…keeping everyone else sane and making it look easy; generally being a superstar of Executive Support and an expert anticipator of all needs.
A breeze ;)
Many of my EA and PA roles have been international and have required language skills to ensure effective communication. In my last EA role, I supported Directors at a busy Investment Manager and had daily interaction with London and Paris teams. Prior to this role I worked across different industries, including Fashion, Luxury Goods and Theatre.
A typical day…
I would start at around 9am and finish at about 5pm, or after if the workload required it. Aside from the start and finish times, there isn’t really a typical day as an EA. Being busy, prioritising and re-prioritising are recurring activities every day – it’s important to make sure that that nothing falls through the net. At the end of every day, I would double-check that everything was in place for everyone the following day: travel, meetings, admin and so on, and then it would be time to leave and switch off from the office.
Memorable work moments…
There are many, but two in particular spring to mind. Years ago I worked for a Town Council in France and accompanied a delegation of counsellors to the UK to exchange with a English Town Council on social housing and sustainable development. The main challenge was communication as there was a language barrier on both sides – my role was to be the PA and Interpreter for the delegation throughout the trip – a fascinating and enriching experience!
Another memorable moment was whilst working for the Investment Manager – I took part in the induction in Paris and it was fantastic to meet different colleagues from the Company’s offices all over the world. It was a motivating eye-opener into business; as well as being an insight into the Company, it also made me think about my future and what inspires me. There were interesting talks and team building exercises, we also had dinner with the board members and sampled wine from the firm’s wine portfolio.
Then there are other moments, which are memorable for more negative reasons, no need to mention those!
The worst part of being an EA…
Some tasks are not the best use of an EA’s time and skills: I once worked for someone for whom I had to print out every single email!
The best part of being an EA…
Relationship building and providing a smooth service, that makes a real difference to other people, are the most satisfying elements to being an EA.
Teamwork and achieving common goals with other EAs is also a great part of the profession.
Becoming a Business Owner...
I had always dreamt of creating my own business and gradually fine-tuned the concept. I started Bilingual Solutions, offering various language solutions to businesses as well as individuals. Today we focus on European languages and offer translation, interpreting, language learning, bilingual VA services, as well as ad hoc problem solving!
The concept brings together my passion for languages and communications as well as elements of my career history.
We are growing our network of European language experts in order to be able to cover all European languages, and therefore provide clients with all the solutions that they need.