Looking for executive assistant organization tips? These tips will increase your organization.

  1. Organize Your Emails

As an executive assistant, you must manage not only your own inbox, but your executive’s as well. This can get overwhelming with so many emails flowing.

You probably have accepted that reaching inbox zero is nearly impossible, however there are other options to defeat this challenge, and simplify that inbox!

Priority Matrix a tool that allows you to simplify your inbox.

Consider organizing emails in a quadrant based template with the four quadrants labeled:

The email template looks as followed:

Priority Matrix, is a quadrant based project management solution that allows you to easily drag and drop your emails into the above quadrants from your Outlook email.

From there, you can:

Here is how this would look in Priority Matrix:

Notice that the ‘task name’ is the subject of the email. When you click on it, the content of the email is listed under ‘notes’.

Learn How:

  1. Make tomorrow’s to-do list before leaving the office

Don’t waste any time! Before stepping out of the office, create a to-do list of tasks that you need to focus on tomorrow while everything is fresh in your head. The extra 5-10 minutes you spend to do this will certainly pay off when you enter the office in the morning because you will have a good idea where you stand.

This ensures that you do not waste any time because you know what is a top priority and what needs your focus first.

  1. Visualize What You WILL Accomplish

When you walk into the office, start your day with the end in mind.

Take 5 minutes to think about what results you need to achieve today. THEN, consider what tasks will help you get there.

At this point, revise your to-do list from the night before making sure each of your tasks on there are in the right place.

  1. Use a tool

To stay organized, consider using an online platform or project management software to keep you as well as your team in the loop.

A wonderful project management solution for executive assistants is Priority Matrix, the same tool listed in tip #1 to assist with your emails.

In Priority Matrix, you can keep track of tasks, emails, and documents all in one place. In addition, you can read detailed reports so that you can make sure that your team is on track, or that your team is not making progress so that you can step in right away.

Here is how you can use Priority Matrix with your executive:

You can also increase overall organization because everything is in one place.

Your boss has an important call tomorrow? Set an alert in Priority Matrix to remind him/her an hour before.

Want to see if anything important is going on tomorrow or the following week? Open the Priority Matrix master list for a bird’s eye view to see everything going on, and filter it by the time period you want to focus on.

  1. Keep a Database

Keep good records of a variety of places, such as hotels and restaurants, that your executive has been to in the past. Make sure you keep contact information such as phone numbers and addresses as well as an area which states whether or not he/she enjoyed their last experience.

This way if your executive is looking for a place to stay in the L.A. area, you can pull up hotels that he/she has stayed at in the past, and make some calls!

You can keep track of this information in an Excel spreadsheet, Microsoft Access, or even Priority Matrix.

Executive Assistant Skills

Looking for a more efficient way to manage as an Executive Assistant?

Try Priority Matrix for free!