What’s your Worth?

Receptionist, Office Manager, Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant, Chief of Staff, Executive Business Partner….

here are many names within our industry for the varying roles we hold or aspire to, but there is no clear guide as to what we can REALLY expect.

A job title means nothing if the work outcomes are not met.

A recent statement from the World Administrators Alliance caught my attention this week, it read;

“Position titles are a crucial element as to how the business world operates. Yet, the careers of many administrative professionals, roughly 1/5th of the world’s employed population, are defined by job titles and descriptions that are inaccurate, ambiguous and varied withing organizations and across the globe”

It’s time to get real about the jobs involved behind a title, the hard-yakka it takes to earn the big bucks and what superpowers you need to harness to get you where you want to be.

So let’s quit the bulls***, cut through the noise and keep it real!

Based on experience in the market and a lot of research, I believe that in Australia we have four key levels of administrative services that we can focus on. I’ve put my own spin on these roles and the superpowers needed to not just survive, but thrive in the role.

Executive Image Coordinator

These polished professionals can be found welcoming visitors and ensuring their every need is met. They are confident generalists who love the customer service and transactional tasks of the role.

Someone working at the level of ‘Executive Image Coordinator’ has a passion for making sure that everything looks seamless and runs smoothly, from travel arrangements to event coordination. They want to make sure the company and their Executive are presented in the best light.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this role is all facilitation of social gatherings and fun conversations with happy clients. Coordinating the business image requires self-starters who are flexible enough to take on a wide range of office operations and establish workflow priorities based on assessing tasks and considering interdepartmental needs.

Chief of Multi-Tasking

The Chief of Multi-Tasking will be found in the workplace, juggling many balls with a circus artist’s skill. They have sophisticated communication skills with a strong understanding of audience or industry-specific nuances and a commanding presence that enables them to deftly drive projects to completion with professionalism and care.

Their high EQ and demonstrated understanding of how the functional groups and strategic leaders interrelate are administrative weapons that they deploy to influence stakeholders’ goals and directives.

Someone working at the Chief of Multi-Tasking level understands the value of hard work and determination. Curiosity and a proactive learning mindset support continuous growth both personally and for the business. They actively seek ways to improve themselves and take pride in mentoring others within the team, primarily the Executive Image Coordinator.

Head Capacity Creator

The Head Capacity Creator deploys their superpowers to generate opportunities for enhancing productivity and capability for their company and/or Executive. They have a strong understanding of the business’s strategic goals and are a leader in their own right; they may even be a decision-making partner or business leader depending on the company’s size.

The Head Capacity Creator can sit in a holding pattern for a short period determining whether the role of a more strategic Executive Business Partner is where they want to be. Alternatively, the Head Capacity Creator might be someone who has reached the ceiling within the structure of their company.

Either way, being positioned in role does not mean the Head Capacity Creator cannot work on a wide range of responsibilities in partnership with the CEO and create lasting impact. They have made their mark through their demonstrated ability to establish workflow and plan both transactional and strategic project priorities. The Head Capacity Creator is solutions-oriented, and confident holding a seat at the table with Executive level leaders.

They share their skills by mentoring the Chief of Multi-Tasking on strategic time management, streamlined communications, and action accountability to ensure the highest functioning executive team dynamics for securing company success.

The Head Capacity Creator that dreams of becoming Captain Amazement will be hungry for strategic tasks and will be determined to develop their analytical skills and build a comprehensive understanding of the business operations. They will create an opportunity for themselves to be an understudy to Captain Amazement and probably already have their cape hanging in the wardrobe ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Captain Amazement

Captain Amazement uses their superpowers to advance the business’ strategic goals and is a decision-making-partner to their CEO or Executive leadership team. From their position, they can apply a birds-eye view over a wide range of responsibilities in partnership with their CEO. Captain Amazement has a demonstrated capability to establish work flow and project priorities; based on assessing strategic expectations and consideration of enterprise alignment needs.

Found in their natural state to be inclined towards strategic insights of product/service industry and demonstrating their understanding of the competitive business landscape (macro-level) blended with the ‘how’ of operational execution (micro-level). Whilst they are guided by the CEO’s vision, Captain Amazement is savvy, politically minded and has formidable diplomatic skills.

They are naturally solutions-oriented and confident holding a seat at the table with the internal Executive leadership team or other high-profile collaborators such as boards, community officials or philanthropic organisations.

Naturally, we all want to be paid the big bucks!

But I am here to hit you over the head with a reality stick -the big bucks aren’t an entitlement! They are something you EARN. Through hard work, determination, strategic thinking and time in the game.

We can’t walk out of school or university and expect to land at the top! Let’s keep it real please!

Within my role as an advocate for Executive Assistants I have recently been speaking in the Corporate space to groups of Administrative Professionals and People & Culture departments to help them gain clarity on ‘which role’ so that they can develop relevant key learning areas and career progression pathways for their administrative teams or themselves.

If you think your administrative community are needing some love, I am here to help!

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+ Advocate for Executive Assistants
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