recruiting

10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Seeking a New Administrative Role

Feeling that Itch to Try Something New?

Written by: Julia Francis

Written by: Julia Francis

Maybe you’re reading this article because there’s something inside of you telling you it’s time to make a move. But before you get to where you want to go, you need to understand where you’re coming from. And for that reason, we’ve crafted the perfect checklist to prepare you for or refine your job search. As you sift through these questions, an obvious answer might jump out – for others, you might need to dig a little deeper. So, break out your pen and paper (or let’s be real, your iPhone or iPad), because this is an interactive article!  

1. Why Are You Looking for A New Role?  

For some, an external force might be driving your job search. Or perhaps it’s just a gut feeling you have, a thought that has been growing bigger and bigger in the back of your head. Maybe you’ve been with your company for five years and want to see what’s out there; maybe you want to try a new industry, shorten your commute, or you’re simply seeking a greater challenge. Regardless of the reason, be sure it’s clear what’s motivating you to look for something new.  

2. What Are Your Responsibilities in Your Current Role?  

This might be tedious, and the list probably goes on and on, but trust me, it’s important. You do a lot in your role – I know you do! And sometimes it’s easy to forget just how much you do. When I’m talking with someone who is looking to make a career move, I always ask them to make a mental pie chart of their responsibilities. What are your main “pie pieces” and how much time are you giving to each? When you break it down this way, you might realize that 85% of your time is going towards scheduling (and rescheduling). Or you might discover that Office Manager piece is taking up more of your time than you originally thought. Either way, this pie chart helps us answer our next two questions.  

3. What Is Your Favorite Part of Your Role?  

What lights you up? What energizes you? Which piece of your pie chart brings you the most fulfillment? Think about this. Yes, it could be project management or event planning. Or maybe it’s providing EQ support to your Executive, ghost-writing on his/her behalf, or who knows, maybe you love travel coordination! Whatever it is, identify what you love about your role, and make it a goal to keep that piece of pie (and maybe even increase it) in your next move.  

4. What Is Your Least Favorite Part of Your Role?  

Okay, so realistically, some of these things are unavoidable. Chances are, you will always have to reschedule meetings, cancel flights, etc. But maybe you realized that 40% of your time is going to office management duties, and you really want to focus on your EA role. It could be that you’re supporting seven executives and feel spread too thin. Or maybe you’ve realized that HR is where your heart belongs and it’s time to let go of the admin piece. Again, identify whatever you don’t love about your role, and make it a goal to decrease it in your next move.  

5. What Intangibles Are Important to You?  

This could be so many things. Think of this question in terms of both the Executive that you are supporting as well as the company you are joining. Do you appreciate a warm office culture that works hard and laughs harder? Maybe you know that direct communication is important to you – you like having clear objectives and goals, so you know you wouldn’t do well working with a “mad scientist” type of Executive.  

6. What’s Important to You in A Company?  

Industry, size, stability, funding, leadership, innovation, benefits, mission, location… the options are endless. Before you take on this question, take a step back and consider the bigger picture because the company you work for will have major implications on your everyday life. I’m sure we all have wish-lists that run long, but let’s narrow it down to the things that truly matter. So, tell me, what are the three most important things to you in a company?  

7. What Are You Hoping Gain in Your Next Role?  

There is no wrong answer here, so don’t be shy. It is totally okay to say that you want more money. More responsibility. Maybe you’re looking for a change in title. When you think about taking the next step in your career, don’t be afraid to look one or two steps ahead and visualize your life in ten years. Your next role doesn’t have to be your forever role! Or maybe you don’t want to look ten years ahead and you are just looking for a role where you can wear jeans to work. To that I say, cheers!  

8. What Are Your Non-Negotiables? 

All right, this is an important question. Whether it’s compensation, PTO, or only supporting one executive, whatever it is, BE CLEAR – both with yourself and the companies you are interviewing with. Nothing is worse than getting to the offer stage of a role and then having it fall through because you weren’t communicating your needs and expectations. Maybe you found your dream company in Mountain View, but last-minute you decide that the commute really isn’t doable for your lifestyle and you decline the offer. That’s a lose/lose situation, my friends. Know your non-negotiables prior to going into your search.  

9. Are You Ready to Put the Time and Commitment into Interviewing?  

Let’s be honest here: interviewing can be exhausting. And if your company doesn’t know that you are looking, it can mean having to get creative with why you’re popping out of the office or why you have so many “appointments.” Interview processes can also move surprisingly quickly at times. So the question is, are you truly ready should the stars align? 

10. What Are You Waiting For?  

You’re ready? Great! Let’s get this ball rolling! If you’re looking to take some of the legwork out of this process, look no further. Maven has an amazing team of recruiters who will serve you amazing opportunities on a silver platter, all while walking you through the process, prepping you for interviews and setting you up for major success in finding your dream role! Check out our website here to see some of the exciting roles we are working on. We look forward to working with you!  

