Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The New Executive Assistant: Advice for Succeeding in Your Career
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on July 19, 2000
I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Duncan's book. I found it an easy read, packed with lots of excellent information.
As with the other reviewer I was extremely disappointed in the skills test in the back of the book. Missing questions, answers to questions that weren't printed.
I wonder if Ms. Duncan has read her own book? Did she review the skills test information in the back before it was published? If the fault lies with the publisher, I hope she got her money back. I also hope she'll do a re-print with the skill test corrected because I found it very helpful in identifying weak areas in my own skill set.
I've been an Executive Secretary/Assistant for the past ten years. Often a good assistant is taken for granted. I appreciated Ms. Duncan's affirmation that my job is more than a job, it's a career and that not just anyone can be a good assistant.
If you can get past all the problems with the skill test in the back of the book, I think you'll find the content extremely interesting, insightful, and motivating.
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on May 10, 2000
I just finished reading this book about the "new executive assistant". Of course it emphasizes attention to detail, checking your work, accuracy, etc. Upon completing the extensive skills test in the back of book, I was horrified to find the following blatant errors: 1. In the vocabulary section, the questions skip from #56 to #61, yet in the answer section, these questions do appear. 2. The proofreading section fails to point out periods that are missing at the end of two sentences. Here's the kicker: 3. When I went to check my answers for the spelling section, I discovered that there were only two answers out of 110 questions. To top, there were answers for #110 - 122, which didn't exist in the first place.
OK, can anyone find a proofreader at McGraw Hill to catch these types of errors? How can anyone take this book seriously? The other person who reviewed this book obviously did not read the whole thing. What a disappointment! I do recommend another book that I read. It's called The Valuable Office Professional by Michelle Burke. She is right on the money. There are some more in-depth self-evaluation tests, which go much further than vocabulary and grammar skills. I also got some information about her consulting service, which I am trying to convince management our company needs. That's my summary of this book. Good luck with your administrative careers no matter who you are or where you live!
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"The New Executive Assistant" is a must-read for aspiring or seasoned executive assistants, their bosses, and everyone in between.
Ms. Duncan doesn't just advise you to develop a proactive rather than a reactive approach to your administrative career, she guides you to discovering both what you want out of life and what your career can provide. She covers all the important bases for surviving in today's fast-paced world: learning to adapt to change (technical and cultural); mastering the fundamentals of communicating what you really mean; tapping into your management and leadership potential; handling both yourself and others in conflict situations; promoting yourself, your boss, and your company; and regaining your spiritual "center". Most importantly, however, Ms. Duncan asks wether or not you are cut out to be an executive assistant. Life is too short to just have a job; whatever it may be, find a career that works for you, challenges you, and fits your personality.
Packed with objective insights, advice, and enjoyable witticisms, "The New Executive Assistant" delivers. I found in this one book what countless seminars and 50-minute training series have not been able to provide; I found truely usable, relevant insights and information. Ms. Duncan has created a mentoring master piece for executive assistants (and anyone who wants to understand them)!
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on June 30, 2004
This book has helped so many people! It's perfectly brilliant.
I think it's insane that reviewers are commenting on publisher's type-o's instead of commenting on how significant this book really is. Obviously, Ms. Duncan proofed her own book and after meeting Ms. Duncan at an event, I mentioned the reviews about the errors in the book. Ms. Duncan and her staff has tried desperately for years to demand that the book be reprinted. Some things unfortunately are out of one's hands, and I recognize this after years of being a journalist. Look at the NY Times! And every other book on your shelf! They all have errors!
Ms. Duncan has been instrumental in the salary increases, and gaining recognition for this truly unique role! I recommend this book to anyone in the role or considering it!
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on December 9, 2013
This book is a great reference for all levels of assistants. The only thing that the book is missing is salary ranges for the 4 levels of EAs. It's always helpful to see where you are on the scale. I know that every part of the country and globe are different but a range would be helpful when trying to assess where you are on the appreciation scale. This is a book that I have added to my professional reference library. The tips and suggestions are extremely useful.
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on February 22, 2011
If you're just starting out in the corporate world, this is an excellent read. Just about everything is covered. You don't learn these things in college!
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on June 11, 2013
The book has good information and is easy to read. I am going to keep it as a reference in my office.
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on September 3, 2012
I bought this book strictly for Chapter 2 - the Job Hunt. I have tried and failed several times to get good EA related answers to the usual interview question. Especially the "in 5 years" and "why do you want this job" questions. I fell into this job by accident. I quit a marketing job I hated in 2006 and an agency had an EA job open at my dream company. It was a slight pay cut but my skills quickly earned me a nice raise and by 2007 I was making more than I ever had. I went from a grade I to a IV at least for my boss. I was planning to look for something else after two years but we all know what happened next. So I needed some good EA type answers for these questions because now I've managed to get an interview with a smaller dream company and I do not want to mess it up.

I'm giving this book 2 stars solely on Chapter 2. I mean how OLD is this book? I'm what they used to call middle aged now: 40. When I got out of college the big worry was going from Window 3.1 to Windows 95. Ms Duncan mentions typewriters and stenography. I don't even know what that is.
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on June 26, 2010
This book is 13 years old and it shows when you get to the parts that talk about technology. If you're reading this hoping to brush up on your tech skills, there are fresher resources that you can get elsewhere. But if you want to learn about the more timeless skills of being an executive assistant, then this is a great read. This book has changed my perception of the job.

My favorite quotations:

"People who have 'the right stuff' for becoming executive assistants enjoy making chaotic situations orderly for their managers, at virtually any cost, and they don't consider the task of doing so to be something odious. They enjoy the role of providing service."

"Today's employers are, for the most part, looking for people who make things make sense, not people who wait for instructions or have no idea how to deal with challenging situations."

"Any one of these tasks can be broken down into constituent parts, but none of them can honestly be considered finished at any point. And these are are just some of the dozens of 'ongoing' functions you're likely to deal with. For the new executive assistant, crossing the items off the list in such a way that they stay off is impossible."
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on January 20, 2014
A book with general information and some new tips I learned. Helps in decision making for expanding career in this field as career descriptions change from year to year.
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