3 February 2009 32 Comments

Personal branding for Executive/Personal assistants

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals


brand-assistantbrand-executive-21Personal assitant/Executive Assistant evolved over the years as result of pressure on senior executive and the need to have someone who can help them solves other important details that they may not have time for. At the beginning, what is today called Executive/Personal  assiatnt is called Confidential secretary among other names.The role they played then was to help type document, keep some documents secret, manage people and the bosses’ itinerary. As time progresses, the role of a Personal Personal Assistant/Executive changed with greater demand for knowledges of activities like scheduling, task and project managements among others. Greater qualifications are now being demanded from an individual who want to fill this role. As long as we still still have executives, the job will remain but at a greater degree. It takes a choice person to get the best in this job. Particularly with the advent of Persaonal digital assiatants/phones. It is easier for executives to schedule their meetings with the assitant of a PDA now. So if all an individual knows is just scheduling, his job is already on the line.This has informed the need to have a strong personal brand as a differentiating factor.So lets examine what counts for a Personal Assistant.

1.Trust,High Integrity: Because a Personal Assistant will have access to clasified information of the senior executive, it is important that the brand You of a personal assistant have a greater dose of Trust. Once again, trust is relaibility and Dependability. If this social capital account is in red, the PA is already out of the job.

2.Excellent People management skill: The role of executive assistant is like the role of chief-of-staff.He must know how to manage internal staff as well as external audience well. Many will insist on seeing the executive because they were old classmates before meanwhile they may not have an appointment. Ability to be diplomatic with such people is important. Many may even claim you are hoarding the executive.

3.Social intelligence: this has become the greatest intelligence that is now required today.Senior executive always attend parties, functions, get together among others. Part of the job duties of PA is to accompany the executive, manage the event to the advantage of the executive so that the image of the executive does not become dented; social intelligience, public relations skill will be required to handle all these so get it by all means.

4.Presence: this has to do with dress sense. Working with top executive demands that you dress for the office. Even if you do not like glamorous lifestyle, your jobs demands that you dress for the position. But if I may add caution here for ladies in this profession, avoid dressing to kill, you will end up in many beds or you may lose the job if you mainatain a ‘no’ stance. One can dress well without unnecessary exposure.Get wisdom to know what is right.

5.Computer skill, correspondence management: For some, their jobs will require preparing presentations for their bossess, this is where a great knowledge of computer skills and corresspondence management will work for your brand. Being a ‘pro’ in managing meetins, organizing will be good for your brand.

6.Constituency relations: The executive always have large constituency. Personal assistants must be able to screen information, liason with several associations, units.

#The other points will be featured in my soon to be released free e-book “Personal Branding For First class Professionals”.

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