Sivan Joss is the founder of Joss Search, an executive support recruitment firm. She’s worked in the recruitment industry for 15 years, and is passionate about helping assistants find ideal roles.

Sivan Joss Search Leader Assistant Podcast

In this episode, Sivan gives us a glimpse into the executive assistant recruiting world, including the interview process, compensation, crafting a resume, and more.


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Sivan Joss Leader Assistant Headshot

Sivan is the founder of Joss Search and has worked in the recruitment industry for 15 years. She left school at 16 and was soon managing a local restaurant where she discovered her passion for providing exemplary service. She moved into recruitment and worked for several firms before deciding to set up Joss Search in 2010 to focus on finding the highest calibre candidates and staff regardless of their backgrounds. Quality is at the heart of everything she does.


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Sivan Joss 0:00
I’m Sivan Joss and today’s leadership quote comes from Winston Churchill. Success is not final failure is not fatal. It has the courage to continue that counts.

Podcast Intro 0:12
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident game changing leader assistant.

Jeremy Burrows 0:22
Thank you so much for listening all I’m old. Here’s your host, my dad. Hey friends, welcome to episode 86. Just a reminder to check out the show notes at Also, if you haven’t joined us for our weekly zoom chats on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm, Pacific 4pm Central, check out And join us in our Facebook group, our Slack community and our zoom chat registration again weekly zoom chats, global Slack community and Facebook group. Join 1000s of assistance in our free community Hope to see you in there and enjoy the episode. Hey, everyone. Thanks for tuning in to The Leader Assistant Podcast. It’s your host Jeremy Burrows and today I am talking with Sivan Joss, the founder of job search Sivan how’re we doing?

Sivan Joss 1:31
Good thanks. How are you? Jeremy?

Jeremy Burrows 1:33
I’m doing good. Doing good. And you are? Where are you today?

Sivan Joss 1:37
We’re in London. So it’s two o’clock in the afternoon for me so early morning for you. Is it?

Jeremy Burrows 1:42
Yeah, it’s about almost 8am. So yeah. It’s funny. I actually had a dream last night about my family getting ready for a London trip. And we’re all excited. We’re about to go to the airport. And we decided, oh, you know, maybe we should check the weather, the weather in London. And we looked at the weather and it was like 30 degrees and snowy and we’re like, Oh no, we didn’t pack anything warm. So we’re scrambling to get warm clothes and coats. And I don’t know, it’s kind of a random dream. But it was kind of odd.

Sivan Joss 2:11
Is that because you knew you were talking to me today? Currently,

Jeremy Burrows 2:14

Sivan Joss 2:14
I don’t know. I it’s pretty much always raining. So as long as you’ve been arraigned back, you’ll be alright.

Jeremy Burrows 2:20
Nice. Nice. All right, well, nothing about dreams was your very first job and what skills did you learn in it that you still use today?

Sivan Joss 2:30
My first job was delivering sort of serving pizzas in the pizza shop in our local village. But I didn’t do that for a huge amount of time. But the most relevant one was waitressing. You know, I went to a restaurant local sort of restaurant and it was absolutely brilliant. It taught me taught me everything, you know, customer service, really just all about customer service and working quickly and finding solutions. And also hard work because it’s really hard. Really hard work. And I loved it. Yeah. I loved it. That’s great.

Jeremy Burrows 3:05
So where did your career trajectory go from there?

Sivan Joss 3:09
Well, it’s like most people’s sort of recruitment story. I, you know, I’d never sort of, it wasn’t my dream to be a recruitment consultant. But I just found I was really enjoyed working with people. And I liked the energy that that provided and I got into sales quite early on. I did various hilarious jobs like selling Windows door to door. I don’t know if double glazing is a big thing in America, but I did double glazing sales over here and then moved into selling software, and then ended up falling into recruitment and haven’t left. And that was 1718 years ago. Wow. Thank ya.

Jeremy Burrows 3:58
So what’s your favorite breakfast cereal? And why is your favorite?

Sivan Joss 4:04
What’s my favorite breakfast cereal?

Jeremy Burrows 4:07

Sivan Joss 4:08
Do you not do you? Do you like oatmeal?

Jeremy Burrows 4:10
Yeah, we don’t

Sivan Joss 4:13
know. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. cut steel. Is that what you guys call it or something? Yeah, that’s my steel cut. That’s it. That’s my absolute favorite. My girls love it. I love it. It’s just really filling and my grandpa Scottish and he used to always raise me on it. And I’d love to tip is to add a pinch of salt makes it really delicious. But yeah, I love it. My favorite.

