It happens to more assistants than I even care to think about, because executives get moved around, hired and let go so frequently that it makes your head spin. Any of us in that top position are in danger of hearing those words, “They’re hiring a replacement for your manager, and he has an assistant he’s bringing with him.”
But I’m here to tell you that this is a good thing. Maybe not immediately for you, because you’re the one that’s being asked to step aside for this new assistant. But for the person who’s being brought along, it’s a real feather in her cap, something she can be proud of. She’s cultivated a relationship with her manager that he or she considers to be irreplaceable. Kudos to her.
This is what we all should want.
I’ve spent a lot of time supporting managers that weren’t really my kind of folk. I didn’t click with them, they didn’t click with me, and supporting them was an exercise in black-and-white secretarial exercises that weren’t any too fulfilling. Sure, I still anticipated their needs, delivered the goods, but I was phoning it in. Putting a smile on my manager’s face was my job, but it didn’t reach my heart.
My best days as an assistant were when I invested myself in someone I could believe in. If I was 100% attentive to the manager I didn’t click with, then I was 150% in tune with the manager whose success was my primary goal. If the manager for whom I felt so-so needed his tire fixed, I’d for sure call for an appointment, but the manager to whom I was devoted? Well, I’d stand out in the rain with an umbrella while they adjusted that rim. Nothing was too much to ask if it kept my manager working at what he or she did best.
I am here to tell you there is nothing better than that when you’re an assistant. Just like a good marriage, you and your manager bring out the best in each other, and when it’s right, it’s golden. Suddenly, where you were only phoning in the job, you’re now giving it your all because someone you admire is aiming to succeed, and you can help make it happen.
And you yourself are reaching heights you never thought possible, learning things you never thought you could comprehend. It may seem like your work is selfless, but you yourself are growing by leaps and bounds because you’re jumping impossible hurdles for your manager. When you’re presented with a problem, you figure out a way around it.
That’s what happens when you really click with your manager.
So you’re packing up your desk and stepping aside for the new assistant. Maybe you’re being shifted to another department, maybe you’re headed to the unemployment line, but I’m telling you right now, don’t fret. Revolutionary Assistants are still in high demand. You’ll land on your feet, and you’ll be just fine.
Go out and find that manager.
Next Post: Wednesday, December 17