Post # 1
Hi bees, I need advice or just commiseration from the hive here. I have been working as an admin/executive assistant for almost 9 years. The pay is good and I get to do a lot of different things. I don’t hate the tasks or the nature of the work. I dislike the fact that I am always on call and have to worry about doing lots of personal coordination for my boss, planning elaborate family vacations, etc. He prefaced the job with this fact when I got hired so this is not something I can complain about not being made aware of. The thing is that my bf and I are planning to get married in summer 2020 and I want to be able to devote my time to fully planning our wedding. I do enjoy planning (another reason some parts of my EA job appeal to me) and want to take my time and savor the wedding planning process. I don’t want to hire a wedding planner as I want to be the one to do it. However, this job is unreliable with the overtime and I fear I won’t be able to enjoy planning our wedding because it will become a stressor to me on top of the fact that I plan and manage the lives of 4 other people (my boss and his family!) It’s not the kind of job where I can say, “hey, I have a wedding appointment after work and need to leave at 4:30 no matter what comes up.” That just will not fly if something that “they” deem is more important comes up. Because of this, I want to look into some new jobs that are more strictly 9-5 office hours and that any overtime or non-office work (logging in from home in evenings or on weekends) is more on my time. I don’t mind working – and working hard! – I just need something more reliable. Also, when we are married, I do not want a job where my boss can call me in the middle of the night because his flight got messed up. I want to be able to relax and enjoy time with my husband and our pets and possibly children. So this is far enough in the future where I am contemplating making the switch to a new job in a new industry. My questions of what I’d like to receive as advice from this post are:
– Has anyone else been in a similar EA job? How did you plan your wedding around being constantly on call? How did you approach the subject with your boss in terms of needing to leave on time for appointments, etc.?
– Has anyone switched from EA to another field with more reliable hours? If so, what kind of other jobs did you find your skills matched well with? (I realize this may be very person-specific, as I have experience in investor relations, capital markets, accounting, finance, tax, legal & compliance, public relations, etc.) Looking more for the general admin skills that many assistants across the board possess and what other non-admin jobs those can equate to.
– How have your organized your resume when seeking a job outside of the realm of what you have done? I think a “Skills” section is going to serve me very well here, and I want to showcase all of the things I CAN and HAVE done without necessarily wanting to do those things in a new job. Moreso I want to show that there are tasks/processes/projects that I excelled at and could easily do the same for similar tasks/processes/projects in another field.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this lengthy post and consider my questions. Thanks in advance for the advice you send my way. 🙂
Post # 2
razromance : I am an EA in the US for an archival library. The way you are describing what you don’t like about your EA job, i would HIGHLY recommend you get into the museum and library field of EA work. It is vastly different. I work 9-4pm which is fantastic. My boss happens to be VERY self sufficient so I do more work for invoice payment, budgeting, and meeting prep and catering. But for a museum it is fun, and I do no personal errands for my boss, EVER. The museum field is just a different vibe.
Being an EA really depends on your boss and their demands, I would suggest instead looking at being an EA in a different industry such as mine. Something less demanding and more low key.
Post # 3
Ugh, that sounds like a nightmare TBH… I think the wedding planning aspect is almost irrelevant here and is merely the impetus that has prompted you to re-evaluate whether this job is the right fit for you going forward. It doesn’t sound like it is. It sounds like you are ready to settle down and enjoy a more stable, routine kind of life and I don’t think you are going to get that with this job.
So yes, I would start looking arond for other jobs. There are plenty of EA positions that don’t require you to be at your bosses beck and call 24/7 – that is an absolutely absurd requirement. If you want to do something a bit different though, your skills would translate very well into office management / administration, scheduling, human resources, procurement, project or program management… all kinds of possibilities. Some of these might require a bit of academic upgrading but you may even be able to find a position where they are willing to train you / pay for some schooling, etc.
Post # 4
ladyjane123 : It’s interesting you mention working as an EA at a library because when I took one of those skills tests online where it tries to tell you what other jobs you might be good at, library science was at the top of the list! I think you’re exactly right: the attention my boss wants is very industry-specific and EA jobs in other industries that are less around-the-clock would probably be much better. Thanks for your advice.
sboom : You’re completely right – the wedding planning is just the driving force behind wanting to make the change. I didn’t mind the overtime or being on call quite as much when I was a single gal because it was nice to make extra money and I didn’t view it as such an intrusion on my personal time. But you are right: I want to settle down and have more predictable hours and free time that isn’t encroached upon. I agree with you, I think I would be pretty good at managing a team of admins, working on equitable distribution of work among them, etc. after spending nearly 9 years getting my hands dirty in a variety of admin roles! Thanks for your great suggestions. I’m definitely open to being trained or taking courses/getting necessary certifications if that means I can leave this role behind.
Thank you both for taking the time to help me. I appreciate it!
Post # 5
Hey OP – I am a long-time admin/EA and just want to say, I have never had to handle that level of after-hours committment that you do. I know there are EA jobs are like yours, but there are many that are not, that are more a 9-5, with maybe the occasional after-hours work if there’s an issue with a flight, but nothing like what have described. It sounds like your job has a lot of personal assistant responsibilities as well. I think your skills and experience could easily translate to either another EA position that isn’t as demanding and that allows for some work/life balance, to an office manager type position, or project manager. Best of luck!