It’s A Small EA World… What Do People Say About You?

Posted On 18 May 2016

It’s A Small EA World… What Do People Say About You?

18 May 2016
It’s A Small EA World… What Do People Say About You?

Candidate Resource, News & Events

It’s A Small EA World… What Do People Say About You?

A little over two decades ago, three college students watched Footloose during a heavy snowstorm. By chance, the film that followed also starred Kevin Bacon, and the trio began to speculate just how many people could be connected through Kevin Bacon. A few party games and talk shows later, ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ took the world by storm, proving what we’d long suspected… it really is a small world after all.

‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ is based on the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away. For anyone who’s worked in Sydney, you’ll know just how true this is; we all seem to know the same people and run in the same very small (and talkative) circles. And no matter how many thousands of candidates are available it seems that in this small world there really is a shortage of great talent.

When we talk about great talent, we’re referring to the EAs that will go above and beyond to exceed expectations and wow employers. More often than not, the best EAs are discovered via word-of-mouth, so naturally, having a good reputation in the industry is crucial for any EA or PA hoping to develop their career. Having a good reputation (being known as hard-working, committed, trustworthy, loyal and professional) will help you land positions you may have otherwise been overlooked for. Never underestimate the importance of a good reputation; if I have two candidates with similar credentials, I will recommend the one I know as having a great reputation, just as employers will choose candidates recommended to them by colleagues in the industry.

So, how do you cultivate and maintain a positive reputation, a reputation that will not only help you get ahead in your career but one you can be proud of too?

  • The way you conduct yourself, irrespective of where you are working or in what capacity, says something about you. Make a great impression by working your hardest, being reliably and trustworthy, and treating others well.
  • Avoid gossip inside and outside of the office. This is the quickest and easiest way to land yourself in hot water.
  • Exit every role in the right way by giving enough notice and offering to help hire and train your replacement. It’s also a good idea to keep negative comments to yourself. A Huffington Post Blog by Karen Gately in April 2016 outlines how to quit your job and offers a reminder to never burn bridges as you never know when you might need someone again. Your professional networks are highly valuable when you set out in search of your next role, whether that is next week or in 5 years’ time.
  • Check the security settings on your social media accounts. Recruiters and employers are increasingly using social media to check out prospective employees – and cull those that have incriminating content online. Do a check of your online presence and remove any pictures of your mates dancing on the bar on your last European getaway. A Business 2 Community article in April 2016 has some more mistakes to avoid including making any comments about current or former employers online. Remove anything that may come back to haunt you later and change those settings to private!

Standing out as an EA takes time, patience, hard-work and going the extra mile. But the rewards and recognition are worth every bit of it!