Skill Stacking: What do you bring to the table?

Sometimes the thought of going into the job market can be daunting. How many other Executive Assistants have applied for this job? Are they better suited to the role than me? How do I stack up against my counterparts? It is only human to compare ourselves to others during the recruitment process and throughout interviews. That is why we just had to share Steven Bartlett’s wisdom on Skill Stacking with you. We believe this will give you the best chance of standing out in line of applicants for roles.

So, what is skill stacking? It is simply a combination of skills, which together, allows you bring to the table a very unique set of skills. You’ll never become the best at one particular skill. As optimistic and positive as we are at VLA, we are also very realistic. It is quite a tall order to become the absolute best in a certain skill, especially if it is difficult to measure that skill. By falling in the top 5-10% of people within that skill, across 5 different skills; you will be the best person with that skill set. What company wouldn’t want to hire you?

An important aspect of skill stacking is to ensure your skills complement each other. As an Executive Assistant, going out and learning how to plumb in a dishwasher wouldn’t be the most effective skill to bring to the table. However, learning a skill like social media management or strategy, will allow you to bring a skill to your business which other Executive Assistants may not have mastered. Be mindful not to be too generic with your skill choices. A saturated market of very skilful social media Executive Assistants will only dilute the market and make these roles difficult to secure.

Take Steve Jobs, for example. Steve Jobs was not the best computer programmer. He didn’t have the best skills in marketing, or sales. Some would even say he wasn’t a very good entrepreneur (some would disagree!). However, Steve was obsessed with Typography. This was the skill that set Apple aside from any other tech company! Steve Jobs became the best in the world by collecting a set of skills which complimented each other nicely, and made him unique enough to stand out.

You may be thinking, well what else can I bring to the table? There is inspiration all around us on how we can better ourselves and expand our knowledge to build a unique set of skills. We have listed a few ideas below, but why not get in touch to discuss your skills and what type of role you would be best suited to!

  • Managing: A skill which most EAs would think isn’t relevant to them, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Up-managing is just an important as managing down or being managed yourself. Find ways to brush up this skill, perhaps through volunteering, to ensure you can manage up effectively.
  • Project Management: If you feel in a rut of diary management and responding to emails, why not take a project management course to show your Executive you are ready to take on more responsibility and manage projects for the team.
  • Tech Skills: AI is making its way into businesses, and fast! Rather than ignoring this new team member, embrace the change and brush up on how AI and other tech skills can compliment your role. You’ll be surprised how impressive this is!
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