How Can I Become An Executive Assistant In 2023?


You probably have nurtured a desire to become an executive assistant but you do not know yet all you may require to have a successful career. That is why I’m here – to guide you. One of the major skills you must possess to learn how to become an executive assistant is the skill of effective human resource management and multitasking.

Successful executive assistants are pro-human resource managers with the perfect skill of juggling several tasks simultaneously.



So you want a career that allows you to connect with and manage people of diverse character and temperaments in a corporate organizational setting while attending to various tasks almost simultaneously, then this is your career- an executive assistantship.

As an Executive Assistant, you will be required to make critical decisions and contributions in your workspace, which will require many initiatives. Executive Assistants have a major voice in office operations and politics and may often contribute to a business’s strategic direction for several years.

Just as it has been said, taking up a position as an executive assistant in a renowned organization may come with many demanding responsibilities but with well-meaning rewards too. So to be successful at it, being smart and proactive is the watchword.

So in this article, I will show you how to become the best executive assistant. Do follow me very closely.

Who is an Executive Assistant?

An executive assistant, also known as a personal assistant, is responsible for providing various kinds of administrative assistance and support services to high-profile executives, especially those at a high level in politics, business or other organizations.

They are aides to these individuals, usually well-known public figures with great influence in their communities.

Usually, an executive assistant is seen as the face of an organization because you would rarely get to the executive without passing through them.



The executive assistant’s job may be likened to that of a secretary. Still, executive assistants have additional responsibilities that can affect the success or profitability of the organization they are working for. Sometimes, they may get the function of representing their boss or even the organization in an official meeting or engagement.


What do Executive Assistants do?

If you must become a successful executive assistant then you will need to learn about some of the tasks executive assistants do to prepare yourself for them.

Below are some administrative functions you will be doing as an executive assistant. They include:

  • Accepting and making official phone calls
  • Fixing appointments for the executive
  • Screening visitors
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Preparing weekly and monthly reports
  • Recording meeting minutes, and performing basic bookkeeping tasks.
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Furthermore, another very sensitive role you will be playing as an executive assistant is to provide high-level, confidential administrative support to the CEO’s office. You must learn to keep the very sensitive concerns of the CEO and perhaps the organization confidential.



Another important role you will play as a personal assistant is organizing and conducting research for the executive you work for. This research could be in business development, politics, or any other areas.

Usually, this research will enable the executive to make business decisions or enable a politician to know how best to meet the real needs of his people.

The executive assistant is usually the team leader of the executive circle. This is because they have the most comprehensive understanding of the needs of the executive, and so he has the role of supervising and training other younger clerical staff.

What is the difference between an Executive Assistant and an Administrative Assistant?

Though often used interchangeably, there is a huge difference between an executive and an administrative assistant. Sometimes CEOs of companies and corporations make mistakes when trying to higher the services of the former.

In general terms, the duties of these two professions are almost the same, but the executive assistant typically takes on more important tasks than the administrative assistant.



Usually, an administrative assistant helps with running a business office and handles basic clerical duties and in many cases, administrative assistants can progress to become executive assistants.

The workstation of these two professionals is the same. It doesn’t matter whether one works as an executive assistant or the other as an administrative assistant. They have almost the same job description and workflow. This is one of the similarities between the two guys.

Executive Assistant

As an executive assistant, one’s work is typically more concentrated on attending to the executives’ needs with whom he/she works. He/she would be responsible for managing the daily schedule and setting up personal appointments for one or more executives or high-level professionals in a company.

He/she might also be given the authority to supervise other staff in the office, overseeing their projects, as well as to prepare demos and slides the executives will use.



Administrative Assistant

As an administrative assistant, one’s duties often include entering business data into a computer database, maintaining documents and files, scheduling meetings, directing visitors, and answering phone calls. Also, this professional can extend his/her specialization to a particular field, such as law or medicine.

A legal administrative assistant organizes legal documents and conducts basic research under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal, while a medical administrative assistant files medical records, handles pharmacy calls, and greets patients.

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Key Differences

There is a huge difference between an executive and an administrative assistant, where generally, the former enjoys more prestige and makes more money than the latter. The main reason is that executive assistants cater to executives and serve as the right hand of those in power, such as presidents, vice presidents, CFOs, and CEOs.



However, It does not mean that the tasks of an administrative assistant cannot be assigned to executive assistants, as most probably, they can. Anyhow, executive assistants are the ones who are mostly called upon to do duties that require greater sensitivity to time and more finesse, so they should have a certain degree of business insightfulness.

What qualifications do you need to be an executive assistant?

To become a personal assistant, you must acquire a high school diploma. Management training is an added advantage in the personal assistant job description and experience in a secretarial or administrative position. You should also know that computer skills are required. The personal assistant applicant applying for the position should be familiar with the latest technology.

Usually, no license is required; however, you must be current in all ongoing field training. Networking is an important step in getting a personal assistant position. Learn to have a good rapport with people. The applicant must be well-trained in office duties.

It is also pertinent that to be a successful assistant; you must be able to speak and organize well. The ability to multitask is essential. A personal assistant should have excellent computer skills. Calm, professional behavior is important. Applicants must have the ability to work irregular hours as well.

The personal assistant must have a strong work ethic when different tasks appear. Usually, the assistant should have the ability to drive when needed.

While a personal assistant can get a job without experience, the job requires management experience. Depending on job requirements, it can be quite easy to get jobs without much experience.

However, it is easier for those with previous experience to gain jobs than those without experience.

How to be the best Executive Assistant: Steps

Below are some proven steps that will guide you to a swell time in your career as an executive assistant.

Complete basic vocational training

Usually, if you want to be an executive assistant, you can be it in several ways. The skills required for the office can be learned through vocational education programs offered by secondary and technical schools or through undergraduate or associate programs offered at community colleges. Sometimes you may be trained by the employer.

Employers can look for employees with hands-on experience using specific programs such as Microsoft Access and Word. To thrive in this career, you must update yourself with basic knowledge of frequently used office software apps.

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Gain management experience

Before applying for an Executive Assistant position, it is common to have experience in a lower-level managerial position with fewer responsibilities. Administrative assistants in beginner roles tend to receive some job training that can facilitate progress.

Obtain a bachelor’s degree

Because the career paths of executive assistants are pretty flexible, this step can be done before, after, or in conjunction with experience gained in the field. Employers typically do not require applicants to apply for a degree in a specific field as long as they have the necessary experience; However, a diploma related to the potential employer sector can be viewed positively.

It is unusual for colleges and universities to offer four-year programs in office administration, but courses are offered in English, business administration, computer science, and general accounting.

College students who think they may want to work as executive assistants should not expect their degrees to give them a job. Experience is essential, so working part-time or training in an administrative environment can be valuable.

Get a professional certification

Getting professional training can help administrative assistants improve their knowledge and skills, and can also help them get promotions to executive positions. The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) provides training for a Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) and an Accredited Management Management Professional (CAP), which requires a 3-part and 4-part examination, respectively.

To take either exam, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with years of experience or a year associate’s degree with three years of working experience. Those without certificates need at least 4 years of administrative experience to qualify.


Finding a job as a personal or executive assistant is a sound choice. There is job variety, and assistants are needed in several different fields. The executive assistant job description usually comes with minimal educational requirements, so becoming one is not so difficult. Many job opportunities are available, and you can be sure the salary is above average. However, you will need to be current on the necessary skills needed to thrive in your job.


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