In this series, I share true stories of executive assistants who’ve made leaps to their next level – a new place in their career and their life that’s more aligned with what they truly want.
These stories offer a glimpse of what’s possible when you know what you want – and make bold choices to go after it!
Read on for this EA Breakthrough story about a badass woman who:
- Switched fields
- Built a work-life balance that allowed her to thrive
- Got promoted from Admin Assistant to Manager
- Started earning 6 figures
Ready for a Shift
Monika* had been working in non-profit, and was ready for a change. Despite relatively low salaries, the staff was expected to give 150% effort, including extra hours of their time.
Although she deeply believed in the mission of her organization, the work was beginning to drain her.
She had other interests – volunteer work and her writing – that she wanted to pursue, but she found she didn’t have much energy left over when she got home.
This wasn’t adding up to a great quality of life.
Bold Decision #1
Monika opted to take an 80% time administrative assistant role at a for-profit company in a completely different field. This new role would give her a financial boost, and still allow time for volunteering and creative work.
Since the job was part-time, it wouldn’t come with benefits. She’d have to pay for health insurance out of pocket.
But Monika felt it was worth it to get back the time and energy for the personal activities she’d been missing so much.
In her new admin role, Monika enjoyed the freedom from pressure to fundraise and the expectation to donate her time. Her caring nature, skills, and experience made her a fantastic administrative assistant.
She quickly developed a reputation for being a go-to person to get things done.
Expanding Her Impact
After Monika had spent some time in the job, her natural curiosity led her to offer to help when she saw a gap that she could help fill. Given her reputation, her colleagues were eager to take her up on her offers!
She became more and more involved with projects that were outside the boundaries of her job responsibilities. These special projects called on her writing skills, emotional intelligence, and management talents. The work became even more fulfilling.
The value Monika was adding to the company began to go way beyond the definition of her job title, as well as her salary.
Bold Decision #2
It wasn’t long before Monika’s boss wanted to hire her full time.
This would have meant a significant raise and the potential for health insurance, 401K, paid vacation, and other employee benefits.
She gave the offer a lot of thought.
The benefits and the money would make a big difference. But the extra work hours would come at the cost of time for her volunteer work and her writing.
It wasn’t an easy choice. She spent time contemplating what gave her joy and what made her feel alive.
In the end, Monika turned down the offer of full-time work. When she considered the big picture of her life, it would have meant giving up too much.
Going After What She Really Wants
Monika continued to excel in her part-time role.
She looked for interesting projects at the company to stay engaged and energized. She even stepped up to lead initiatives that no one else wanted to lead!
Monika was creating a virtuous circle.
The skills she was developing in her volunteer work and writing practice made her even more effective at work. The professional experience she was gaining was allowing her to make even more of an impact in her volunteering.
Her professional life and personal life were nurturing each other. That in turn allowed her creativity in her writing to flourish even more!
The Money Followed
Although they couldn’t convince Monika to work at the company full-time, Monika’s managers still wanted to do everything they could to keep her.
When she asked for a major raise, she got it.
And then she was promoted.
Today, Monika is a manager making well into 6 figures.
The real icing on the cake came when she passed the 5-year mark at the company. She hadn’t known it when she made the decision to pass up the full-time role, but after working part-time for five years, she became automatically eligible for employee benefits.
So Monika is now:
- a manager
- making 6-figures
- working part-time
- doing cool projects in her job
- enjoying company-paid health insurance, 401K match, and paid time off
- actively pursuing her writing and volunteer work
How Did She Do It?
I asked Monika what the secret to her success is.
“Part of it was being willing to accept that I didn’t want to be a straight-up executive assistant. I knew I wanted to have my own projects. I wanted to solve problems instead of just being helpful.
“And I also had confidence in myself. I don’t worry too much about whether I’ll be able to do something. If you don’t have that, the world is much more threatening. I see that a lot – people avoid being exposed in their roles because they feel insecure.”
If you’ve been longing to have more impact and income in a career with room for your own projects, let’s talk soon. Here’s where you can get on my calendar for a free Discovery Session. I’d love to hear more about what you want and what’s been in the way. And, I’ll share how I help Executive Assistants take huge leaps toward a work/life set up they’ll love.
*Name has been changed.