Are you looking to become a chief of staff? This position is relatively new in the private sector and qualifications for the position vary from company to company. However, many employers prefer job seekers with a master's degree in business administration (MBA) or a related field. To become a chief of staff, you need excellent interpersonal skills and several years of executive-level experience in corporate environments. In this comprehensive guide, we'll discuss the qualifications and skills needed to become a chief of staff, the differences between a chief of staff and an executive assistant, and how to get certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP).
Read on to learn more about this exciting career path!To become a chief of staff, you'll need a degree in Business, Economics, or a similar field. A large number of employers can also apply for a master's degree in business. Working well as part of a team will help you succeed in your career as a chief of staff, especially since you'll have to collaborate with other executives from all departments to implement the CEO's vision. You may not make the right decision 100% of the time, but you were selected for the position because they are confident that you will make the right decisions most or most of the time. Most of the Chiefs of Staff are recruited internally.
If you're leading other people, don't be afraid to take on more responsibilities and try to take on a leadership role. The more experience you have in high-level positions, the better you will be as Chief of Staff. The role of chief of staff (COS) differs from that of chief operating officer (COO) in the sense that the COS depends directly and primarily on the CEO, not on the board of directors, other executives or key stakeholders. Depending on the size of the organization, there may be some overlap, but a chief of staff exercises much more decision-making power than a typical executive assistant. And, since there aren't many people with experience in this position, chiefs of staff often face unexpected problems and challenges. A chief of staff ensures that the executive focuses on making sound decisions on the elements most critical to the team and the organization.
As the chief of staff of a fast-growing technology company, you'll be a strategic thinker and operational driver who will focus only on the most important organizational priorities. Chiefs of staff act as “air traffic controllers” for an executive, helping to manage the executive's time and energy. Later on, a chief of staff may be responsible for managing the team and helping the CEO extend his time between multiple teams. Getting certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) will help you earn more as a chief of staff. This position began trending when large technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Uber added chiefs of staff, but it has since been adopted by organizations of many other sizes, including tens of thousands of people between 50 and 500 employees.
If you think your company needs a chief of staff and that person should be you, you may also have to be the one to mention it. A chief of staff manages people and logistics, while an executive assistant manages scheduling and management tasks. Many chiefs of staff are the owners of the organization's most important meetings, since they prepare the agendas and take notes for weekly executive meetings, help prepare the executive director for board meetings, general meetings, and even prepare topics and even speeches for talks. While most managers of staff have a college degree, it's only possible to get one with a high school degree or GED. Remember that every employer is different and each one will have unique qualifications when they hire you for a chief of staff position. For more information, see the report on the State of the Chief of Staff in Technology (202), which is compiled from ideas from a survey of 25 chiefs of staff.