Jeremy Burrows 4:36
So if you had a day where you could go and do anything in the world with unlimited resources, what would you do and where would you go?

Sivan Joss 4:45
It was I sort of really struggled with this one. I think I think I would really really like to go to Patagonia in in the south of sort of Argentina and Chile, and just sort of see how they live, I watched a documentary once on the sort of the horse, the horses and how they depend on them. In that area, and the wildlife there is just absolutely incredible, you know, such a flurry and like a range. And, you know, the terrain is really different. And I think I would, you know, I would really like to spend a day down there, you know, just really exploring and, and seeing what it’s like to live in that region, I think, yeah, random. I know, but it’s just, um, I’ve always wanted to go.

Jeremy Burrows 5:38
Yeah, that’s great. What about you? You know, I, I have probably somewhere, I honestly don’t really care where but it’d be somewhere up high in the mountains, where we could hike all day, every day up really high, and see some amazing views. But then it also would end at the end of the day, we would have like a really nice hotel room with a hot tub. And you know, some Lux a soft, soft bed.

Sivan Joss 6:06
Yeah. Rather than a hard roll mat. Exactly. Yeah. Makes sense. Cool.

Jeremy Burrows 6:11
Okay, so you own a recruiting firm and run it run a recruiting firm, and it’s specifically primarily for assistants. So why did you start a recruiting firm?

Sivan Joss 6:23
Well, I started a recruitment company, because I been in the industry for a while. And I just felt really strongly that it could be done better. And I wanted to challenge, challenge the status quo and see if I could do it better myself. I’ve always been really inspired by companies that professionally and personally challenge their employees, and also who treat them like adults. And I was noticing that a lot of other companies were doing that. But the recruiting recruitment sector sort of seemed a bit archaic and wasn’t, wasn’t really doing it. So I wanted to see if it was possible to to achieve that. And 10 years in, I do really feel that we have that balance here of sort of treating people like adults, but providing a really good service and having a good place to work where you’re developed personally and professionally. And in terms of sort of focusing on assistance, I’ve just always been really intrigued by the role. And I still continue to be I think it’s such an under explored, I should say, role. It’s, as with a lot of the support roles. And I don’t know if you’ve seen our website, but we call them the hidden heroes, you know, the people who work behind the scenes, anyone in a business, I think environment or in any walk of life, really who are doing really great work and don’t get the recognition for it. I think psychologically, I find that really interesting in terms of why people do that, you know, and I just sort of gravitated towards it. And have continued to, you know, enjoy, representing and meeting executive assistants and personal assistants and seeing receptionists become executive assistants and seeing executive assistants become chief of staff, you know, I’ve continued to sort of really enjoy that journey. And I like the fact that I’ve been able to work with the same people for for a long time, you know, who have come to me right at the start of their career. And then now, you know, really, really senior exec assistants or chief of staff, and it’s just been really, really nice. I can’t ever imagine doing anything else to be honest.

Jeremy Burrows 8:25
That’s great. So how do you encourage someone who’s kind of at the beginning of that process? Do you place them strategically in a role where they can really get a lot of exposure and experience but also have room to grow?

Sivan Joss 8:39
Totally. And, you know, we have to be really strategic because ultimately, our clients, you know, when they come to us, and they say, I’m hiring, they don’t want to be hiring again, in a year’s time, right? And anyone ambitious, is going to want to move and develop within 18 months. And so striking a balance is really is really interesting for us and challenging. But strategically, we always know when we’re interviewing someone how ambitious they are, because that we delve into that part of them. And we want to know, where they see themselves, why they wanting to pursue this career, and then place them in a role in an organization really more than the role, it’s all about the organization that we think will either nurture that and develop them or, and if they’re not that ambitious, and happy to sort of stay in the role that they’re doing, then place them in a different role, basically, but we’re all about finding the right person, the right job and the right company. And, and that does mean, sometimes not making a placement because we know it’s not the right thing for that person, you know, but yeah, definitely. We have some companies that are much more forward thinking than others. And the ones that are really forward thinking and tapping into a pool are doing amazing things with their talent, you know.

Jeremy Burrows 9:58
So what’s one of the The biggest mistakes that an assistant makes when crafting their resume. Hmm.

