Skip to main content

Personal Assistant - the 21st Century Way

As my first job was as a PA at NCR to two sales managers who didn't speak to each other, I learnt early how difficult the life of a PA can be.  I enjoyed getting everything organised, though, and loved working with all the sales guys and getting to understand the sales processes.   And so my very first job exposed me to two things which enabled me to grow in business, sales and IT.

Today being a PA is a well paid career choice, and the incredible abundance of information available online, from weather patterns abroad to the rules of etiquette in different locations globally, has helped to establish a new generation of personal assistants – people who create the kind of structure that can help make their bosses look good.

We are starting to notice that executive level leadership within companies are looking to hire personal assistants who not only have ICT skill sets, but can utilise these skills to source relevant and accurate information to help manage the office.

These are the small matters, the trivial things that also require attention, but do not necessarily have to be done personally by the executive in charge. These tasks could be left to the PA to resolve  - or the PA could use technology and information to be proactive, take the initiative and help clear out these responsibilities.

Managers of businesses want to employ personal assistants who possess the confidence and skills to gather information, if and when necessary, to take care of day-to-day tasks in the office that will alleviate some of the pressure off senior management.

For example, a forward-thinking and competitive PA, knowing his or her boss has a trip abroad scheduled, could look up weather conditions at the destination and email an advisory message on what ought to be packed. 

It is a small thing, really, but it is very helpful. It removes one of the many items that the boss would have otherwise had to pay attention to. By simply taking a bit of initiative and accessing information resources, the PA has added measurable value.

From there it moves into strong skills in Excel, Word and PowerPoint, creating presentation material, managing board input, enabling senior management to spend less time doing, and more time thinking and planning.   A great PA is an asset most executives don't know that they are missing, until they find the perfect match.

And being an expert PA can be the ideal grounding for moving into many different roles within business.   Just think about some of the skills that are required, logistics, travel knowledge, computer skills, time management, catering and event planning.   All career possibilities in their own right.

www.accsys.co.za/peopleplace

Popular posts from this blog

Salespeople - Just Answer the Question.

How we love to elaborate…     Both in our personal and business lives.   It is rare to find somebody who simply answers the question.
In sales, it is becoming more and more critical to just say yes or no.   If you want to embroider afterwards, by all means, but tell the client you can or you can’t do it, first.

That’s what they remember, the yes or the no. Being married to an engineer, I have learnt that if I don’t answer the question, he simply repeats it, until he gets a definitive answer..
As the above is extremely bad for marital relationships, I try to say yes or no first and then give the details.

I thought it was just me, but I have been observing my friends and the people I work with, and it is fascinating how few one word answers are immediately available. When you are selling and a client asks you:
If the widget turns blue in the dark, say yes if it does, then ask if that is a key part of the decision making processIf they ask when you can deliver, give them a…

Hi, 22 year old me..

If I were 22 May is my birthday month, so a time for celebrations and introspection. In interviews, I often ask our applicants to pretend they are 60, and look back on their careers.   Their dreams range from leaving a legacy to being able to retire by the age of 45. At 22, I had taken my first steps on the career ladder.   I had been promoted from being a PA and Installation Secretary (setting up PoS installations for NCR’s large retailers) to becoming a full time programmer. I had made some extremely poor academic decisions, and realised I had to make some very good career choices.   Software development was a relatively new field when I was in my early 20s, and it became an exciting and fulfilling career. Based on my history what advice would I give myself or a new graduate? It doesn’t matter what you have studied, or what your first job is. Keep looking for your passion, find what makes you happy. If it’s money, and you don’t mind being a little unchallenged, as long as there is eno…

3 things to do BEFORE you resign

or sign a new contract…
1.Confirm your notice period ·A lot of companies allow 30 days from date of resignation, but many ask for a calendar month
2.Check your restraints ·If you are joining a competitor ·If you are joining a client
3.Find out when your last payment will be transferred ·Companies have been burned by paying over on the 25th, and people not returning, so they may delay payment transfer until the last official working day, or even the first day of the following month.  You may need to make special arrangements regarding debit orders ….
Both your current company and your new one deserve to be fairly treated.   Knowledge of the policies makes this possible.
Even if the policies don’t make sense to you, you agreed to them when you signed your contract.
HR managers will tell you how many great working relationships are damaged because people don’t follow policy when resigning. It’s worth taking the time for many good reasons.  Building a solid career can depend just as much on how you …