Look behind any successful entrepreneur and you’ll find a PA. Known for being exceptionally organised, highly efficient and able to add value by freeing up their boss’ time, good personal assistants are hard to come by.
So how do you become a PA?
A job as a PA can be a tempting choice: these roles command attractive salaries, are frequently advertised on jobsites and usually, don’t require qualifications (although they can enhance a CV).
Many PAs gain some office experience before reaching their desired role, and a good way to get your foot in the door is to look for roles as an office junior or junior secretary. Try searching through industry-specific job boards, such as Secs in the City (http://www.secsinthecity.co.uk/)
While there are no minimum qualifications required to secure a job as a PA, if you complete a vocational course it’s possible to move into a senior role much more quickly. A degree can also be useful for learning how to manage your time efficiently, as can secretarial qualifications.
When applying for a PA job, consider the skills you have already developed: the ability to work under pressure and multitask is invaluable as is a good level of computer literacy. Good organisational skills, people skills, tact and the ability to communicate professionally are also important.
Starting salaries for PA jobs generally range from £14,000 – £19,000. As your responsibilities develop, so will your salary. Senior PAs can expect to earn in the £30,000+ range, but this can depend on where you are geographically, and the industry you work in.
Once you have gained experienced as a PA, there are many opportunities for career advancement. You may be promoted to positions with more responsibility; you could assist a more highly placed executive or transfer industries. By proving that you’re an asset to the company, you’ll move up the ladder in no time.
But don’t think a job as a PA is purely an administrative one. High flying PAs prove invaluable assets thanks to their ability to free up their employers’ time, act as a gate-keeper and ensure the smooth operations of an office.
So, if you’re wondering whether to pursue this career route, take a few things into consideration first – do you know how to communicate? Are you flexible and able to work under pressure? Are you discrete and can you juggle several tasks at once? If this sounds like you – it is worth pursuing a job as a PA.