Are you the right person for the executive assistant job? How would you know if you are the wrong person?
There’s one simple measure that you can use to determine the answers to these questions.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being I hate it and 10 being I love it, how much do you like filling out forms?
So why the filling out forms question? Filling out forms takes concentration and attention to detail. If filled out by hand, forms require you to slow down and write clearly. If you answered 7 or above, you are likely the right person for the executive assistant position. Anything less than a 7 and you are likely going to either get bored with the position, or you will come to dislike it.
Filling out house details on the MLS, completing classified ads, and writing up contracts are all different structures under the “filing out forms” template. And when that is a large part of the assistant position, it had better be something you enjoy!
I personally love filling out forms. I’m a 10 on the scale. I’ll fill out forms for someone else simply because I like doing it. Doctor’s forms, applications, contracts, surveys, etc. is fun for me. There is simplicity and order to filling out forms. Perhaps some thought is required, but usually the answers are pretty straight-forward. Seeing all the blanks filled in and all the appropriate boxes checked makes me happy.
I’m also really enjoying the coloring books for adults. It’s really the same thing as filling in forms except instead of filling in the blanks with words, I am filling in the blank spots with color.
I became an executive assistant in 2004. When the down market started for us in 2006 and hit full force in 2009, I wasn’t sure I would still be able to keep my position, so I switched to a buyer’s agent role while still managing transactions for the team as an independent contractor. I had a little previous sales experience as a leasing consultant at an apartment complex, so I figured selling homes was nearly the same thing.
I was wrong.
Calling people on the phone and trying to convince them to work with me was the most stressful thing I have ever done. Ever.
I essentially quit eating. I was in a constant state of anxiety. I wasn’t making any money. My savings were dwindling. The lifestyle I was used to took a nosedive. I was completely miserable.
And yet, I’m so glad I did it. Now I know I’m not a salesperson. I will never look at what an agent does and think, “I could do that.”
I know myself better, I know what makes me happy and where my strengths lie.
If you are the one who doesn’t like filling out forms, I would suggest finding yourself a new role on the team, or finding a new role on a different team. Your strengths lie outside of the executive assistant position and would be better utilized elsewhere.
Where do you fall on the scale? Tell us your story in the comments, or email me directly at egilbertATkwDOTcom. I want to know more about you and what makes you tick!
As always, if you have questions, I’m happy to reply. Just email me.