Sivan Joss 10:07
Gosh, focusing on duties. You know, I rarely see I see this more often than not, if I’m hiring for salespeople or, you know, for people internally, the CVS I get a really achievement are always really achievement focused. And I think that is what I see lacking time and time again on an executive assistants CV is it’s all about the duties and the duties are replicated across there, you know, 10, let’s say 10 jobs, five jobs, three jobs doesn’t matter. And actually, each job will have been totally different, the duties might actually have been the same, but the context surrounding it, that the achievements, the type of work that you’d be doing is likely to be different. And I think that could be celebrated a lot more by executive assistants on their CVs, you know, I meet yeas day in day out who have saved their company, hundreds of 1000s of pounds on procurement, you know, challenges or they put together global investor relations conferences, they’ve, you know, organized company off sites, they put together Board Papers, research documents, you know, specific project specific achievements that they’ve got involved in that they just failed to put on the CV? And actually, you know, totally should be on there.

Jeremy Burrows 11:26
So, how do you what’s your process with helping them with their resumes? Do they kind of submit their resume? And then you can sit down and walk through it line by line? Or how do you do that process?

Sivan Joss 11:39
Well, we get hundreds of resumes every day, as you can imagine. And so we if we are speaking to someone who we think has the potential to be right for our industry, we will screen them on the phone, we’ll speak to them. And if we think that they’re right for us, we’ll book them in to meet with us. And if they’re not right, for us, we normally always try and give them some advice on where to go with their career. And if there’s some, you know, sometimes we see really glaring spelling and grammatical mistakes that we’ll point out to people. But generally, in the interview, if that if they come in to formally register with job search, which they want us to represent them in their job search, as part of the interview process, if there are suggestions to be made, we will give that to them at the end of the at the end of the interview, as well as sharing feedback on their interviewing, style, and, and if any, anything they can work on for that we also give them tips on things they can do, as well, you know, like to take away, we try not to change people’s CVS, because they’re generally an expression of that individual. But we do give them lots of advice on how to make it look better.

Jeremy Burrows 12:43
So what is it to get 100? Or hundreds of resumes? Hundreds?

Sivan Joss 12:48

Jeremy Burrows 12:49
What’s one tip that you could share with assistants that could make their resume stand out?

Sivan Joss 12:57
short, keep it short, make it punchy, don’t have it on five pages don’t miss the detail of absolutely every single job, you know, and focus on achievements. I really, I see CVS that are 10 pages long. ICCD, just about four pages long. You know, if you’re if you’re if you’re interviewing, let’s say for example, you’re interviewing an investment professional for a private equity company who’s a Partner, they’ll have a one page CV, there’s no reason why an EA can’t have a one or two page CV, you know, as well. And I think when they are conditioned into just putting too much too much information onto onto it that that isn’t necessary.

Jeremy Burrows 13:38
Yeah. That’s great. So are there questions that you like to ask in interviews with assistants?

Sivan Joss 13:47
Yeah, I mean, for us, it’s all about fit. And you probably agree, right? Jeremy is ultimately it comes down to the chemistry between you and your boss, if you if you have a good relationship with your boss, and the chemistry is there, then you’re, you know, the job is so much easier. And so we always delve into the type of managers that get the best out of those, the PAs that we meet, so it’s asking them, what kind of management style gets the best out of you? What kind of management style do you not enjoy working for? Who’s been your best manager and why? You know, what’s your pet hate from a manager? More often than not people say being micromanaged or poor communication. I think for executive assistants, their biggest struggle is working for someone who ignores their communication, which I find fascinating. And whenever I meet with execs, I’m always like, Why do you have an executive assistant if their email isn’t the first email you answer? Surely, surely responding to them is your biggest priority because if they don’t know what to prioritize or how to prioritize, because you’re not communicating with them, how can you expect them to do a good job for you? So it’s always trying to understand more about who they work best with, you know, and what kind of person is going to get the best out of them? And, you know, really focusing on that. We also try and ask a lot of sort of hypothetical situational questions. So, you know, if you were in this situation, what would you do? You know, let’s say, for example, your partner’s got this, this and this going on? How would you prioritize it? Just to try and understand their logic and how they, how they are, how they prioritize, and how proactive they are, as well. Because those are the things that we look at, that our clients ask us for the most is they want someone with a great attitude? Who’s proactive? You know, that’s, that’s, those are the two, most ultimately, from our perspective, important attributes that we look for from people is, have they got a can’t do attitude? Are they going to just roll that roll the sleeves up and get stuck in and get the job done no matter? What? And are they gonna be able to think and we call it walking in their partner’s shoes, you know, are they actually going to be able to imagine themselves walking in that person’s shoes carrying about that day? Or are they just going to view them as a calendar where it’s like, oh, that looks really pretty. Let’s put that next meeting next to that meeting. And actually, they haven’t allowed for enough travel time for the person to get from one meeting to the other, or even go to the toilet and have lunch, you know. So I think those are the key things that we’re always testing for and looking for. And, and ultimately, you don’t need to have experience with that. You just need to have common sense and logic and be able to think practically, and think ahead, you know, yeah.

