If you were to ask any successful businessman or leader just how they manage to continually achieve whilst dealing with a constant influx of calls, emails and requests for their time, then most would say the same thing. They couldn’t manage to combine all of this without the help of their personal assistant.
The ever changing role of the PA
The role of the personal assistant has evolved over the past fifty years. Long gone are the days of the typing pool and PAs dealing with the mundane clerical tasks. Today’s PAs are at the very heart of modern businesses.
The PA has found they are taking on much of the duties that used to be associated with middle management. Whilst this can occasionally be due to budget cuts, overwhelmingly it is because of the key skills PAs bring with them.
Whilst PAs still may be involved in the traditional tasks of booking travel and diary management for example, they may now also be running their own teams, making important decisions and conducting meetings on behalf of their boss. It is not unheard of for some PAs and Executive Assistants to be in charge of six figure budgets and to deal directly with important clients and suppliers.
This is backed up by a recent survey of over 1700 PAs and Executive Assistants, where nearly 20% said that they regularly make recommendations that their bosses act upon regarding important strategic and financial issues. 20% have taken meetings in place of their manager on at least a monthly basis, and over 30% manage vital company-wide projects. Other tasks mentioned in the survey included taking charge of office moves, event planning and overseeing the submission of vital tenders.
The modern PA
With PAs and Executive Assistants bringing such a diverse range of skills to the table, it’s common for PAs to develop and grow within an organisation. No longer just a support role, the role of the PA and Executive Assistant is a career like no other. It can be shaped, moulded and developed by hard work and commitment into a highly specialised bespoke role. WIth entry-level PA roles increasingly asking for graduates, a career as a PA is now seen as a challenging, rewarding and profitable career in its own right, with the potential for the right person to work at the very heart of some of the UK’s biggest and best companies.
The latest 2014 salary surveys have shown PA salaries rise by an average of from £15% in 2013. This indicates a growing appreciation of the role of the PA, and salaries look set to continue rising into 2015. With their diverse range of skills from project planning and project management to overseeing teams and budgets, it’s clear that a good PA is worth every penny of their salary, and will be a valuable addition to any company or organisation.
‘Till next time,