Robert Hosking explains what steps Executive Assistants can take to boost their marketability

Over the last few years, the role of the Executive Assistant (EA) has undergone significant changes related to the pandemic, technology shifts and evolving business needs. If you are an EA looking to grow your career, now is the time to explore new paths and develop fresh skills.

Success in an EA role means embracing a proactive approach, engaging in high-impact projects and staying in tune with industry trends.

Essential Soft Skills for Executive Assistants

Companies place a premium on well-developed soft skills, including:


It’s vital to express yourself clearly and prevent misunderstandings, especially in remote or hybrid work environments where direct interactions might be less frequent. Communication occurs in many medians – verbal, written, virtual, etc. – all are equally important.


With the ever-changing nature of the business world, adaptability, versatility and resilience have become indispensable skills. Successful Executive Assistants have a flexible mindset and a willingness – even an eagerness – to learn new working methods.


Actively listen to managers, colleagues and clients and show genuine interest in their concerns by trying to put yourself in their shoes during conversations and responding in a way that acknowledges their feelings.


If confronted with a problem of your own or of an executive you support, can you rapidly evaluate priorities and constraints, and suggest alternative solutions? Executive Assistants who approach problem-solving with a calm, analytical and creative mindset are widely pursued.

5 Steps to Level Up Your Executive Assistant Career

1. Put your career development on the front burner

Identify areas for improvement and expand your skillset, focusing on both hard and soft skills. Start by enrolling in online courses or workshops targeting your weak spots, and don’t forget to celebrate your progress. Additionally, involvement in an organization or association that aligns with your role or industry can be rewarding.

2. Assess your marketability

Identify your strengths and weaknesses and determine your transferable skills if you’re changing fields. Online tools can help you pinpoint the skills that make you unique and valuable in the marketplace.

3. Embrace mentorship

Finding a trusted mentor who can offer honest feedback can provide invaluable guidance and open doors to new opportunities. Conversely, investing the time to become a mentor and sharing your professional experience with other individuals in your field is invaluable to your mentee(s) and can provide additional job satisfaction for you.

4. Ask for informational interviews

No, informational interviews have not gone out of style. But today, they are conducted virtually as well as in person. You can discover a lot about a field or role directly from someone who works in it. Reach out via email or LinkedIn to professionals in areas you’re interested in and ask for a brief chat to gain insights into their day-to-day work and the skills required.

5. Consider work as a contract professional

Contract work can provide diverse experiences and help you build a broad skillset while allowing for flexibility. Plus, it’s a great way to test the waters in a new industry or role without a long-term commitment.

Today, talented Executive Assistants are finding more opportunities than ever. Take this as your cue to begin shaping your career path and staying ahead in the job market. For a deeper dive into what’s trending in the administrative sector, don’t miss the insights in the 2024 Robert Half Salary Guide.

Robert Hosking is executive director of the administrative and customer support practice at Robert Half, where he leads operations for nearly 300 practice locations worldwide. With close to 30 years of experience in the staffing industry, he has extensive ... (Read More)

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