Assistants are in contact with other assistants on a daily basis. It is important to build relationships with those we work with, but what about assistants we don't work with?
I breathe a sigh of relief when I get someone's assistant on the phone or receive an email from them. If I hear from the assistant I know I am going to get answers and the process of setting up a meeting will go smoothly, but should I try to develop a working relationship with them? Our bosses know the value of building work relationships and I think it is valuable for us as well.
My former boss was a lawyer, so building client relations was very important to him. As his assistant I kept that in mind when dealing with his clients and their assistants. I had always made a point of getting to know the various assistants I worked with as I found it to be useful for both of us. I could help them and they could help me, but I also found it to be good networking. I heard about my current job from an assistant I dealt with regularly. She received a job posting that she thought I would be interested in so passed it along to me and I have done the same for others.
I also get good tips from other assistants. If I deal with someone and can see that they have organized something well, I will make sure to ask them about it. Or if I know they have a particular expertise, I will ask them their secret to success. I have learnt some great tips that way.
Knowing assistants and having a working relationship with them is very important and can make the difference when you need to set up a meeting or if your boss needs to have a quick phone call with their boss.
I never underestimate the value of my interactions with other assistants both on and off site. They are a valuable resource and I appreciate them.