Jeremy Burrows 16:31
So let’s flip it over to the executive side, what’s what’s maybe a tip that you would share with executives to help them get more out of their assistant,

Sivan Joss 16:39
I always say to them, just respond to your EA first, like, communicate with them, you know, don’t expect them to be mind reader’s, I mean, really, you know, we all you know, assistants will do their best no matter what, but if you communicate with them, and you make sure you you regularly communicate your priorities, the business has priorities, and you respond to them in a timely manner and find the best way of communicating that works for you. I mean, for me, it’s with my, with the team that helped me on the Operations and Support is WhatsApp is like, really, you know, straightaway, they just WhatsApp me and they get a response. So it’s a case of finding a communication style that’s going to work for, for you as the exec and making sure that you give the PA or EA priority to your your communication and time at startup every day or a couple of times a week, you know, because I think it’s I think otherwise, it’s impossible to do the job really, really well. I mean, you can do it well, but you could do it so much better if if you have that communication.

Jeremy Burrows 17:35
Yeah, I totally agree. That’s, that’s a great tip. I’ve, I know a lot of executives that don’t treat their assistant as the kind of one of their top VIP, if you will. Or when it comes to emails and texts, and just really hard to hard to get things done and keep momentum moving forward. If you don’t do that,

Sivan Joss 17:56
yeah, you just use sometimes there is just a decision that you can’t make, and you need them to make that decision. And if they don’t respond to you and make that decision is just left hanging around, it makes you less effective. And, you know, when I meet execs, who are like, Oh, my pas, I need a new PA, I need this, I need that, you know, and then you sit with them six months later, it’s she’s she’s not good enough, he’s not good enough. You know, they’re all They’re never those two particular types and never willing to reflect on themselves and what they could be doing differently. It’s always the EAS fault. And quite often it’s not the EAS fault, you know, but often it’s their fault for not communicating properly. And I have absolutely no problem telling them that they didn’t like it, but I told them anyway. Because I’m not going to find them another year and put them in another situation where they’re gonna get fired in six months, because you can’t communicate. It’s just a waste of my time.

Jeremy Burrows 18:45
So how do we help executives like that and HR departments, maybe even other recruiters and other execs and teams in an organization value assistance more.

Sivan Joss 19:01
So what I hear time and time again, is that EA the EA pool can take up sometimes a large chunk of their managers time. And actually I think where EAS could really help themselves is making sure that they’re being as professional as possible at all times, being completely discreet. You know, refraining from sort of, I don’t know, but gossiping, you know, refraining from gossiping and refraining from getting involved in office politics and and treating their role as a really professional role, whether they were they are mature and and therefore the company really recognize the value of that I definitely am seeing that more and more and more. But equally, it’s a case of quite often I hear exact, exact and exact To have assistants, there’s a real disconnect between what progression is available to them and the value of the role and, and that ultimately, I think comes down to, unfortunately, the behaviors of some rather than the majority, you know, and teamwork, I think amongst executive assistant as the most important thing. And when you have an EA team in an organization that are working really collaboratively to get, you know, almost working as one to get things done, then you start seeing that companies really recognize the value of it, because they can start going to them with things that, you know, they didn’t think the EAA pool would be able to do and actually can do. So I think it’s a case of that, on the one hand, it’s have making sure that the EAA population within any company are working collaboratively and effectively together. And on the other side is a case of making sure that companies are viewing them as a, like a talent pool in themselves within the organization, because I think there’s, there’s this disconnect between what can we do for them in the long term, you know, we want to try and keep them in their role, rather than progressing them because we don’t know how to progress them. Because there’s no obvious career path, you know, if you hire an analyst, the career path is obvious, you know, to becoming a partner. Whereas if you hire an EA, you know, what is the what is the next step? And I think companies are afraid of what that might look like, from a turnover perspective, but equally from a, from a practical perspective, how do we actually put that into practice? So I think it’s a combination of those two, basically, I think that’s a bit long winded, but I hope that made sense. Yeah, no, that’s

Jeremy Burrows 21:50
great. So on that know, how can an assistant grow their existing skills and develop new skills so that they can kind of work along that career progression?