 

How to Tell Your Executive You Want to Take on More 

Executive Assistants and Special Projects 

Written by: Haley Garrison

Written by: Haley Garrison

So you’re tired of being referred to as a true-blue “traditional” EA. You want something more because you know you’re capable of more – you have the time, you have the passion, you have the strengths, all you have to do now is pop the question to your Executive.  

Maybe you’ve played out the scenario multiple times in your head or perhaps you’re stumped trying to find the right words. Some of you may be worried about offending your boss, or you’re just flat-out scared of rejection. It’s normal to second-guess yourself, or to ask yourself whether it’s the right time, or wonder if you’ve truly earned this next step in your career. You might even be wondering if your Executive trusts or values you enough.  

Here’s the good news: we wrote this blog for people exactly like you. Yup, this is for all the Executive Assistants sitting in the same hot seat you’re in. And we’re making it simple by breaking down our advice to five main points. 

1. Take a Step Back 

Before you add more to your workload, do yourself a favor and take a step back to evaluate your current role. Refresh yourself with the original job description that you were given – you should be able to check off anything and everything on that list before you go asking for more. If so, think about the ways in which you’ve gone above and beyond the tasks you’ve been given. Next, think about the industry you’re in and the organizational structure you’re a part of. Are there special projects for you to work on? Does your Executive need additional help? Will you be able to continue doing your current job while adding to it? These are good questions to ask yourself before moving forward. 

2. Be Confident  

You’ll need to channel your emotional intelligence for this one because too much confidence will kill your chances and not enough confidence will too. My mother-in-law once taught me that you don’t want to be passive and you don’t want to be aggressive, which leaves being assertive as the happy medium. This advice rings true in just about every social situation, both personally and professionally. Whether you’re asking your boss for a promotion or you’re asking the waiter to reheat your meal, assert yourself. Put simply, asserting yourself is just a way of being your own advocate in a polite and respectful way. When you address the situation with confidence, your boss will likely be impressed with your thoughtfulness and preparation, which means you win!  

3. It’s All in the Details 

When your wedding coordinator or 5th grade art teacher told you “it’s all in the details,” you probably didn’t think they were imparting a greater life lesson. Believe it or not, they were. Your boss wants to know that you’ve prepared for this conversation. You’ve strategized and you’ve done it thoughtfully. When you present this idea to your Executive, be sure to back yourself up with the data, the plan and the details – you probably won’t go through all the nitty-gritty, but it’s there just in case. After the high-level conversation, you can share your pretty spreadsheet with your boss and voila, you’re already three steps ahead of the game.  

4. Call It Out 

The worst thing you can do is say, “I’m ready to take on more!” without having the slightest clue what that actually looks like. You need to call it out and be specific. Is there a cross-functional team you're hoping to help out? Are you wanting to play to your strengths by diving into a specific area of the business? Are you just bored and wish you had a more significant workload? Have you been brainstorming how you can solve a specific problem? When you can confidently answer the question, “What exactly would you like to take on?” you’re ready to chat with the decision maker. 

5. Timing is Everything 

Despite the cliché, timing really is everything. Asking the minute you’ve fully ramped up on your current role is not the right timing – remember, your co-workers have taken time out of their day to train and onboard you. Bringing up the conversation before you’ve mapped out the details and prepared for pushback is also not the right timing – don't jump the gun and embarrass yourself. However, chances are, if you’re reading this article then you’re nearing the right timing. And for those of you who have already spoken with your significant other or best friend about what you’re going to say, you’re on the right track. For the EAs who have mapped out and color-coded the spreadsheet you’re going to present to your boss, you’re even closer. And for the rest of you who have Googled every article to give you the validation you need to schedule that precious one-on-one time with your boss, it’s time. Go and ask for it! 

Maven Gives Back

A Glimpse into our Social Responsibility Program

Written by: Dana Hundley & Haley Garrison

Written by: Dana Hundley & Haley Garrison

At Maven we believe in responsibility. We have a responsibility to our candidates and clients to do good work. We have a responsibility to our employees to recognize passions outside of work and empower them to hustle hard. We also have a responsibility to our community to give back - and this is all done through our Maven Social Responsibility program.  

A big part of what makes Maven successful is that we greatly value the forming of meaningful, long-lasting relationships. We believe community starts with our internal team and continues with our candidates, clients, partner industries, and the greater Bay Area, and we aim to be thought leaders and industry experts through hard work and continued learning. These values are a central part of our Maven Social Responsibility program which provides group volunteer opportunities, extra paid time off to volunteer, Maven donations to employee-chosen organizations tied to team sales goals, and philanthropic components related to Maven events.  

Through partnerships with local nonprofits, our team has volunteered at mock career fairs preparing students for real-life interviewing and designed and hosted resume and LinkedIn workshops for local job seekers. 

With our Admins on the Rise events series, which aims to provide learning and networking opportunities for our administrative and HR professionals, we know building community includes giving back to the local communities in which we work. In this spirit, every event offers an opportunity for guests to donate to a local charitable organization – and Maven matches all donations.  

