There are numerous skills that need to be acquired in order to make a move from PA to Executive level. However, one that is much understated but extremely important is taking control of your role and career.
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When you are at lower grade jobs, you will much more receive the objectives and aims for your job form your manager. Your role is generally directed to you and you are in a relatively passive role. This is not the case for every junior PA, but is a common complaint but many PAs who feel that they are underutilised.
However, when you transition to senior PA roles or become an Executive PA you will be increasingly expected to work on your own initiative and direct your role as you deem fit. This sounds great, but to be truly effective you need to bare several things in mind.
What are my long term career goals? Do I want to continue to progress or a sideways move? As this long-term aspect should govern all of your career planning. At an Executive level and before that you should be actively planning your career progress and researching how best to achieve your ambitions.
What are the goals of your manager? You should be able to ascertain what exactly is needed by your manager and what their priorities are. In this way, you can clearly plan your role around a mutually beneficial focus to yourself and your manager. This is naturally going to reflect well on you, as it will ensure more synergies. If both your role and your manager’s role have converging priorities this is ideal. Naturally, you can discuss how best to set objectives in a meeting, with you taking a proactive role. We are not suggesting that you should just now, without any communications.
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What are the goals of your organisations?

Executive PAs should keep up to date with the latest their industry and their organisations, by undertaking a more proactive interest in presentations, news bulletins and anything else that is circulated. Executive PAs should be being willing to attend higher level meetings in order to gain more knowledge of their business and organisation. This will make you more aware of the current news and be able to recognise elements of your role that need to be prioritised to meet organisational objectives.
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