Here are the top qualities that an assistant must have:
- Be organized. Can I say that again – BE ORGANIZED! There is nothing more important for an assistant. An assistant’s job is to organize the boss and in order to do that we must be organized ourselves.
- Be one step ahead of your boss. An assistant should pay attention and know what is going on in their boss’s world. Try to anticipate the need so you can have the file or the answer your boss needs, before he or she even knows they need it.
- Be protective of your boss’s time. Be professional on the phone and greet people who come calling, but not everyone needs to get in to see the boss. Be very selective and guard their time. In many cases the assistant can help or pass the request onto someone else to handle. The assistant is also the gatekeeper to manage the flow of paper through the boss’s office.
- Be prepared and think ahead. Maintaining a good bring-forward system is important to have things ready when needed.
- Be good at tracking things down. A good assistant knows just where to find the document or file needed, or they won’t stop looking till they do. Having a good filing system and keeping the file list up to date is something every assistant needs to be able to do.
- Be able to think on your feet. An assistant’s job is not routine. Granted, there are things we have to do day in and day out, but we are often called upon to fix a situation at a moment’s notice.
- Be creative. A cut and paste here and a bit of scotch tape there and you never know what we can accomplish. If the computer doesn’t do what we want -- trick it, it is amazing what we can do if we put our minds to it. As long as the end product looks good, at times we have to be creative to get there.