Life As A Personal Assistant
The average PA takes care of such a broad spectrum of tasks on behalf of their employer that it would be a tricky task to put pen to paper and come up with an accurate job description. The key word for this type of role would have to be ‘busy’ and only the most highly organised, quick thinking individuals will ever make the grade when it comes to being successful as a Personal Assistant!
PA’s tend to act as a filter for their employer, filtering emails, requests for time and enquiries so that only the most relevant details are brought to their bosses’ attention. This filtering is crucial because it ensures that the employer’s precious time can be spent in the most efficient way possible, instead of being bogged down by a multitude of mundane and time-consuming tasks.
A great PA will have all items and information relating to their role perfectly organised and within easy reach in order to maximise the speed of their response and overall efficiency when conducting any tasks on behalf of their employer.
Responsibility – Decision Making
In the past, Personal Assistants had more of a reactive role rather than being expected to be proactive and make decisions as they are nowadays. The administrative side of the role is of course crucial as any effective PA is always extremely well versed in business correspondence and telephone correspondence, diary management and more. Today’s PA’s are masters in the art of multitasking and many successful entrepreneurs are open about the fact that their PA plays a key role in supporting them and helping them to manage what would otherwise be an overwhelming deluge of tasks each day.
These days many PA’s handle large budgets on behalf of their employer, managing teams and projects and standing in for their employer at meetings when necessary. No longer limited to administrative and clerical responsibilities, a large percentage of Personal and Executive Assistants these days work side by side with Executives in their field, in a versatile role that is often very much at the heart of a business or organisation.
Learn To Anticipate
One of the most important skills of a great PA has to be the ability to anticipate what the employer wants and needs, in order to pre-empt what is coming next and stay one-step ahead of the game at all times. This invariably takes a bit of time and generally, the longer you work with someone the better you will get to know them, meaning that your ability to anticipate what they will want you to do will increase over time.
That said, this is certainly a skill that some PA’s simply seem to have a natural, and intuitive knack for.
In the early days when working with a new employer it is crucial to pay close attention to their preferences and pet peeves. The little details that you are able to pick up on early on will help you to become an extension of your employer, and in time a truly invaluable employee!
As a Personal Assistant, you will be entrusted with all kinds of sensitive information relating to your employers personal and business life. Your employer must be able to trust you implicitly, it ought to go without saying that professionalism, and the ability to be discrete at all times is a fundamental element of this type of Private Staff role.