For at least most of the 20th century, managers had secretaries, who were invariably women. At the end of the 20th century, the role of the secretary transformed into the PA role. Despite typing, discretion and shorthand being valued, a modern PA does far more. The rise in prestige (and pay) of the PA role has led to an increase in interest from men and employers are certainly interested in hearing from male candidates, since they want the best person for the job regardless of gender. Here are 3 reasons why becoming a PA can be a great career move.
PAs generally act as the gatekeepers between their employer/manager and the rest of the world. This means that not only do they get to know their client, often very well, but that they also have an opportunity to get to know they people with whom their client interacts regularly. As a result of this, being a PA offers superb opportunities for building up contacts who will help you throughout your entire career. Additionally, it offers a platform from which to gain insight into the business as a whole and the industry in which it works. Gone are the days when departments in a company worked in their own little silos, with little to no knowledge of what other departments were doing, let alone why. Successful, modern companies, generally place huge emphasis on the importance of internal communication and working in a holistic manner. This means that regardless of where in the company your role officially lies, you are very likely to have a chance to learn about the work of colleagues from all kinds of different teams as well as engage with external parties and industry figures.
Most jobs involve a mixture of hard (technical) skills and soft (people) skills, albeit in different ratios. Contrary to what their names imply, hard skills are often much easier to learn than soft skills. Employers place a high value on candidates who can show that they can build relationships. Since PAs interact with many people at all levels, employers require a proven track records of outstanding people skills. Find out about becoming a PA in this article.
These days PA roles can be viewed as a starting point for a career in any given industry. Nevertheless, this is less common now. This is due to PA roles growing in importance and pay scales. Others may decide that they have the travel bug and want to spend at least some time overseas. Skilled PAs are in demand in many countries. Therefore, travel is an option for a good PA.