“You can do anything you set your mind to” – this is the belief shared by C-Suite Executive Assistant, Claudette Darrell.
Claudette Darrell has stepped into the world of competitive executives and entrepreneurs without a college degree, with confidence in her skill and confidence in her mind; she had overcome many obstacles and today earned herself a name in the world of entrepreneurs and executives.
Darrell had worked as an executive assistant for CEOs, Company Owners, and C-Suite Executives for over 25 years. She parlayed her life experiences into tangible time management and problem-solving skills. Ms. Darrel’s attention to detail and discretion have provided her with a career that has taken her around the globe and included attendance at charity events, black tie premiers, and opening nights. Ms. Darrel’s advice applies to everyone in the business.
Claudette Darrell speaks to Business Upside in this interview on her strategies behind managing the business, success tips, and motivation.
Edited Excerpts from The Interview:
Business Upside [BU]: How did you get into the business as an executive assistant?
Claudette Darrell [CD]: I spent twenty five+ years in childcare between babysitting for siblings and cousins, and then raising my children. When it was time to get a job outside of the home, my resume was missing a college degree but I knew that I had straight “A” soft skills.
New York City is known for its fast-paced, competitive businesses and people, these people are all multitasking. I could see that people needed help and I offered assistance. With each assignment, I was proving myself to be reliable, dependable, and trustworthy. My responsibilities grew and I found myself traveling around the world for work as an executive assistant.
Business Upside [BU]: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting, what would it be?
Claudette Darrell [CD]: My advice to anyone starting in any career is; don’t put limits on yourself. It’s important to be realistic but you can do anything you set your mind to. Set goals make plans and pivot when needed. The path to success is never a straight line.
Business Upside [BU]: How do you define success?
Claudette Darrell [CD]: There are many ways to define success. Success can be finishing a task, learning a new skill, teaching someone else a new skill, getting a promotion, or making money to name a few. For me, personal success is being a positive role model.
Business Upside [BU]: Do you believe there is some sort of formula or pattern to become a successful Businessperson?
Claudette Darrell [CD]: The success formula is a good work ethic. It’s the things that you do every day that create your routine to prosperity: get up early, make your bed, take the time to eat right and present your best personal appearance, get to work on time, focus on individual tasks so they can be completed and you can move to the next task. It’s not only having a professional outlook and attitude but being polite, kind, and helpful to others.
Business Upside [BU]: What motivated you to become an Executive Assistant?
Claudette Darrell [CD]: I knew that my strengths were other people’s weaknesses and if I could use my skills to make someone else’s job easier then it would be a win-win. It’s not that high-level executives can’t do the things that I do but knowing that I am taking care of the details allows them to totally focus on other challenges.
A good executive assistant is a self-motivated person. Someone who can anticipate needs based on the day’s schedule of events, complete tasks without asking how to get them done, solve problems, be flexible, and tailor communication to the individual. These are the soft skills that I have cultivated over the years and they have served me well.
Business Upside [BU]: Other advice or comments about your entrepreneurial style or your specific business?
Claudette Darrell [CD]: Dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have. We are learning that people all over the world have unconscious biases and they will judge you on a first impression. If you show up to an interview or a job looking less than professional, you can be creating unnecessary obstacles for yourself.