As an executive assistant, you keep a lot of moving parts running smoothly. Part of your role entails setting goals to improve your company as a whole.
Are you poised to have a productive, high-performing year after the holidays?
If you can’t answer “yes” confidently, perhaps you haven’t had time to create a solid plan and trust us, we get it. Setting goals going into the new year can seem a bit daunting, and sticking to them is an even bigger task! In fact, according to Forbes, 80% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions by February.
Why is that? Well, the majority of people have trouble setting realistic goals. Take the unnecessary stress out of goal-setting by taking a note from high performers and only setting SMART goals.
SMART goals are:
Here’s how you can apply these concepts to win in the new year.
1. Solidify your scheduling process
The Time aspect of SMART goals will keep you organized and on task next year.
Before the ball drops this New Year’s Eve, solidify your scheduling process so that your system is already in place when you get back into the office. Poor scheduling causes mistakes that may lead to overtime, frustrated clients or coworkers, and overall exasperation.
Decide how and where you will record dates, meetings, and notes and whatever you decide, consolidate it. Keep an executive master planner at your desk so you can flesh out your schedule in detail. When you’re out and about, carry a pocket calendar with you as an abbreviated version that you can strike out, mark up, highlight, and change on the fly. When you arrive back at your desk, be sure to always transfer all pertinent information to your master planner. Use technology to your advantage by taking quick notes and setting alarms and reminders when needed.
As they say, timing is everything. Resolving to take these small steps in the new year to reduce any late or missed appointments or engagements not only reduces job stress but showcases your reliability to your organization.
2. Add certifications to your skillset
Specify your value to the company and the industry by gaining some relevant skills and certifications.
The career market today prioritizes tangible value and many hiring managers believe that certifications are vital to their hiring criteria. An executive assistant can broaden their skillset with certifications like:
- Certified Manager Certification (CM)
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
It might also make sense to enter a degree program. Ask your employer which training and certifications they recommend and whether they offer opportunities internally.
Dedicate at least an hour every day to studying for your certification once you’ve made a decision. Use flashcards to study whenever you have some downtime at work or while traveling. Set a deadline to achieve your certification and allow yourself enough time to take classes and pass the exam.
3. Aim for upward mobility
In the New Year, be bold enough to use SMART goals to make the money you want to earn. Research the salary range for executive assistants in your city with the years of experience that you have. Compare your current salary to see how it measures up.
Consider your most recent performance reviews and seek open feedback about how you can improve and provide more value to the company. Examine areas of unmet needs you can address or any company-wide improvements you can make.
If you can fill a void or bring the company significant gain, you’ll have a strong case to justify a salary increase.
4. Take on a project that improves the company
Executive assistants who sharpen their leadership skills will win in 2023.
You’ll have a clearer path to advancing in your company and industry when you can organize and manage groups of people on a project. Take on the responsibility of running a committee or heading an initiative that needs a lead.
This invests you in the company’s culture and offers you a lane to provide input. Your company might assign a mentor that can offer insight and resources. Dedicate some time and apply yourself to this project, since it can lead to bigger opportunities in the future.
Take the learning experience and apply what you learned to your role as an executive assistant.
5. Build your reading list
Get studious about your craft so that your SMART goals are always informed and well-executed.
Create a reading list for each month to ensure that you’re constantly learning. Choose books that will enhance different professional skills that you’d like to develop. Write out notes with questions that you can contemplate and answer, or copy down important anecdotes or points you want to remember from the book.
Give yourself a deadline for finishing each book, whether it’s the hardcopy, digital, or audiobook version. Cross off books on your list as you go to feel a sense of accomplishment.
In time, you’ll notice remarkable leaps in knowledge and thought. Use regular reading and journaling to reflect on your work days, how you dealt with tough situations, and how you put the principles you learned into action.
A SMART Way to Win in 2023
If you’re willing to rethink the way you set goals, you’ll find that career-enhancing rewards are well within your grasp. Use SMART goals to drive real intention and action in the upcoming year. Having these measurable benchmarks helps you drill down into your true goals to ensure they’re genuinely relevant and achievable.
Need a few more solid tools to help you execute your SMART goals? Check out Myron’s selection of branded materials to help your company stand out and leave a lasting impression on customers or business partners in 2023.