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THE TIPPING POINT: Where EAs make a difference

Have you ever felt like you are stagnant in life and there is seemingly no way out? The feeling is more like your opponent says checkmate and a pressurizing helplessness mounts all around. Being EA is no different at times when you hear people say this is a dead-end job and most of us keep believing the lies. Well, most people who say that, firstly are neither EAs nor do they understand the criticality the role would place itself or the support that it provides to the organization. So, stop believing in the rumors and look at yourself at the tipping place where you are close to making a difference in your career.

The only way to walk through a locked door is by opening it with a key and so is the approach to career with closed walls. There are opportunities all around the other side of the door and you need the key to let yourself through to be available to them since they aren’t served on a silver platter. This key can be anything – a course that you take that will accentuate your capabilities, a seminar that can help you network or even a simple talk with a mentor which could enlighten your thought process and help you think differently. So, whichever method works for you, seize it and don’t let it go because trying always helps at some point in time. So, make that first step that would help you move to the other side of the tipping point.

It is naïve to think that EAs are here just to manage calendars and a completely outworn concept because there is a huge re-vamp of how they look at themselves play effectively into this role especially their contributions towards the day-to-day business affairs. Some are customer service experts, a few manage public relations, the others make business reporting and analysis or strategic planning, financial modeling, CSR projects and a whole list of responsibilities. So, there is more to what meets the eye and this role is actually the best option to grow into a leadership role since there are avenues opening in all directions and all an EA has to do is to look up, be open and accessible to opportunities.

Below are some of the ways you can empower yourself and leap to the other side of the tipping point.

Define yourself – As easy as it sounds, this is the toughest exercise because self-evaluation is not an easy task. So, note down your strength areas, focus on them and define what you can do with them to empower your career. For instance, if you are great at convincing people, maybe you can up-skill yourself with marketing courses and grow a marketing arm as an EA. In the event you have to move across in the future you would also have Marketing as a domain to slide over instead of taking it as a shock.

Create a Niche – What is the one thing that makes you different and stand out in the crowd? Figure your specialty, ask for feedback from people who know you well to validate you have your perspective in the right place, cultivate that specialty and give your commitment to growing it. That specialty is your niche and is the fuel cell for empowering you and helping you become irreplaceable and important in your workplace. Having a niche skill or a thought process is rare and possessing one is a great way of guaranteeing yourself success.

Find a Mentor – Yes, if you ask for an opinion it better be from a wise person! This is a tedious exercise because it is really hard to find a person who thinks like you besides someone being motivating and helping you think and execute ideas in a way that’s comfortable for you. However, if you really find a person who can empower, motivate and guide you to help you grow, it’s a good idea to stick around and ask for guidance. Mentors are better than classroom training since they know how the theory works in real-time situations. Most entrepreneurs have mentors to help them and reckon with their ideas because experience validates theoretical knowledge and innovation.

Alter your attitude – Some people say attitude is everything! This is absolutely true when it comes to our self-image and perception at workplaces. Imagine you wake up with the feeling today is a bad day and you just can’t get anything done, there is a greater probability that it would end up so. The reason behind this is that attitude influences our thought process and eventually our execution of the actionable items. Always carry and bring a great attitude to work – the kind of person you want to be is the person you should try to be at all times. Be aggressive towards ideals and targets and not on people, be positive and always look at things from a perspective where it's possible to succeed no matter what the rest think of.

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