PAs and Executive PAs can have excellent careers. It has good prospects for pay and the ability to find employment, as vacancies are common. There is also good stability in the industry and job security, relative to many other professions.
Here is a list of some key tangible skills that help to make a PA highly successful in his or her career. There are many technical skills that are important as well.
A good PA needs to be able to deal with situations as they arise and often respond quickly to meet a deadline. This means being flexible and dynamic is key and the ability to work to a deadline is important. You also may even need to plan your manager’s work in order to ensure that they meet their deadlines. This makes this skill all the more fundamental to your role.
Communication skills are key not only do you need good communication skills, but you need a range of communicative skills. You need good written, verbal and non-verbal communication skills. You will need to respond to every situation and use the appropriate mix of communication, which is not an easy skill.
Building networks, emphasising with people and building relationships is key to a PA role. This is because you act as a point of contact for your boss and even the floor. You will need to recognise when you need to negotiate with others, build working relationships and influence others. This requires advanced interpersonal skills that are often required by management.
Sometimes we will be preparing reports or presentations for our bosses where we do not sit in the best place to input technical information. This is where we need to recognise the need to delegate. Delegation is another difficult skill to master.
Your boss is often busy and there are a number of pressing issues to face. Your colleagues may have the benefit of having a manager to guide them and prioritise. However, a PA will need to develop an understanding of what is important and where they should prioritise their work.
This is a list of a few skills that are required by a PA, but there are more than these listed above. Each PA role varies and the importance and weighting of each skill can vary in turn. To find out more about becoming a PA see our PA Certificate Level 3 Course.