An Executive Personal Assistant (PA) is the label or name given to an individual who assists high-end individuals with their business and personal errands. Specifically, an Executive PA is meant to handle administrative matters with prowess.
Here in the United Kingdom, the kind of personnel that may need the assistance of an Executive PA ranges from big business owners to politicians. Indeed, this is to ensure that the type of assistance provided is both professional and top quality. The functions of high-level assistants are timekeeping, management, minute taking, making and answering phone calls, scheduling and organising for meetings among others.
However, these duties can be different depending on the field and context. In a business context, the Executive PA handles all responsibilities that relieve the employer from physical and mental stress. Issues like booking flights and hotel rooms, making payments in place of the employer and maintaining and keeping records of the business among others. In a political context, the assistant may be obliged to organise for meetings with other politicians, make significant phone calls and organise for campaign rallies. The responsibilities, however, don’t end there.
In most instances, in the process of managing ones’ business or political task, the assistant may also extend service to the personal life and duties of the employer. Thus, this implies that an executive personal assistant can also carry out duties which themselves are not the executive. Some of the non-executive duties and errands run by an Executive PA include but are not limited to;
- Planning meals.
- Keeping tabs essential life occasions (birthdays, meetings, anniversaries., etc..,)
- Organizing leisure & official trips.
Executive PAs must serve due diligence to their senior executive bosses. Understandably, this means that one must be highly skilled in one or two areas regarding public relations. Yes, this is because the assistant needs to be at the same level in character, confidence and skills with other executives. For this, they can handle themselves appropriately with high-level executives. Among the skills required of an executive personal assistant:
- Excellent Communication Skills – to become an outstanding personal assistant, you must be an eloquent speaker, plus you need to know what to say and when to say it. For this, they can handle executive communications.
- Advanced People Skills – An Executive PA must have developed and advanced people skills. In most cases, the Executive PA acts as a point of contact between other people and the senior executive. Lacking proper people skills means handling of people poorly and this can map out to be disastrous especially in a political setting.
- Recognized Qualifications – One can get PA qualifications from accredited public institutions, community colleges and private institutes of higher learning, approved to offer such related courses. Interestingly, this can be academic or otherwise. Non-qualified PAs can never close the gap to being executive personal assistants as the job is more ethics specific.
Overall, being an Executive PA, especially here in the UK is such a hard and pressurised occupation that one needs a lot of compensations. Yes, that’s right, this translates into a better paycheck. Professional executive personal assistants need to be hardworking and skilled in that they can perform a duty in place of the executive. However, this has to be done smoothly and professionally.