With both corporate and freelance experience, if there's one thing I've learned over the course of my life, it's this: every symbiotic relationship starts with knowing oneself first.
To be the best and most effective at my job, it starts with understanding who I am and who my ideal client is. At this stage in my life, I know I can only work with clients who have a conscience and who are motivated to advance humanity. I recognize this puts me out of the running for most jobs, but I'm not interested in most jobs or industries.
I'm a relationship builder who's highly discreet (with or without an NDA). I am comfortable working with people of all ethnicities, religions, cultures, sexual orientations and genders.
Although I am flexible, because I am a relationship builder, my preference is for long-term engagements.
As an executive assistant, I look at the business needs and see how best I can assist to ensure my clients are productive, successful and happy. I can do this by protecting their time, adapting to their work and communication styles, and being their eyes and ears.
My goal is always to learn the business holistically. While this takes a little longer than simply learning my role as it relates to my client/boss, it helps me be more useful and collaborative as I interact with team members, partners (if applicable), vendors and clients. I have found this to be the most productive way to assist my clients.
Because I'm also a writer, both written and oral communication are paramount to me. Whether it's writing an email, an article, copywriting, a newsletter or something else, whatever I write and verbalize, reflect on my client, the organization and me.
As for my other life, when I'm not doing everything within my power to make my clients happy and successful, I'm on the farm or at home hanging with my husband and pack of dogs.