• Friederike Zahlbaum

10 most important characteristics of a good assistant (aspirational)

As assistants, we are in a very unique position. We always try to find balance between our managers and the team. More often than not, we are working alone on our projects. Nevertheless we must be well connected and know what's going on in the team. In this list I tried to put together the 10 most important characteristics of a good (personal/executive/virtual) assistant. Most of these can be learned through the old fashioned learning by doing. It is a list I wish I had when I got started. Let's dive in!

  1. Proactive - don’t wait for things to happen, but anticipate them and prepare

  2. Responsive - our managers are always our top priority. We aim to respond to their messages and requests as fast as possible. If you don’t have the answer or a solution right away a short “looking into it” is cool too. Just don’t forget to follow up.

  3. Trustworthy - we are trusted with personal and confidential matters. We should never share those with others.

  4. Organized - We must be able to keep track of complex tasks and projects often without a team

  5. Flexible - Sometimes things change unexpectedly or go wrong and we must adapt quickly

  6. Positive - Everything goes easier with a positive can-do attitude

  7. Curious - Be interested in your clients business, our industry, in new tools, and new opportunities. Ask a lot of questions.

  8. Resourceful - We don’t need to know everything, but we should know who to ask, where to look or how to find out

  9. Sociable - You represent your manager, so it's vital to make a good impression on people. Know what's going on in the company. Make connections, help others and they will be happy to help you too!

  10. Humble - Don’t make yourself smaller than you are. However, for some things there might be no processes in place and in that case you are the team’s joker.

If you feel like I missed something get in touch and let me know your thoughts!