Sivan Joss 22:04
Yeah, cuz, you know, I’ve I, I’ve seen executive assistants progressing to all different types of roles. I’ve also seen fantastic executive assistant stay within their role and progress and develop their skills. So you don’t have to move away from being an EA to progress and develop, you know, you can stay as an EA, but just, as you say, developing yourself and developing your skills. And it’s really interesting, because I was meeting one of my office manager clients a couple of weeks ago, and her first her education was like a business managers in the 80s. It was a business management. Not quite a degree, but a two year, a two year course, where it was all for executive assistants to understand how a business operates. And this was before she even started her EA career, I just thought was amazing. And I think that is what is needed, you know, for EAS they don’t, they need to just be able to actually understand what the business does, and what the pressures are, therefore, they’ll be able to understand the pressures on their execs. And they’ll also be able to understand where they can add value in that business. If they put if they can get some context on what the actual, let’s say, front office part of their company do so if it’s whether it’s in, for example, in our industry, it’s private equity. So the front office that the deal do is they’re out there, they’re looking for companies to invest in, and then they invest in them, and then they manage them. That’s a simplified version, if they actually went into that in more detail, who are the investors? What do they want to see? Why are they important, what companies that they look for, and it’s not just transactional, it’s not just a case of putting a meeting in, you know, then it becomes really interesting, the work that you’re doing. And that’s how you start adding value, because you can have intellectual conversations with the person you’re supporting. And they start recognizing and valuing your opinion. And then you can start exponentially developing your skills into the other business areas that the company operates in, you know, and that’s, that’s when I’ve seen the best TAs who have the best careers. They’re the ones who bide their time, develop themselves. Every day, ask questions, try and learn new things. Shadow other areas of the company, get exposure and upskill themselves within other business areas, and then make them move. Not day one, day two, you know, we’re talking like a year, two years, three years in a role becomes available. And they know because they’re well networked and they’re using their network internally and they put themselves forward and they show a good business case as to why they why they could make it right. And I’ve seen EAS like I said at the very start become chief of staff become head of legal affairs, head of investor relations, heads of HR, you know, they’ve moved away but they’ve never it’s not been a case of they’ve gone in day one done a good job and they’re asking for a promotion or asking to move out of that role. They have you have to earn it is a slightly harder way of going about it but you have to earn it and On the flip side, you’ve got EAS who have progressed with people, and, you know, stay in that EA role, but just take on those projects, you know, they take on all that they take off all the pressure off their, of their executives so that that person can purely focus on if they’re the CEO running the company, or if they’re an investment professional looking for deals, that person doesn’t have to think about anything else, everything else is completely taken care of. And those sadly, I don’t see that enough, you know, but it’s definitely becoming that way. And I do think that it’s becoming a more professionalized career choice for people, which is great to see.

Jeremy Burrows 25:39
Yeah, and I love what you kind of your tips on this whole world? Because I always say that, you know, I get assistance asking, like, how do I develop? How do I grow? And one of the things I like to always encourage assistants to do is to read what their executive reads. Yeah. And listen to the podcasts that their executive listens to go to the events that they go to, if possible. Like, it’s not just about Yes, I agree that, I mean, you should do training for assistance, specifically, and I do a lot of that I provide a lot of that. And I think that’s valuable, but I think that assistants need to think outside the box and get trained in other areas of their company in their business and take the courses that their executive is taking. Do just so that they can get a more well rounded education and skill set.

