Executive assistant is the new power job

Posted: Jan 30,2015

A once lowly job with meager pay is starting to mean big bucks in the Sillicon Valley and quite a bit of influence. It's the golden age of the executive assistants. The support world, as it's known, Highly educated, ambitious young people — most of them women — with off-the-map "soft skill" IQs and EQs are seeing an employment boom. According to some of the experienced recruiters in the field, Executive assistants to CEOs, engineers and even middle managers at major tech companies increasingly have their pick of top jobs. All this is because a cultural shift in how assistants are viewed, less hierarchical companies and wealthy tech economy. Once powerless, the executive becomes the gatekeeper, charged with keeping the Big Woman or Man on task. It is the post of Executive Assistant that is underappreciated career of the century. To as much as $200,000, plus bonuses and equity, the base salary starts around $60,000 and goes up fast from there. "There's definitely a stigma" about the title, says 32-year-old Shana Larson, one of four EAs at Pinterest, the San Francisco visual discovery company. Young people from Los Angeles — like Larson — might be the Holy Grail, as some recruiters are finding a micro-trend within this burgeoning market as well. According to Alison Brown, who runs a recruiting firm focused on administrative support, says that Executive assistants who jump north from L.A. are often talented people who have a thicker skin. According to top recruiters the base salary for EAs in the Valley now starts around $60,000 and goes up fast from there. Junior EAs, supporting managers or engineers, might make around $110,000, while those supporting the C-suite rake in as much as $200,000, plus bonuses and equity.

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