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Personal Assistants are growing in number in today’s UK business world; but why is there such a demand for a high quality PA?

Personal Assistants in Today's Business

Many people have the impression that the role of a PA is an administrative assistant or secretary to senior management. However, the role of a PA has far greater scope in reality. In many organisations, PAs are amongst the most influential members of staff. This means that many PAs are enjoying pay rises, interesting and varied roles and more high power work experiences.

Personal Assistants In Today’s Business

QUESTION: How is the PA, so influential?

Answer 1: The Personal Assistant is the first point of contact for an organisation.

All visiting executives will tend to be in contact with the PA, before the boss. Hence, the PA gains a useful network in an organisation and can develop a well respected presence. Likewise potential suppliers, clients, new staff will all deal with the Personal Assistant before they speak to the boss. The PA is not only meeting and greeting people, but they are filtering out unwanted salesmen, communicating with recruitment agents and much more.

This means that the PA has a lot of responsibility and will need excellent communication skills in order to handle this role. Not only do they need to be amiable, but they need to be assertive and capable of communicating a clear message in all modes of communication.

Sales people are all too aware of the importance of making friends with the PA, when approaching a potential client, which acts as proof of the influence of a modern PA.

ADVICE:

Anybody who would like to become a PA needs to be aware of the importance of developing both technical and interpersonal skills. The types of skills that you may require include; writing business letters, business emails, influencing others, delegating, negotiating, team working and so much more. Many PA courses include these elements, but it is important that you check that your PA Training Course is genuinely balanced between techniques and soft skills.

Answer: PAs often organise and diarise the role of their boss.

The PA will diarise the role of their manager, which will require excellent organisational skills. This also provides the PA will a lot of influence, as they can prioritise certain agendas or suppliers before others. Furthermore, many of the staff rotas, holiday planners, and social functions will be organised by the PA, which brings influence but also can be quite a pressured situation.

ADVICE:

Your PA Course will need to include a significant part in delegating, prioritising and diarising skills. You will also need to gain Outlook skills, as this is the most common programme for diarising in a modern office.

The role will also possess a significant amount of administration tasks, which means that a good set of technical administration or secretarial skills will be very important. Training courses need to include these elements in their products. However, some more Senior PAs have moved away from the more administrative role into primarily Executive/Business Roles.

This article shows how challenging, dynamic and interesting characteristics of a PA role can be and how it has become such a powerful position within modern organisations. To any aspiring PA’s, the advice we have given when searching for Training for such PA’s is a good benchmark, in order to ensure that you get a PA training course, which will provide the performance and efficiency improvement you need.  

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