Sivan Joss 26:36
Absolutely. And that, and equally, you know, if you if you can, if your exec for example, in a small company has responsibility for ops, or has responsibility for finance, or has responsibility for HR, take that pressure off them, educate yourself in that area, and take on that responsibility, you know, for them, and I think it’s, it’s, it’s about curiosity, ultimately, and it’s about intellectual sort of thirst, thirst for knowledge. And if you have that thirst for knowledge, and you are curious, and you want to be the best possible executive assistant you can possibly be whatever that looks like to you or to the executive support. Ultimately, if you know what pressure they’re under, and if you know what their, what challenges they’re facing, and you can actually understand it, you’ll be you’ll have better judgment when it comes to making a good decision. And without that you you will struggle, you can do your best, but you’re never going to be the same. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s and that’s where it comes down to is developing your ability to have good judgment, because that’s what your your Exec is relying on you for is to have good judgment. And if you can demonstrate that, because you’ve taken the time to understand the pressure and understand what it actually means in context, you’re probably going to be able to make a better decision.

Jeremy Burrows 27:58
That’s great. So let’s let’s transition and talk about salary. So I think in general, from my experience, and talking to other EA trainers and coaches, in general, assistants seem to be underpaid. Why do you think that is?

Sivan Joss 28:19
Is that in the US? Or in the UK? Or just globally?

Jeremy Burrows 28:25
I mean, I’ve had I’ve had assistants reach out in the UK as well, but I mean, primarily the US is where I’ve had the direct experience.

Sivan Joss 28:33
Yeah, I can’t, I mean, ultimately, I, I’d need to explore more in that in that market. But ultimately, I find that when an AE comes to me and they’re underpaid, quite often, it comes down to their competence and their ability to negotiate a pay rise. You know that, that’s an area of of. And again, it goes back to them being hidden heroes, most fantastic EAS or support people are operating behind the scenes, they don’t want to be at the they want to be the stars of the show, right? They want to help someone be the star, they want to silently be the star. And that in turn sometimes means negotiating and an almost selling can be quite challenging. And that’s an area that I always see from some really great assistants that come in is they really struggled to sell themselves. They’re so clearly absolutely brilliant, but incapable of selling themselves in an interview. And I always think to myself, if they’re incapable of selling themselves and interview to me, how are they going to be able to sell to HR or wherever that they need to pay rise? You know? And so, I think if you’re if you’re in a role where you’re feeling underpaid and undervalued, first, we’ve got to do your research, you know, and have a look at the market and see what you’re being paid in comparison to other pas in the same industry in your in your sector. And then obviously bring that data and take that to HR and negotiate a pay rise. But in terms of if you’re what you’re asking is just generally our EAS underpaid, I think it depends because each, you know, you’ve got companies where there’s 50. EAS. And amongst that 50, you have a totally different caliber of service being provided by those EAS, you have people who are purely transactional, and just completing what’s required. And then you have EAS who are really going above and beyond and doing all of the things that we’ve just discussed. And so from an HR departments perspective, I get that it’s really difficult to have a flat structure, when you have clearly got higher performers and others. But I think like in the UK, the bass is quite good. It’s quite a good salary, you know, and generally, we don’t find people sort of complaining about it too much. What we do see regularly is people being penalized, unfortunately for loyalty, which is ridiculous. But the longer they’re in a company, quite often their pay rise is a really incremental, and, and marginal. And if the only way they can get a large pay rise sometimes is to leave. And that I think needs update. Addressing, because, again, if you’ve got a top performer, and you don’t want to lose them, you know, and they can go out into the market and get paid 10 10,000 pounds $15,000 More than you obviously, you know, need to pay that right. So I think that’s probably where the disconnect comes is down to EA is not necessarily being the best negotiators on their own behalf. Sometimes absolutely fantastic when they’re doing it with the company’s money or their execs money, when it comes to trying to get themselves a pay rise really struggle. And, again, I think it’s like not trying to ensure that you’re not being penalized for loyalty by making sure you have that quest, that conversation, at any point that you’re feeling unhappy about your salary is, if they don’t know that you’re unhappy, they can’t do anything to change it.

Jeremy Burrows 32:04
Yeah, and I think I think you hit it spot on the, I think the number one reason that assistants are underpaid is they don’t ask, and they don’t ask, and they just yeah, like you said, there is hesitancy to ask for the raise that they really deserve and need.

