The loneliness of an Executive Assistant
“I'm always on standing on the sideline.” That's literally what she told me. She felt a little left out. And that sometimes feels quite lonely.
The loneliness in the secretarial profession, that's what I want to talk about today. This lady worked in London at an office with only engineers. So when the discussion became more technical during a meeting, she felt a bit left out. She could not participate with the conversation
Where does this feeling come from?
It is one of man's deepest desires: to belong to a group. So if a very technical conversation takes place, that she cannot participate in, it can give a sense of standing on the sideline.
She is not alone in this, by the way.
But you can also look at it differently
Everyone has his/her own role and expertise.
These engineers had a technical discussion. That is their job, their expertise
And an executive assistant also has her own expertise. Many of you have a busy manager and you also manage a team. That demands a lot from you as an executive assistant. And I still talk to enough ladies who downplay their work.
As if what they are doing is quite normal.
Well I am here to tell you, it’s not. Without you, your colleagues would be in serious trouble. They will find that out when you are ill at home, for instance.
You can do so much more.
When I still worked for a boss, it was sometimes said: the secretariat is the drain of the department. This meant that the secretariat had do anything nobody wanted to do. And I always said: bring it on. Because between those tasks, there are often very nice projects. Especially facility projects such as furnishing an office or changing all logos from the old to the new during a rebranding; from the stickers on the cars to the logo on the facade.
What do you mean sideline?
I advised this lady to take a look around in the company. That is the advantage of an executive assistant. You can pick up anything you want. You have that freedom. Those engineers will only do their well-defined tasks.
This lady chose to focus on the food in the canteen. The result was that the offer of food in the canteen has increased, which was very much appreciated by her colleagues. And that was just the beginning.
What do you mean on the sideline?
The problem is that EA’s don’t always get the appreciation they deserve
I am sure, dear reader, that you have already taken up such projects. And that completing it successfully and on time was quite normal for you. I also know that the appreciation for your work is rather rare. And that can feel a bit lonely.
That's why I'm doing it: very well done! My compliments!