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Offered an opportunity/gift/chance of a lifetime possibly - WWYD?

(14 Posts)
MargoLovebutter Thu 05-Oct-17 11:04:51

I am an executive assistant. I used to work in PR but had to reinvent myself, for a number of reasons when the DC were little, and so I become a PA and now I'm an EA (kind of a PA but with responsibility for special projects of my own - tbh not entirely sure what the difference is, but that's my job title).

However, after 9 years in position, my boss (the CEO) is saying to me that I'm better than this & should be looking at my next steps before he retires in a few years time. He is offering me the chance to do more, take on more etc but wants me to think about how I do this.

My DC are nearly grown up, so I could BUT I have literally no clue what to do, how to do this. I feel like a guppy fish, with my mouth flapping open & my brain not engaging.

WWYD? How do I make the most of this opportunity, given that everyone I work with sees me as an EA????

FiloPasty Thu 05-Oct-17 11:06:50

Believe in yourself and take the steps, your boss obviously sees your potential, go for it!

MyBrilliantDisguise Thu 05-Oct-17 11:08:43

Is there something he could sponsor you for, like an MBA? That would really help turn things around.

littlewoollypervert Thu 05-Oct-17 11:15:05

Project management might be a natural step from your current role, you could research that.

Also maybe register with a couple of recruitment agencies - they would have a chat with you to see the type of work you do now and what's out there for you. You don't have to move jobs but they could give you some good ideas.

Loopytiles Thu 05-Oct-17 11:17:51

WHat are the projects with your current employer that most interest you? With the managers you think are good? Perhaps a move to one of those would be good, with some learning and development (eg mentoring, desk study, specific training) to help you develop any new skills you’d need.

Loopytiles Thu 05-Oct-17 11:19:17

Think you will need to step away from your EA role, for workload reasons and because of how people might currently perceive you. A move could be presented as an internal fixed term secondment for your development / to support an important project.

Loopytiles Thu 05-Oct-17 11:20:05

I disagree with the advice to register with agencies: you have goodwill with a current employer and the opportunity to do new roles / progress there.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Thu 05-Oct-17 11:23:16

Could you ask him to mentor you? Sounds like he believes in your potential, great opportunity!

MargoLovebutter Thu 05-Oct-17 11:23:40

Some great suggestions here.

I had thought about Prince2 or whatever is the current thing in project management, as I could see myself doing that but hadn't considered an MBA. I do have a degree, but have no financial type of experience - would that be an issue?

The organisation I work for is very 'political' and I'm a bit worried that leading on any project would be a poison chalice but maybe I need to stop being a jelly. The secondment onto a project might be good and boss has offered to get in a junior admin person to leave me freedom to do that.

Alanna1 Thu 05-Oct-17 11:25:54

Your boss sounds great and you should seize the opportunity whilst he can sponsor you! Seconded onto a project sounds like a good learning opportunity? Having a few options for him to reflect on sounds sensible too - he probably has ideas as well.

Loopytiles Thu 05-Oct-17 12:49:16

Prince 2 is outdated IMO. Talk to project managers about what learning and development they found useful or think people new to project management will need.

MBAs are costly, for people aiming for senior management, and require a big time commitment: too big a jump at this point IMO.

Don’t go into an admin role - go one rung up, at least! Eg leading on a strand of a project, or a specific area (eg comms, finance, co ordination/internal reporting, making the business case)

MargoLovebutter Thu 05-Oct-17 14:59:00

Thanks all, this is so helpful. I already work on internal projects and events, manage budgets etc. I am trying to work out how to make that leap from EA to something more managerial and come up with proposals for how that could happen.

Like the idea of a secondment onto a project or perhaps to a team that I find particularly interesting.

Has anyone done any career testing kind of stuff - do middle aged women do that?

Loopytiles Thu 05-Oct-17 15:13:07

YEs, lots of scope for career progression at your stage of life! There are lots of books and free websites, tools like Myers Briggs.

Your boss has put the ball in your court, perhaps wants you to show initiative, so do the thinking in your free time and make a list of ideas. Your boss might then have some too.

MargoLovebutter Thu 05-Oct-17 15:18:32

Thank you, will have a look at Myers Briggs. I've been doing EA roles for 15 years and a PA one for 3 years before that, so I'm not sure what might be out there for someone like me or which direction to head in.

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