I started as a Secretary
I was working as a secretary after finishing school for years and then I changed jobs after about eight years. This was a great move as I got my first job as a PA in the middle of London. I worked in that job for quite a while. It was definitely a move up as I had a lot of responsibility for keeping the office and my boss’s diary running smoothly. However, I had mastered the job completely after a couple of years and was looking for more of a challenge.
Happy Years as a PA
My boss encouraged me to take up new responsibilities, so I looked into other areas of work in the office. I took on the Human Resources responsibility for the floor, which was only busy at certain times of year. However, I learnt a great deal from this and the experience served me well in applying for my next job, as I had to monitor all the staff’s HR compliance and issues.
However, this was sporadic and a bit routine. I needed more of a challenge. My boss suggested that I took up minute taking at some of his meetings, as the previous PA was moving offices and could no longer cover his meetings. This was a little nerve racking as the meetings were only with very senior managers and I did not want to mess up minute taking. I looked up how best to take minutes and got myself well prepared. It was hard to follow the minutes and everything that was going on, but the meeting was well summarised and the end and I think I wrote some good minutes for the first time. Eventually, I understood all the jargon and the points of these management meetings and the minutes became easy for me to complete.
However, I did eventually get itchy feet and told my boss that I intended to look for new challenges in the next few months. My work experience meant that I could now start to look for a job as an Executive PA. I found a great job with a company in the City of London. The job had a better title, salary and benefits, but it was not as challenging as my previous job. The only key difference was that I had to interface more with senior managers, which you get used to after a while.
Naturally, I was surprised that my job was so easy to adjust to, but this is because my previous role was really an Executive PA job. I was keen to impress my new company and also get some challenging work. I spoke with my new boss, who was a little surprised by my keenness. He decided to get me involved in project work for a portion of my week, as he was in charge of a series of projects on the floor. He wanted me to spend time acting as an administrator and work more with the project team. This has opened new options for my career; I could potentially look to move into projects which have a lot of openings at the moment. I have also solidified my knowledge by taking a Project Management Courses for a PA, which is designed for people like myself rather than professional Projects Managers. I recommend that any Executive PA who is bored looks at the scope of moving into Project work, as it has been a great opportunity.