Please introduce yourself; what is your name and how long have you been an EA?
My name is Kayla and I have been an EA for just under a year now.
What did your first day as an EA look like?
My first day as an EA was quite unusual, I started on the job without my security clearance, for the first two weeks I was assigned a job taking care of a stationary stocktake. Thankfully, this really helped me find my way around the office and meet people, although the work itself was not ideal it definitely helped me dive into the position later down the track.
From your first day to now, how has your definition of the EA role changed?
Definitely! Going into an EA role I had the expectation that it would be like any other job. You get given tasks and you complete them right? Wrong! Being an EA is such a unique role and so much more than that. I was surprised as the nature or the work. the need to manage up, figure it all out without a direct manager to guide to you like any other job. You learn quickly to network and lean on other EA’s for their experience, support, guidance and knowledge.
What do you consider to be the most rewarding aspect of your position as an EA?
The most rewarding aspect of my position is knowing that I have earned the trust and respect of not only my Manager but my entire Branch – I am the go-to person, the gatekeeper, and everyone knows they can rely on me to keep everything running smoothly. A day that runs smoothly is a big achievement in itself and very satisfying. I make the impossible, possible! I find it so rewarding to help others and being able to provide support in all areas where needed! I surprise myself daily with my knowledge base and ever-growing skill set.
What do you consider to be the most difficult part of your day?
The most difficult part of my day is no matter how much I organise and organise… things don’t always quite go to plan. A big part of being an EA is being able to accept the setbacks and keep pushing forward with a big smile on your face. It’s okay for things to not go to plan.
What skills do you possess that you believe is crucial to your EA role?
It is crucial to be organised, have the capability to adapt quickly to change and prioritise in a fast-paced ever-changing work environment. As well and keeping a smile on your face! J
What role have you owned, or what experience have you had, that helped shape your EA career?
I have owned my current role by constantly looking for opportunities and challenges within my team to tackle. I see space for improvement and take the initiative to come up with solutions, processes or simply raise the topic to source feedback. This has helped me learn about lots of different areas of my team and gain so much understanding. You’ll be surprised at what you can pick up as an EA that gets missed!
What is the most exciting opportunity you have had as an EA?
My current position working with International Climate. Such an amazing opportunity. I have never loved a job so much. I have the best team and we are all working together to literally save the world! Doesn’t get much better than that!
What are 3 items you can’t work without?
I couldn’t work without my notebooks, highlighters and post-it tabs!! Colour code and list everything!!!!!
Do you have any tips that you would like to share?
I don’t have any books, programs or podcasts to recommend….what I can recommend, completely off-topic is taking some time out for yourself to do things you enjoy. Take the pressure off. As EA’s we are always helping everyone, pushing ourselves every day and taking time out for yourself is so important in order to do your job and grow. Your self-development relies on a clear mind! Just do it!! You need to take care of yourself to be the best version of yourself!!