Sometimes change can be a good thing, especially when it comes to career development. If you feel you’ve outgrown your current administrative role or organisation and want a new challenge; a chance to expand your skills and experience, or simply feel you have more to offer, a PA or an Executive Assistant (EA) role might be just where your skills now lay.
Why be a PA?
Any successful business leader is faced with a daily diary of meetings, emails, conference calls and commitments – how do they get through the day without going into meltdown? Many will give credit to their personal or executive assistant.
PAs and EAs have fast become the working heart of many organisations in the city and work side-by-side with, executives and managers to play a key support role, ensuring projects happen on time. They have many responsibilities and are dedicated to providing support to the key players in business.
Many use their PA careers to progress within a specific industry or organisation, and those who start out as PAs or EAs later can go on to more specialised roles.
Sound exciting? Below are some ideas on how to go after that dream EA role.
Develop organisational skills
Juggling many different duties can be difficult, so being able to organise and coordinate on many different levels is a definite plus. With the introduction of modern technology, EA careers are no longer about just document and diary management – now these roles allow you to take on different responsibilities and could have you running your own team, or heading meetings on your leader’s behalf. Adding specific examples of how you’ve coped with multitasking in the skills section of your CV is a good idea.
Good interpersonal skills
If you’re good at working under pressure, chances are this is the right role for you. A PA or EA should be unflappable in a tight situation, and should be able to work well with others. Communication and being a team player is just as essential in the role as your ability to organise and compartmentalise duties and tasks in the work arena.
Know your IT
These days most organisation is done via technology, so knowing how to programme a diary, put together a PowerPoint presentation, set up a conference call, assist with social media, or rig a projector could be an essential part of being a good PA. Of course, being a fast learner also helps!
Qualifications and training
The job market is currently the most competitive it’s been in years; so how can you give yourself the best chance of progressing your career as a PA or EA? One route is to opt for one of the many training courses, workshops and qualifications available that can help you develop skills that make you attractive to a potential employer. These stand as proof to an employer that you have the right skills for the job. After all, the right skill set could land you a more challenging role, or even a better salary.
The many qualifications available can be undertaken as formal study, online courses or on-the-job training, so it’s best to have a browse to see what is available in your area, and decide what is best for your situation.
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Till next time,