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Tips for becoming a brilliant Personal Assistant

Finally been given the opportunity to move into a Personal Assistant role and want to make sure you become the best darn Assistant your boss has ever met? Consider these top tips from a Personal Assistant recruitment service:

 Maintain discretion at all times

It’s a balancing act, maintaining discretion on behalf of your Manager but also remaining approachable and trusted by your peers. A fine art that you need to excel in if you want to become respected by senior leadership teams and remain connected to the rest of the business.

Become an expert of your industry and of your organisation

Don’t ever fall into the trap of thinking that becoming an expert in completing the tasks required by your Manager is enough. Developing your overall business acumen by gaining a thorough understanding of your industry, its competitors and your organisation as a whole is vital. Not only will you earn respect from your Manager  but you will be able to anticipate his needs and the needs of others in your business more often. This will help with prioritisation, workflow, maintaining a high level of organisation and create better opportunities for your future.

Find ways to add value and become more valuable, don’t ever sit still!

Particularly if you are climbing the ladder and striving to be an Executive Assistant one day, you will need to ensure that you have an Assistant’s superpower. What is this? It’s an additional skill that allows you to add value in your business above and beyond your PA role. Maybe you have HR qualifications and can pitch in there, maybe you are an IT guru and can be an onsite champion, capable of managing projects whilst maintaining your assigned role – or being seconded on to projects and then shifted back in to your everyday job. Whatever it is, don’t ever sit comfortably still. Even if it seems as though opportunities are not present, there is always something you can improve. A Personal Assistant recruitment consultant was told of a story about a PA who was promoted as they took it upon themselves out of hours to review telco and stationery suppliers and surprised her boss with a saving of $80K per year.

Go to your boss with solutions not problems (and own up to your mistakes)

Nail this one and you will definitely get ‘rave reviews’ from your boss. It’s simple but oh so effective, even if the solutions aren’t perfect all the time, they give your Manager something to kick start their thought process with, rather than having to put the problem on the ‘to do’ pile. An example is “Boss Lucy has just called in sick and we have no one to cover Reception this morning, what shall we do?” Or “Boss Lucy has just called in sick but I have contacted Mary & Jane who have worked with us previously and have 2 job agencies on standby if we need a temp – which is your preference?” Simple isn’t it, get this tattooed on your hand until it becomes second nature: Go to your boss with solutions not problems. Oh and own up if you make a mistake, don’t let them hear it from someone else or worse still figure out you haven’t been honest yourself – it will make them lose respect for you that will be hard to recover. Own up and explain what you have learnt from the situation.

Become a master in preparedness and anticipation

Today’s workplace changes constantly and it’s something that we all need to accept and become adept to. When you are a PA you need to be prepared for and anticipate change that affects you directly as well as change that affects your Manager. Being able to anticipate what’s coming means you can be more prepared to tackle it with the appropriate level of organisation and skill. Personal Assistant recruitment consultants are often asked to make sure they assess levels of competency around ‘anticipating needs’ and how PA’s ensure they remain ‘prepared for anything’.

A PA recruitment agency can help you understand how to article your abilities with these skills if you are applying for a new PA role.  Make sure you connect with a specialist Personal Assistant recruitment service with qualified and knowledgeable Consultants that can genuinely add value. 

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