The full impact of COVID has been devastating and as well as the obvious changes to our lives, such as social distancing, not seeing family and friends for long periods and being required to wear facemasks, the job market has also seen significant shifts.
When the pandemic first began to impact the economy, the government instructed people to work from home wherever this was possible. Where this was not possible, many businesses had no choice but to furlough staff and close their business or run their business in a different way.
One positive that has come from the need for businesses to adapt, is that more businesses have explored the ways that technology can help them to run more efficiently or to enable them to diversify their products and services.
Many businesses have seen that there are many benefits to having home-based employees, from reducing the cost of running business premises, to giving employees more flexibility in their work-life balance. One job that has arguably changed forever is the role of Executive Assistant, one that traditionally involved working in close physical proximity to the executive that is being assisted.
Throughout the pandemic, this type of role has had to adapt quickly, by utilizing online solutions to provide support while working in separate locations to the exec. For businesses that already had a good technology infrastructure to enable home working, the changes were less disruptive. However, for many companies, setting up the right IT frameworks to enable employees such as executive assistants to work from home was one of the biggest challenges they faced.
The impact on the skills required for Executive Assistants
With many EA roles now being performed from home, there is an increased demand for people with good IT skills. Executive Assistants have always been required to have good office management skills and to be proficient with the relevant business systems but now they need to be up to speed with more types of software.
For example, project management software is integral to collaborating with execs and their management teams, in the place of having physical meetings. Also, being proficient in arranging video calls through software tools such as Zoom, or Microsoft Teams is also important with many businesses encouraging employees to work from home as much as possible and to avoid physical meetings.
Therefore, Executive Assistants looking for new roles, or to continue to be able to perform to a high standard, need to have the right experience and qualifications to suit the new world of more digitally-reliant working processes.
Completing executive assistant courses can help people to develop the necessary skills that enable them to proficiently use all of the technology tools that are required for modern day exec support. There are a wide range of different courses that are available to complete online, that will help people to get offered a role as an Executive Assistant.
Businesses use different types of online collaboration and project management tools but some of the most common ones include Monday, Asana, Slack, Google Docs and Microsoft Teams. Becoming as familiar as possible with these tools will give you a big advantage over other job applicants, so try to practice using them and discover all of the main features for each one.
During an interview, you may be asked about your knowledge about some of these online solutions, so if you can demonstrate in your answer that you have an in-depth understanding, then you will certainly improve your chances of being offered the role.
Now you know how the role has changed in the last two years, you can acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to be more successful as an Executive Assistant.