Sivan Joss 32:21
And that’s where the focus should be. And then I think you’d find that EAS are feeling less undervalued. And they quite often are, are undervalued in the sense of, you know, most of the time, they don’t get a thank you. Most of the time, the only time you hit sometimes hear from your Exec is when something’s gone wrong. But when everything’s going really well, you don’t hear anything. And so ultimately, you’ve just got to just got to put the ball in your own court and ask for it and continuously ask for it until you get it, you know, and you will get it eventually, if they didn’t want if they didn’t want you to lose you, you know, sometimes executive assistant can be their own, they can do themselves down by coping so well, you know, I often see really high performing office managers or EAS who are doing such an amazing job, they’re doing the job of like two or three people. And they keep asking for a pay rise and the company, for whatever reason, doesn’t give them one because they’re coping and you know, they end up then hiring three people to replace that person with. And it’s just like, if you’ve just given them 20% pay rise that have been happy and stayed. So it’s just teaching people how to have the confidence to back themselves and ask for a raise. And it’s about putting a business case forward and what the value is of keeping you and and why what is going to cost them to replace you and all this sort of stuff. Because you know, recruiters are expensive, we’re expensive. And if if your organization can save money on paying a recruitment fee, because you’re going to leave then use that in your to your advantage, you know, when it comes to negotiating?

Jeremy Burrows 33:55
Yeah, and I think the part of the deal, you know, if you’re asking for a raise, and you’re presenting a strong business case, and you’re not getting it then that shows that your organization doesn’t value you like you thought they did. And so then that’s it for a lot of time to move on to an organization that will value

Sivan Joss 34:13
Absolutely, absolutely. And the more and more companies don’t value their support staff they’re just not going to survive and today as well, because everything’s so visible that it will be obvious, you know that they that those companies don’t

Jeremy Burrows 34:27
yeah. So if you could snap your fingers and instantly give all assistance more of something, what would it be

Sivan Joss 34:36
curiosity? Like thirst for knowledge. You know, if I if I could just if I met assistants every day who really wanted to learn about what the company is doing and what they’re exactly doing, I think it would step change.

Jeremy Burrows 34:54
Awesome. Yeah, well, Sivan, thanks so much for taking time out of your day and talking with us and sharing your tips on recruiting I love to hear from different perspectives. I’ve chatted with, you know, VA remote assistant firms, I’ve chatted with executives, I’ve chatted with assistants. And recruiters are kind of another pillar of the whole EA world. So yeah,

Sivan Joss 35:24
I think we can sometimes be a necessary evil, right? I think, unfortunately, some recruiters, you know, can operate really, you know, but in underhand ways and, and not not in great ways. And they’re not champions of the people that they’re representing. But I do see it becoming more and more that the best recruiters are, are really championing the people that they place and wanting to work hard on their behalf to give them a voice. And that’s, that’s definitely what we’re trying to do. And we’re not the only company that are doing it. And it’s great to see because, you know, as I said, EAS typically aren’t the, they’re not the ones out there making themselves the center of attention. And they do struggle, giving them with a voice sometimes. And then knowing how to position things and knowing how to ask for things. And, and that’s really what we’re trying to do is just be that voice, you know. So thanks so much for having me and listening to me waffle on. I hope some of it was useful. And obviously, if any of your listeners have any specific questions about their CV, or interviewing or anything, you know, we’d be more than happy to help.

Jeremy Burrows 36:26
Yeah, so where can we find you online and work? And my listeners check it out?

Speaker 1 36:31
Yep, so our website is just That’s Triple S, it’s not job search, although obviously that is what we do. And so you can find us on there. We’re also on Instagram, Joss search UK, LinkedIn, you can sign up for our newsletter online, and we try and every month we send out really topical interesting content around the the EAA world and the profession and training and we recommend podcasts and tips of courses and progression stories. And next month, we’re going to be featuring a blog from a float pa who has been with the company for nine years as a float and has just become the office manager for a global investment company. And just a really great story about why I don’t know if you have I think you do have the float payroll in the US. So it’s it’s kind of the in house temp. And sometimes it’s like the least attractive role. But actually, when for the right person, it can be a great a great opportunity. So yeah, things like that on our newsletter. And obviously, my contact details are found on the websites. And obviously you can follow me add everything on LinkedIn as well. So yeah, that’s the best way.

Jeremy Burrows 37:45
Awesome. Well, I’ll put all those links in the show notes to make it easy for everyone. And yeah, we’ll talk to you soon and thanks so much again for joining us.

Sivan Joss 37:52
Thanks so much for having me.

Jeremy Burrows 37:54
Thanks again for listening. Check out the show notes at And be sure to join our free global asst community at

Speaker 4 38:16
Please live you on Apple podcasts.


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