This week I decided that I want to address the elephant in the room, the Coronavirus. Many rumors are being spread about how long this pandemic could potentially last, and I have even heard talks about this lasting for months, but where does this leave us as admins?
I am a part of many Facebook groups, and it's honestly been very concerning to read about other EA's whose jobs are in danger! This got me thinking, are we as dispensable as others believe? And if we are, what can we do to be an essential member of the business? The answer is yes, and no!
Before you send the dogs after me for saying this, please hear me out! The truth is that if your responsibilities in the office solely rely on Calendar management, expenses, and filing, then I'm sorry to say that these responsibilities could potentially become absolute. Think of it this way, if things continue the way they are, there won't be any expenses to process, let alone enough meetings to keep you working from home for 8 hours a day 5 days a week! So what can you do to try to avoid this?
While there isn't a perfect guide to accomplishing this, what I can say is that you need to start with having a 1:1 with your boss and talk about this challenging topic. Ask your boss what the next couple of weeks look like, show genuine interest in helping and even stepping outside of your role to help. Remember, Executive assistants are strategic partners to their executive, you're well needed and probably don't even know it!
If your company is already facing many layoffs, ask for more responsibilities while the dust settles, this can show your employer that you're dedicated to making this work. I recently read an article on The Harvard Business Review that was spot on, In the article, Nicole Torres says "You must know what your boss's job is and how it supports the needs of the organization, so you'll be able to assist when you can and reduce stress and setbacks". Remember, these are very high-stress times, and it's our job to make sure we anticipate these needs, become more involved, and try to relieve some stress our executives may be experiencing.
And lastly, If you're one of the unfortunate few that are getting laid off, please try to stay positive! Many companies are still hiring, and you just have to look for them! Please stay safe, friends, wash your hands, and take care of yourselves!
Elite Assisting Founder