what is an executive assistant?
Executive assistants fill clerical roles within their organisation, assisting high-level employees in executing their duties. You work closely with the executive (or executives) you work for. You ensure that their tasks are made easier by taking some of the more routine parts of their job off their plate. These tasks are largely administrative in nature.
You get to know the executives you work with, learning their personal preferences so that you can effectively anticipate their needs and form a tight-knit team. Your work allows your executives to focus on their core responsibilities rather than handling day-to-day management tasks that can more efficiently be delegated.
Although you work for your executive in a subordinate role, you are also a source of advice. Part of your role involves filtering information to your executive, ensuring they are not inundated with things that don't require immediate attention. That makes your insights valuable when dealing with important issues, as you may have a fuller picture to base them on. You also have a degree of familiarity with your executive's personal life insofar as it is relevant to your role.
Would working as an executive assistant suit your skills and interests? Are you looking for valuable experience as you move up the career ladder? Keep reading to find out what qualifications and competencies you need for this role.view jobs
average salary of an executive assistant
The average salary for an executive assistant in India is approximately ₹307,200 per year. At entry-level, the average salary is around ₹154,000. Meanwhile, at the higher end of the spectrum, the most qualified and experienced executive assistants earn as much as ₹800,000.
factors that affect an executive assistant's pay
The most important factor in how much you earn as an executive assistant is your experience in the role. More experienced executive assistants, especially those who have worked for the same organisation for some time, tend to command higher salaries. Your performance will help in your efforts to improve your salary.
Another factor is the geographical region in which your organisation is based. While there is no direct correlation between this role and any particular locations, some regions—particularly cities—have higher salaries on average.
types of executive assistant
There is only one type of executive assistant since the role is essentially divorced from what the organisation does. It will help immensely to understand your employer's business, of course, but the bulk of your responsibilities are the same regardless of the industry you are working in. The main differences in your role are influenced by the type of executive you assist. For instance, the role of an assistant executive to the company's chief executive officer will involve different tasks and a higher level of responsibility than being the executive assistant to a production manager.
working as an executive assistant
As an executive assistant, flexibility and comprehensive organisational skills enable you to keep up with the demands of the job. Read on for more information about the roles and responsibilities of a typical executive assistant.
duties and responsibilities
The specific duties of an executive assistant include:
- planning meetings: as the person in charge of your executive's schedule, planning and facilitating meetings falls to you. You set up meetings, which can be in-person or virtual. You attend to all meeting requirements, such as providing essential documentation and resources. You will find and book an appropriate location on a date that works for all concerned, book necessary equipment, and ensure everyone is notified. During meetings, you record the proceedings for later transcription so that people unable to attend don't miss out on important information.
- managing schedules: your executive is a busy person, and the planning of their schedule is a time-consuming task. You act as the gatekeeper to their time, strategically managing their timetable, fielding meeting requests, and generally ensuring your executive has time for all the appointments they need to attend.
- coordinating travel: executives typically need to travel as part of their duties. Arranging travel would be a very time-consuming task, which is why you take care of it. You ensure a smooth travel experience by organising trains and flights, as well as accommodation if necessary. You also prepare the itinerary for business trips, ensuring your executive doesn't miss anything.
- handling correspondence: you manage phone calls, emails, and any other correspondence that comes through to your executive's office. Part of this duty is organising and prioritising correspondence to make the most efficient use of your executive's time.
As an executive assistant, your work environment is primarily in an office. Your role is a largely solitary one in that you are not working as a part of a wider team other than yourself and your executive. However, you collaborate with other office staff. Much of your job involves taking care of business at the office when your executive is travelling, but you occasionally travel with them.
who are your colleagues?
As mentioned above, your role as an executive assistant is one that can transfer from industry to industry without changing substantially. Therefore, the people you work with largely stay the same. You work with administrative assistants, marketing managers, operations managers, sales personnel, and others. Any person your executive has to deal with is a person you interact with as part of your job.
Executives work long and sometimes unsociable hours. Your hours are mostly tied to your executive's hours, meaning flexibility is built into your schedule. Your work schedule may overlap with your personal life at times, and you must accept this inconvenience if you want to work in this role.
Your job outlook as an executive assistant is good in terms of job opportunities. Executives often find it hard to balance their work and personal lives, so executive assistants are always in demand. The more you work with a specific executive, the more earning potential you will have. This is because the more you work with a specific executive, the better you get at your job. Executives would rather pay an assistant they know and like a higher salary than hire a new assistant.
advantages of finding an executive assistant job through randstad
Finding your executive assistant job through Randstad provides important advantages such as:
- a wide variety of training and development opportunities
- an experienced contact person to provide help if needed
- a range of opportunities in your area
- get paid on a monthly basis
- temporary and permanent contracts
Want a permanent contract? A temporary job as an executive assistant is often a stepping stone to an attractive permanent job. Every year, thousands of people earn a permanent contract with great employers thanks to a temporary job found through Randstad. What's more, many companies recruit their permanent employees through Randstad too!
education and skills
Some of the academic qualifications for executive assistants include:
- high school leaving certificate: while it is not a recommended path to take for a career as an executive assistant, it is possible to get an entry-level job and work your way up. This is a lengthy process with a lot of variables.
- degree: getting a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject matter, such as business administration or business management, will greatly improve your chances of getting hired and enhance your starting salary when you get a job.
skills and competencies
Some of the qualities of an executive assistant include:
- communication skills: during the course of your work, you interact with clients, colleagues, and executives. Strong communication skills ensure that you can deal effectively with a wide variety of people.
- good time management: in this role, you are responsible for your own time and much of your executive's time. Having excellent time management skills makes this part of the job much easier.
- multitasking abilities: sometimes, you need to be able to keep your mind on more than one thing at once, particularly if you are working for more than one executive.
- reliability: your executives need to rely on you to perform the tasks at hand. If your executive has to start checking that you have organised their schedule correctly, it defeats the purpose of your role.
FAQs about working as an executive assistant
FAQs about working as an executive assistant:
how much does an executive assistant make in India?
An executive assistant in India earns, on average, ₹307,200. Entry-level executive assistants make around ₹154,000, while the highest earners can make as much as ₹800,000.
how can I become an executive assistant in India?
The first step to becoming an executive assistant is to complete your education. From there, you can pursue more educational qualifications, such as a degree in business management or business administration, to improve your job chances. Alternatively, you can look for an entry-level position and work your way up.
what do executive assistants do?
Executive assistants are there to make life easier for their executives by performing a wide range of administrative tasks on their behalf. This allows the executive to focus on their core tasks.
can an executive assistant become CEO?
It is possible, though unlikely, for someone working as an executive assistant to rise through the ranks and become CEO. An executive assistant's typical progression path leads to them becoming assistants to more senior staff members.
how do I apply for an executive assistant vacancy?
Applying for an executive assistant job is easy: create a Randstad profile and search our job offers for vacancies in your area. Then simply send us your CV and cover letter. Need help with your application? Check out all our job search tips here!