As an Executive Assistant, you know that you’re ready to move onto something bigger and better. But what is that something? Many of us are drawn to the idea of becoming a chief of staff, but it can feel like a jump into the unknown. So, what other options are out there? Is there a middle ground between being an Executive Assistant and being a chief of staff? The answer is yes! There are roles such as program management and business management that have yet to be explored by many. But how do we go about picking the path we want to take when there is so much conflicting information out there? In this blog post, we’ll explore how to find the role that matches your mindset and helps propel you into success.
Start with Self-Reflection
The first step in finding your place in the professional world is self-reflection. Take some time to think about where you want to take your career and what goals you would like to accomplish. What skills do you possess that will help you reach these goals? What do you need to learn or develop in order to achieve success? Taking some time for self-reflection can give you clarity on where your career should be heading.
Make a list of your current skills and strengths, explore, explore, explore
Research different careers that interest you and match your skillset.
Consider what you want out of a career – do you want stability, creativity, independence, etc.? Talk to people who are already working in your field(s) of interest. Ask about their career journey, what they love and don’t love about their job, and what advice they would give to someone starting out. Reflect on your values and interests. What kind of work makes you feel fulfilled? What causes or organizations do you care about?
I've written a self-paced program that may help you through this process, have a look here
Do Your Research
Now it’s time for research! This can include reading articles or books on topics related to your desired field, attending industry events or seminars, or networking with professionals who may have insight into potential job opportunities. Doing research can help give you direction and inform decisions about which jobs might be best for you and which ones would not be a good fit. It can also help provide guidance on what skills or knowledge sets you may need to acquire in order to progress further in your chosen field.
Think About Your Career Goals
It’s important not only to think about where you want your career path to lead, but also why it should lead there. Ask yourself why this particular role appeals more than another one does – is it because of its responsibilities, its potential for growth, its flexibility? Thinking deeply about these questions can help ensure that whatever job opportunity presents itself will be aligned with both your skillset and long-term goals as well as current trends within the industry as a whole.
I've done this - I landed on Chief of Staff as a role I wanted to pursue and be sh*t hot at, however here are the other career paths I explored
Event Planning - we love a plan coming together, so makes sense that Executive Assistants can venture into event planning. This involves organizing and coordinating events such as conferences, meetings, and seminars. Executive Assistants who are good at event planning are typically well-organized and have strong attention to detail.
Human Resources - I've done this! And I really enjoyed it, however, ultimately it's not my thing, I love working with professionals who make this their career, in fact my mentor is a leader in this field because people, and what makes a brilliant organization operate, is so close to my passion. In this role, you would be responsible for managing employee records, benefits, and payroll. Executive Assistants who are good at human resources are typically good at multitasking and have strong people skills.
Marketing - Another role that Executive Assistants can venture into is marketing. When I set up CA, I went about taking on clients to write copy for blogs, social media and websites. I also built a couple of websites! In this role, you would be responsible for creating and implementing marketing campaigns. Executive assistants who are good at marketing are typically creative and have strong writing skills.
Public Relations - Another role that Executive Assistants can venture into is public relations. In this role, you would be responsible for managing the public image of their company or client. As the gatekeeper to your Executive, and key person that protects their integrity, this role may be a natural fit for you! Executive assistants who are good at public relations are typically good at communicating with others and have strong people skills.
At the end of the day, finding the right role isn't easy - especially if there isn't an obvious "middle path" between Executive Assistant and chief of staff roles available for us at present. However, by taking some time for self-reflection and doing our research before committing ourselves fully into any job opportunity available means that we can find ourselves feeling content with our current position while still able control our own future trajectory . So don't be afraid - get out there & find yourself that perfect role! Good luck!
I'd be more than happy to chat about your career path! Hit me up on LinkedIn and lets talk!