1 – Real Careers: Page Template

Exceptional EA showcases Real Careers, in which administrators from around the globe generously share the benefit of their experience. We’ve made virtual trips to 21 countries to date: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, the USA and Wales.

to visit with

insert name.

Insert Name is

Here’s a look at her world.



Who or what is on your commuting playlist/podcast? O

At the Office

Morning Routines: Wh

Primary Responsibilities: Sch

How long is your work day? I

Given health risks associated with views that sitting is the new smoking, have you or your employer adopted any steps to support good health? IMG_9639

What might be a typical lunch? Where do you eat? I

Do you work from home in your “off” hours, or during your commute? A

Are you involved in any employee groups/teams independent of your role?  I

Dealing with Challenges

What is the most challenging aspect of your day or career? I


What do you most enjoy about your career? I

On Saying “No”


Anel’s World

Map of worldI was born

At heart, are you a city mouse or a country mouse?

How do you like to spend your time away from the office?

How do you decompress or reward yourself after a tough day or week?

 A dream holiday or travel adventure? Go


Education and Professional Development


Education: I


Peer and Professional Associations: I

How have these networks or associations helped you?

What are the primary means of communication for members of your network(s)/professional association(s)? F

The Digital Age, and Evolution of the Assistant’s Role

imageDo you publish to, and/or monitor social media as part of your professional responsibilities? I

What are your preferred forms of social media? I



Do you maintain, monitor and/or publish to a website as part of your professional responsibilities? I

What apps do you make use of in your professional life? I

Your dream app, or software, to help you in your career? I

Describe any impacts social media has had on the role you hold within your organisation. I

Have you used technology to digitize processes or materials in your workplace? I

Do you have an employer-provided smartphone? I

Tell us about both the positive and adverse impacts that 24:7 availability via smartphones, etc. may have had on your quality of life. The

Are the meetings you coordinate or attend primarily digital (relying on portals and/or PDFs of meeting materials), or paper-based? Do you continue to produce hard copy meeting packages for participants? A

Does your organisation make use of a portal for any of its bodies/committees? If so, how long ago did the organisation make such a shift? E

Does your organisation make use of an intranet/SharePoint or other web portals? Our


Digital Innovation and Disruption

Let’s talk about the pace of change in the admin. world in general. Do you see variations in how people adapt to change? I

What about the impact of Digital Assistants/AI (Artificial Intelligence) resources such as Siri and OK Google, which we can use for voice/other searches, task reminders, etc., and meeting-scheduling bots that can correspond with actual assistants? I

What do you think of IOT (Internet of Things) devices used for smart lighting, security and air conditioning, etc.? A

Your experience and thoughts on cyber security/data security practices? Be

New legislation dealing with breaches of data security has been introduced in a number of jurisdictions. Let’s talk about disclosure requirements associated with instances of data security breaches. I


AI, Digital Assistants and the IOT: Their Impacts on this Career

What impact(s) do you think AI (artificial intelligence), Digital Assistants and IOT (the Internet of Things) will have on the admin. professional of 2020? I


Travel Planning

Travel or travel planning recommendations? My

What apps or programs do you and/or your principal/executive find useful for travelling and for tracking expenses? N

Style and Substance

Toronto Style Copyright Shelagh DonnellyName a go-to piece or two from your wardrobe to ensure confidence on an important day in the workplace? A


What might we find in your desk drawer? E

Inspirational reads? I


Role models or mentors? A

Have you received any awards or recognition as an admin. professional? I

Tell us about a career accomplishment of which you’re particularly proud. I

What steps do you take when you recognise that you need to move beyond your comfort zone? I

What skill(s) development or enhancement have you targeted for the next year? I

Do you have any career goals or accomplishments on your radar for the next five years?


Talking to Executives

Imagine that a cohort of executives invited discussion of the business case for working with (or without) an executive assistant. Anticipate that they’re tech savvy, and that some may have dated perceptions of what a skilled assistant can bring to the table. How do you make the case for having an EA, MA or PA on the payroll to enhance the success of the executive and the organisation? I

Lessons Learned

Give us one or two of your best strategies for job interviews. Be

What bit of insight would have been most helpful to you in the early stages of your career? Assistants

Your most effective time management strategy?  Be

Advice for a new parent working to the workplace?  I

What are a couple of valuable early conversation topics you recommend an assistant initiate when beginning work with a new executive/principal?



For those interested in promotion: Be


… and now, a note from Shelagh. Readers not familiar with some of the people and resources

mentioned may be interested in checking the following links.

To explore a range of resources recommended by readers, click here for Exceptional EA’s Resources Page or click here to see all professional associations and networks recommended by peers.

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