Is Your Executive Assistant Called Siri?
Research by Oxford University using data from the Office of National Statistics discovered that 33, 000 secretarial posts in London disappeared between 2001 and 2013, a drop of 44%. Nationwide the decline was even greater with 163,000 job losses and a decline of 47%.
Much of this drop the research concluded was attributed to the downturn, but increasingly technology is having an impact on the number of posts. Lynne Peril a California-based assistant and author of ‘Swimming in the Steno Pool: A Retro Guide to Making It In the Office’ states that the secretary’s relationship with technology has not always been vexatious. After all, the typewriter was responsible for bringing unprecedented numbers of women into the workplace from the late 1880s.
The profession is in decline, but assistants at the very top of their game are increasingly in demand. Why?
• In this age of immediate and 24 hour digital communication, the role of the gatekeeper is more important than ever
• An assistant can add a huge boost to an executives productivity, after all someone needs to take care of complex and time- consuming tasks
• The role has morphed into a Project Management role – numerous business and personal requests being handled simultaneously
• Business has never been so complex and global and the best assistants have an innate ability to read complex situations and undertake an informal leadership role
Yes the traditional role is in decline, but the opportunities for the best assistants have never been greater.
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