Office and Admin Watercooler

Recipe for an Indispensable Executive Assistant [Infographic]

Written by Miranda Pennington

This executive assistant infographic from Convene is adorable and right on the mark! Since it’s already worth about a thousand words, I’ll just call out a few of my favorite elements:

Supersonic Hearing

This is the benevolent flipside to the gate-keeper function. Sure, your job is to keep knucklehead stuff off your boss’s desk, but you also get to bring the concerns of your colleagues to their attention, which can improve conditions for everybody.

Battery Pack

Having an extra battery in my bag to recharge my phone on the go has already changed my life. Especially if you have a special phone for work-related tasks, invest in an external charger (see if you can get it reimbursed as a business expense, even!). They’re smaller and smaller every day, but lifesavers in the clutch.

Titanium Spine

Knowing how to stand up for yourself (and your boss), who to stand up to, and when, is a crucial soft skill for an executive assistant. You’ve got to make decisions quickly and be able to defend them (though you should also maintain flexibility to accept constructive criticism when appropriate).

About the author

Miranda Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar, and the Ploughshares Writing Blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction for Uptown Stories, a Morningside Heights nonprofit organization. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she has also taught in the University Writing program and consulted in the Writing Center.