On successful completion of my university course, I was confident I will be needed by lots of companies in my country. There were also hundreds of students in the city with similar or close to similar qualifications as mine. There were also thousands coming into the city from different provinces.
My parents recommended that I go after a job in a place that would feel secure. I did find that job in government albeit not what I expected. The role was the Administrator’s assistant. I was excited at this first job and thought it will be the ideal step on the ladder to a great career.
On my first day, I discovered that there were many Administrator’s assistants. Everyone had a specific job and they kept to that. I was a filing admin assistant. I did not do anything but file. The salary was small, but I was determined not to give up.
There were very few positions available so it would have been pointless to resign. I had 2 months on the job and it would not look good on my CV so I stayed on and filed.
Job as a PA
After about one year of filing, I witnessed a slight accident and rushed to assist. My manager was laden with files and paperwork when she tripped on a loose carpet tile and sent all the files and paper flying.
I was quite concerned for her but she was more interested in getting the papers together in some sort of order. As the filing clerk, this was easy for me. I helped her to a chair and she watched as I quickly put everything in order.
She wanted to know why the carpet tile was not reported. I mentioned that I had reported this to the Health and Safety officer three days ago.
Unfortunately, the tape came away. She gazed at me for a long time and asked me many questions about my qualifications and also if I would like to move to a different job. I said, ‘Yes, very much.’ She said, ‘Leave it with me,’ and left.
I thought I was going to be the Health and Safety officer’s assistant. Two weeks later, she called me into her office. She offered me the job to be her PA. In my head, I jumped for joy. The PA had a car accident so could not train me but she was at the other end of the phone.
My job was managing the diary, arranging meetings and travel. I had my secretary do any typing I needed. I even had a filing clerk to file for me.
After two years on the job, I was very confident and worked to the best of my ability. My manager was happy with my work but I felt I was not performing to the best of my ability. I felt I lacked knowledge; the job more or less, evolved.
My company offered to fund for any training required by the employees and I found a PA course in London. I enjoyed the course which also included secretarial practice.
My manager was pleasantly surprised at my performance. I have now enrolled her on the same course. I am sure we will be the perfect team.