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#3 Best Things About Being a Personal Assistant

In the private staffing industry, it’s essential to examine experiences from both the employers’ and the employees’ perspectives. At Irving Scott, we value satisfaction and fulfilment equally, which is instrumental to productive, longstanding relationships.

To follow on from our previous article, “Qualities Employers Look for in a Personal Assistant”, we reached out to several PAs to examine their favourite elements of their diverse, evolving, and active roles.

The list below is a valuable tool for those seeking to break out into a Personal Assistant position or for employers querying what job functions PAs relish most.

The Variety of the Role of a Personal Assistant

Variety can be the spice of professional life and is an oft-lacking component of our working lives. Based on the responses from Irving Scott’s PA staff, variety is not missing from their job description.

Chandra Varona stated that being a Personal Assistant gives her that “buzz of never being bored and always having something to improve and manage.”

Agnija Jach reiterated this statement, claiming that being a PA meant “opening new opportunities: to meet new people, growing communication skills, the opportunity to travel.”

As a representative for your client, this means engaging as their spokesperson in many different professional capacities – this requires excellent interpersonal skills and allows you to gain fluency in discussing with businesspeople from varying backgrounds.

Anne Hagen attested to this by saying there is “variety experienced daily – no two days are exactly alike.”

Personal Assistant

Being One Step Ahead

Individuals who require PAs are undoubtedly preoccupied, often juggling demanding personal and professional lives and instructing their daily tasks. As a result, the most efficient PA must be able to anticipate and premeditate their principal’s needs.

Chandra said one of her job’s greatest satisfactions is derived from being able to “anticipate my CEO’s requests and I can say “that’s dealt with/ done”.  Indeed, Rizwan Kazi stated that her favourite aspect is knowing “you have gained the confidence of the principal, to speak on their behalf, undertake responsibilities and decisions as they would.

This, to me, is stepping over an invisible line between being just an employee and representing someone in a very personal capacity, always maintaining and never crossing that line of distinction, though.” In this way, being a Personal Assistant instructs an individual in the ways of their principal’s business and requires them to anticipate how their days will flow.

Another of our staff, Rossi, said her “favourite aspect of the job is being able to give back time to my boss; freeing them from their workload and organising their lives so that everything runs smoothly and they have more time to get on with other things.”

Expanding Skillset

The role of a Personal Assistant (PA) stands as the fulcrum of their principal’s business, demanding a remarkable level of business acumen and professional know-how. Yet, what many may not anticipate at the outset of this job is the incredible journey of upskilling and personal growth that awaits them. PAs find themselves not only honing their professional skills but also developing social and interpersonal abilities that transcend the workplace, enriching their entire lives.

For Chandra, the scope of professional skills acquired as a Personal assistant extends far beyond the realm of work: “I have gained so many skills, not only work-wise but in general for my whole life. I have learnt to be fearless and push by being polite. I was shy and took the first negative answer as an absolute. Being a Personal Assistant has taught me there is ALWAYS a way!” This resilience and assertiveness, coupled with politeness, have become guiding principles in her personal and professional endeavors.

Pamela Moyes identifies three key areas in which being a Personal Assistant has expanded her professional horizons: organizational skills, time management, and the ability to multitask. These competencies form the bedrock of a successful Personal Assistant, and their refinement leads to greater efficiency and effectiveness in managing multiple responsibilities concurrently.

Many PAs initially find themselves daunted by the sheer volume of tasks and the intricate art of time management. However, as they navigate this dynamic role, they gradually become adept multitaskers, fine-tuning their ability to juggle various demands with ease and finesse. It is this finely tuned skill of multitasking that emerges as one of the most significant areas of growth for many PAs.

Rossi emphasizes the continuous learning process that comes with being a PA, highlighting the invaluable opportunity to collaborate with diverse personalities and adapt to different characters and needs. This flexibility and adaptability become essential traits, enabling PAs to navigate a wide range of working styles and forge effective working relationships.

Even for those already skilled in multitasking and organization, the role of a PA presents opportunities for further growth. As Stephen Micallef-Grogan shares, “I was a very organized and meticulous person before. I am even more so now!” The demands of the role push PAs to elevate their organizational skills to new heights, reinforcing their meticulousness and attention to detail.

In essence, being a PA is a transformative journey that encompasses professional development, personal growth, and the acquisition of invaluable life skills. The role empowers individuals to embrace fearlessness, cultivate adaptability, and master the art of multitasking. It offers an immersive learning experience that extends beyond the confines of the workplace, shaping individuals into resilient, efficient, and highly capable professionals.

As PAs continue to evolve and refine their skills, they elevate not only their own capabilities but also contribute to the success of the principals they support. The role of a PA is a constant journey of growth, where the skills acquired and lessons learned resonate throughout every aspect of their lives, forever transforming them into exceptional professionals.