Weekend Poll: Succession Planning for Assistants

It’s 2018, and succession planning is routine … for some positions.

Any good board of directors will require that such plans are in place for the CEO and, at minimum, the rest of the C-Suite executives. Potential internal candidates have likely been identified, and development plans established. If there are no current internal candidates for a particular role, then it’s likely that environmental scans are done to assess how competitive your organisation and its compensation packages are when it comes to external recruitment.

Are you perceived as a lifer?

Has any thought been given in your environment as to how you might be replaced if you left, suddenly or otherwise? Or, is there a general assumption that you’re a “lifer”, someone who will work him/herself to the bone, giving your all to the organisation no matter what, regardless of personal ambitions or external interests?

What about succession planning for assistants?

Not everyone will want to stick with their current job forever. While some Baby Boomers who are now retired may have worked with a single employer or two throughout their careers, that’s no longer the case for the vast majority of us. It’s also true, as some of you know from personal experience, that not all employers want to stick with their employees for life!

The day may come when you’re ready to jump at a new opportunity or embark upon a different phase of life. Some assistants  take time away from their careers, motivated by anything from personal health issues to the need to care for a loved one. Others may be motivated by the birth of a child or grandchild to take a career break.

While some readers’ labour markets have experienced shifts that could reinforce a desire to sit tight, the assistant career does offer a high degree of mobility. Just ask some of the high performing EAs I’ve interviewed for my Real Careers series! It’s not uncommon for an assistant to move to another city for a career move, and more than a couple of the assistants I’ve interviewed have moved from one country or continent to another!

We’re exploring this topic for the third consecutive year 

… and I’ll include the previous years’ results in my follow up post. Whatever the reason for an assistant’s departure from the office, are you and your organisation prepared for that possibility? That leads to the focus of my latest Weekend Poll:

What would happen in your current office if you left for greener pastures?


Please take a couple of minutes to complete the poll below. As always, I look forward to hearing what you have to say and will publish the results on Tuesday.

“Select” whichever responses apply, and remember to CLICK on the golden “VOTE” ICON AFTER EACH QUESTION. 

2 Comments on “Weekend Poll: Succession Planning for Assistants

  1. Wherever I was at a job, I left a Procedure Manual behind, because I thought about who would come after me. Usually, I had nothing when I arrived at the job, but wanted to have a transition plan in place when I left to help the next person in that position and the people that position supported.

    • Good approach, Eileen. I’d guess that your successors found this very helpful, and that their colleagues and employer benefited from the resulting efficiencies.

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