Three Career Tips for Moving from Administrative Assistant to Executive Assistant

October 11, 2023


A successful administrative assistant sits at her desk on the phone, preparing for a career move to an executive assistant.

You may be at the point in your career where you’re ready for the next step. Or you’re on the path of discovering where you want to go next. The jump from administrative assistant (AA) to executive assistant (EA) is fairly common in many organizations. 

There are many beneficial steps you can take in your current role to prepare for the responsibilities and workload of an EA. 

How to Shift from an Administrative Assistant to an Executive Assistant

As you think more about your next role as an EA, here are a few ways to position yourself as the perfect candidate. That way, you’ll be more than ready to interview and showcase how and why your skills make you the perfect person for the job. 

Network and Develop Relationships with Executives

When an EA position opens up in an office, it’s likely that the job will go to someone already in the organization. EAs work closely with executives and stakeholders. 

Therefore, a positive working relationship with high-level employees beforehand is one of the best ways to ensure you’re considered for the position. 

Work Well Across Various Teams

It’s no secret that EAs have to be able to work with various internal departments without blinking an eye. Practice working cross-functionally in your current role by offering to collaborate on projects with other departments. 

In doing so, you’ll learn more about their roles, how they operate, and how that relationship can benefit the organization as a whole. 

Take the Initiative & Showcase Your Ambition

EAs wear a lot of hats on a day-to-day basis, which you’ve likely experienced in your role as an administrative assistant as well. Whether you’re managing multiple calendars, scheduling appointments, or leading the charge on a new project, take new challenges head-on. 

This will show leadership, your eagerness and ambition within your current role, and how you will apply those qualities and skills to your next position. 

The Primary Differences Between an Executive Assistant & an Administrative Assistant Job Description

An administrative assistant is often called the backbone of the office; they ensure that everything is running smoothly. From ensuring meetings start on time to correspondence, file managing, and answering phones, the AA is truly a jack of all trades. 

An executive assistant takes a more specialized role within the office. They work closely with an executive or a team of executives on various tasks and responsibilities. EAs partake in critical decision-making, liaise for an executive and other teams, and assist with scheduling and solving conflicts. 

As we mentioned, EAs often start their careers as AAs. Typically, it’s a very natural progression to go from AA to EA. Administrative assistants learn while doing and have exceptional communication and organizational skills to bring to an executive assistant position. 

Aside from the executive assistant role, admin assistants often opt for the office manager role, where they may manage admins and other employees in the workplace. 

Sharpen Your Skills Using an Executive Assistant Job Description  

The easiest way to determine your qualifications for a new position is to read the job description for your desired role. To start, try accessing a previous EA job listing from your company or find one from a similar organization. 

Pay attention to the skills and qualifications that you don’t currently have, and work towards achieving those in your current role as an AA. This could be as simple as offering to present meeting notes to executives or participating in an inter-departmental project that needs an unbiased liaison.  

Give Your Administrative Professional Career the Boost It Deserves with ASAP

Administrative or executive assistant careers can be rewarding, challenging, and fulfilling. No matter your path, ASAP provides resources, support, and continuing education.

Our webinars, articles, and digital downloads ensure you can enhance your skills and move forward in your professional life with confidence.

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