Ok, this may be a bold statement to make, but being the assistant can actually be better than being the boss! Although most people would probably say that a manager’s lifestyle is something to aspire to whilst the role of an assistant is something to avoid, when you look more closely at the two roles you may be surprised to find that the benefits of being an assistant outweigh the difficulties of being a manager.
Can you make a good cup of tea? If not, learn now, because you can guarantee that one of your hourly tasks will be to make a cup of tea for the boss (or it you are unlucky enough to be a departmental assistant, to make tea for the entire department!) But it’s not all doom and gloom, in fact, you can enjoy a break from work for a few minutes to refresh your mind and reenergize while making drinks. Managers, whilst getting a nice coffee when they want it, will rarely get a minute’s break in the day to re-energize and refresh their mind. Master the art of a good cup of tea or coffee and you will be valued for sure!
As an assistant, it is your manager that carries the weight of the company on their shoulders, not you. You have a specific job to do and can focus solely on achieving your own targets – leaving all other worries and stresses to those in higher ranks. The job of an assistant is widely considered to be relatively stress free, and if an easy working day is your cup of tea, then apply for an assistant role.
In line with experiencing less stress, you also have far less responsibility than others with specific job titles. If you are simply an assistant to someone with a specific role, then your duties are just to ‘help out. You will not be the ‘go-to’ person in the department, nor will it be your neck on the line if deadlines are not met or profits are not increasing. You do as you are told, and this is the best way to avoid responsibility.
More room for mistakes
With many management jobs, there is little room for error. The smallest mistake that create a detritus of issues that could harm the company, or the person’s job security! As an assistant, you have more than enough room for error; assistants are rarely an ‘expert’ in the area they work in, they simply learn as they go. It is therefore expected, and acceptable for assistants to make errors that their managers could never get away with.
Learn what you need
One of the best things about being an assistant, is that you get to learn from the best, whilst earning a wage and gaining respect at the same time! This is invaluable. When it does eventually come to making the leap into a job with more authority, you will have learnt the right and wrong ways of doing things, and you will be considered ‘experienced’ within the industry.
No late hours
As an assistant, you’ll be lucky enough to never have to watch your boss slaving away at his desk after hours. Why? Because as soon as 5 o’clock strikes, you are out of the office as quick as a whippet! He’s paid the big fat salary, and so he is the one who should be the first one in and the last one to leave. Assistants get it relatively easy, come in on time, leave on time and hey presto – no-one can complain or question your work ethic.