We are a goal-driven company: each team as well as individual team members have weekly, monthly, and yearly goals to strive to meet and exceed. Achieving team goals is made even sweeter through quarterly Maven donations to team-chosen nonprofit organizations when those goals are met. 

We are excited to share that within the last year, our very own Mavens jumped on the opportunity to use paid volunteer days: in local schools to help students with reading skills, at food banks to organize donations, with CASA to advocate for foster youth, and at a youth detention center to provide coaching around personal statements and interviewing.  

Thus far, Maven has had the pleasure to work with or donate toward Students Rising Above, International Refugee Committee, Defy Ventures, Girls to Women, Dress for Success and many more to come.  

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Stay tuned to see what our Mavens do next! 

 

The Art of Negotiating

10 Tips We All Need

Written by: Haley Garrison

Written by: Haley Garrison

Most job seekers would agree that negotiating a job offer can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be! Having a few of Maven Recruiting's insider tactics in your back pocket will make all the difference the next time you're talking numbers with your current or potential employer. This is a discussion that all of us will have at some point in our careers, so why not prepare?  

As our CEO Jessica Vann says, "You are what you eat, and you get what you negotiate!"  

1. Every Negotiation is Different

First things first, no two negotiations are the same. Although we all wish there was a "one size fits all" way of approaching this conversation, there's just no such thing. Not to worry: there are few tactics that will help you navigate with ease. 

2. Show Your Interest Before Talking Numbers

If your potential employer asks you for your targeted compensation before he or she tells you anything about the role – now is not the time to give them a number. Instead, let your potential employer know that you'd prefer to get to know the role and its expectations before talking numbers. Show that you care about more than just money; this gives you the opportunity to convey your skills and prove your value first. People are much more likely to invest in you after they get to know you! 

3. Consider the Whole Package

Your salary is not the only thing to consider when negotiating. When examining an offer, consider the benefits – is there a significant bonus opportunity or generous commuter benefits? How about a 401K match or equity in the company? Will this company allow you to bring your dog to work with you? When you ask yourself these questions, you begin to understand what's most important to you and how the puzzle pieces of an offer fit together. Maybe this opportunity can't quite match the cash compensation you were originally looking for, but if you can negotiate a space for your dog, the $6,500 annually you'll be saving on dog-walking and the extra QT you'll be getting with your cutie pup might be worth it!  

4. Do Your Research

Remember, employers can't ask you what you're taking home in your current role, but they are usually aware of what the market bears. There's nothing worse than throwing out a number that is either outrageously high or, ever worse, too low in comparison to what the market drives. In fact, doing such may cost you the offer altogether. Before talking numbers, make sure you're prepared. Have you done your research? Are you confident that your salary expectations align with the market? There are tons of resources out there – use them! 

5. Partner with a Recruiter

One of the best ways to get the most up-to-date information is to partner with a recruiter who's an expert in your field. As a specialized agency, we at Maven know what the market drives for Administrative & Human Resources staffing. We thoroughly understand these roles across various industries, which means we can tell you what type of compensation you can expect depending on your background and experience level. If you run your salary expectations by a recruiter first, you'll have a much better idea as to whether your number is in line with the market and as a result, you'll feel significantly more confident asking your potential employer for a competitive, yet reasonable number. 

6. Give a Range, Not a Number

If you've done all your research and you're still not sure what to ask for, try giving a range rather than a firm number. This allows you to test the waters without locking yourself in at a specific target salary. Doing this shows that you are open to the whole package and everything they have to offer. At the same time, you get the benefit of potentially getting an offer at the higher end of the spectrum!  

7. Your Counter-Offer Isn't a Weapon

Say you get an offer from a potential employer and are presented with a counter-offer at your current company... now what? I'm sure it can be tempting to launch a bidding war, but using a counter-offer as a weapon to get more money is not the best way to start out a new employment relationship. Employers are used to this game and believe us when we say – they don't want to play it. Advocate for what you want but keep it professional.   

8. It's Not All About You

Negotiation requires a conversation—some give and take. You should feel like you are getting what you need, but your potential employer should also feel like they are getting what they need, too. Take the opportunity to remind your potential employer of what makes you unique and what you plan to bring to the table: how you can make their company better. In other words, highlight yourself, but bring it back to them!  

9. Take Money Off the Table

Money will only go so far. If you take a job solely because of the money, you likely won't be happy in the long run. If you are having a hard time deciding whether you should jump ship or keep sailing with your current employer, try taking money off the table... where do you want to be? Think about the company culture, the quality of work and the mission of the brand. Which role lights you up? Which office would get you excited to leave your bed in the morning?  

10. It's All in the Framing

Like your parents once taught you, it's not always what you say, but how you say it. The same rule applies to compensation conversations. Whether it's negotiating with your current or potential employer, you should be cautious of your verbiage. You are your own best advocate – but think about how the other party's needs are and frame your asks to address them.  

You'll survive the negotiating convo, we promise. And with that, congratulations on the offer – it's time to celebrate!  

 

PS: If this article helped you, share it and stay tuned for more career insights from your Maven Recruiting Thought Leaders.