This past weekend I read an article on Broadway legend Barbara Cook’s passing. As a Broadway fan and someone who often proclaims “music is my drug of choice,” this article touched me on many levels, but one sentence made me suck in my breath. "For some of Ms. Cook’s friends, lyrics simply came easier than words as they sat in her bedroom alongside her son, her longtime manager, and her assistant of nearly three decades."
HER ASSISTANT OF NEARLY THREE DECADES
This career I have chosen is unique. While it is important to be professional, it is also a very personal job. While I don't go to work to make friends, when done right the EA / Executive partnership can be like family. And just like in families, you don't need to like each other every single second of every single day, but there must be trust and respect, on both sides. I think that is the part admins often forget. Our bosses need to trust us for the partnership to be a success, but we also need to trust them if we are going to give all that is required. Respect should be mutual.
I've had some bad bosses, some good bosses, some great bosses, but only a couple of true corporate partnerships. The reason those partnerships worked so well is the trust and respect flowed both ways. In those roles, we definitely always had each other's backs. They knew if they tasked me with something, it would get done. I knew that if I needed them to help me move something along, they would.
I am currently job seeking and have been advised by a couple of recruiters to remove two positions which only lasted six-month from my resume, but I opted to leave them. This career is unique. It is a corporate marriage of sorts, only you are expected to get married after one or two dates (interviews). It doesn't always work. And it does not take long after you start working as an Assistant to figure out an executive’s true character. I ultimately decided not to remove those positions because when asked the reasons for leaving it shows MY character.
This is a unique career. It is both professional and personal. Your standard rules do not always apply. But when you find the right executive, it is wonderful, productive, challenging and fulfilling.
When asked by recruiters what I want in my next position, only those who truly understand my career understand my answer. I am looking for another corporate partnership like I had with my best executives. I'm looking for the Bogie Executive to my Bacall Assistant.
This is a unique career.
The Audacious Admin is Debbi L. Shaffer, an outgoing, resourceful and highly motivated executive assistant with 20 years of experience specializing in C-Suite Executive Support.