Behind every successful organization, there’s always a dutiful PA or Personal Assistant at work. Unfortunately, in most tv shows and movies, we often see PAs as blundering, annoying assistants to very important people.
In reality, Personal Assistants are often highly trained, with some even having several specialties at their disposal. Although Hollywood has gotten it right that PAs work with important people, they’re more than just glorified schedulers.
Have you considered a career as a PA? By being a Personal Assistant, you’ll work closely with managers, seniors, or executives by providing administrative support. In most settings, you’ll work with clients on a one-to-one basis. With that said, here are some facts and tips on everything you need to know about being a personal assistant:
The Skills Needed
So what makes a good personal assistant? Skills. Every aspiring PA should have the skills mentioned below in their repertoire. If you’re new to this line of work, don’t fret. These skills are easy to develop, especially with Online PA Courses and other reliable sources. You might even already have the skills listed here.
By having excellent communication skills, you’ll be able to create partnerships, adapt to specific situations, and relay important details to your clients. PAs must be able to take in crucial information and take in the slightest details by listening. It’s also their job to be able to disseminate that information when needed.
Being a PA requires you to have excellent time management skills. You have to plan your time and divide it between your tasks. On top of that, you have to do an excellent job with each task. Remember, you’re not only responsible for your time but your client’s time as well.
A personal assistant’s duties can become endless. From providing administrative support to answering phone calls, it can get a bit hectic. However, a reliable PA doesn’t shy away from the challenge. Even if it might seem that tasks are competing, a PA who can multitask efficiently can handle it.
Keen Attention to Detail
With multiple tasks on hand, a PA should still be able to make out small yet essential details. Remember, a PA’s task isn’t solely about support and administrative work.
For example, a PA may be tasked to set up a meeting at a restaurant. The PA should be able to look at alternative routes or backups if something last-minute happens. On top of that, a PA would be able to cater to what food would be served, address preferences, and other vital details about the meeting, all while sticking to a given budget.
Personal Assistants can choose to work either part-time or full-time. However, due to the nature of the work, a PA may work outside their regular schedule. In fact, a lot of PAs are on call. Of course, choosing between part-time and full-time will affect how much they can earn. PAs often receive hourly wages. As of this writing, PAs in the US make an average of $16.67 per hour.
Contrary to most beliefs, being a PA isn’t a stuck-up job with no room to grow. Working your way up the ranks, a junior assistant can become a senior and handle bigger responsibilities—some who do exceptionally well often become executive assistants and company secretaries. But, of course, with promotions also come increased salaries and additional benefits.
With how work goes for many PAs, the rewards and perks they get are worth their effort. Some PAs get to travel the world, earn six-figure salaries, and often have a healthy work-life balance. Many PAs also feel satisfied because they know and feel that they’re part of something big. PAs who are happy and content feel deeply rewarded for every task they complete for their client.
Some PAs are often the go-to person and main point of contact for many departments in their organization. In a way, PAs who have worked their way to the top is an extension of the CEO. If you want to become a reliable PA, then the things mentioned above will surely help you out.