Back in 1980, the film “9 to 5” portrayed a group of overworked, unappreciated secretaries. They kidnapped their boss and ran the business themselves.  Now, companies have learned to value executive assistants and they can earn top money in London. Competition for these positions is very high and successful applicants. You must show a mixture of practical skills, business skills and people skills.

Executive Assistant Courses

Executive Assistant Practical Skills

A decent typing speed is a key skills, you must also have knowledge of Microsoft Office.  Advanced skills in Microsoft Excel are often either a requirement (particularly in the financial services sector) or a huge advantage. Bookkeeping skills and knowledge are valuable. This is because Executive assistants manage the expenses either for their direct manager or for a whole department. They may also take on tasks for which an understanding of finance is a distinct advantage, for example getting initial quotes from suppliers and presenting the results to their manager.

Executive Assistant Business Skills

Time management is one of the most vital skills any executive assistant can possess.  Part of being able to manage time effectively is being able to use tools effectively.  For example, Microsoft Outlook is full of features which can be used to manage e-mails. The standard calendar tool is flexible system for recording and prioritising tasks.  Microsoft Excel supports macros, functions and formulas, all of which save on human time and effort.

Prioritisation is a key skill for an Executive PA. Ability to create effective work processes, for example grouping similar tasks into batches which can be completed at the same time.  Experienced executive assistants will be able to demonstrate their time-management skills by giving examples from their work.  Those looking to start out in this area might wish to take a time-management course.

Executive Assistant People Skills

An executive assistant is usually a pivotal point of contact between their manager and other members of staff.  Their performance and, in particular, their behaviour towards other people, will reflect on their manager and today’s generation of managers tend to be very aware of this fact.  As a result, anybody who is serious about attaining a top-level executive assistant position had better be prepared to demonstrate top-level people skills to match.

By contrast, some people with great practical skills find it difficult to grasp critical soft skills such as assertiveness and persuasiveness.  This is why reputable executive assistant courses in London typically place a strong emphasis on building and honing outstanding people skills and hence can be of huge value to anyone looking to move into top flight executive assistant positions. You can find Executive PA Courses in London.