For many, the old-fashioned view of a personal assistant conjures up visions of typewriters and typing pools where the personal assistant was more like a secretary and was kept busy carrying out tasks that now can be executed with greater efficiency using technology. Instead, the modern senior PA has more time and uses this time to be more integral to the business with a much greater responsibility than before. Attic Recruitment take a look at the modern-day responsibilities of a Senior PA.
Much more than managing a calendar
While keeping a diary and making sure the boss is supported in everything is still an important task, being a personal assistant is about much more than just offering this type of support. Thanks to phones, tablets and computers that sync using cloud technology, there is less need for an assistant to manage a calendar or diary. Instead it is a challenging and rewarding role that can be a route to a different career or a very satisfying career for those who wish to stay in this type of role.
Improving processes and contributing to business growth
A personal assistant in a senior position can hold a very central position that is pivotal to business growth and productivity. Often, with such great organisational skills, the PA can see opportunities for improving processes that can make really big differences to an organisation. In addition to this they can also be integral to revenue growth, achieving business goals and so much more.
Working alongside senior execs rather than ‘for’ them
While the Senior Personal Assistant remains a support to the senior execs that they report to, they now work much more alongside the ‘boss’. They are given projects to manage, budgets responsibilities and directives that go far beyond the skill set of those required previously. It is thanks to these new skills and the experience that an assistant’s role now delivers, that many go on to have careers in sales, marketing and other departments of an organisation.
Having a broader skill set to apply for the role
Applying for a position to be a personal assistant may require you to have more skills and experience than previously needed. Individuals are required to be prepared for the role to be more diverse than their expectations. This shouldn’t be off putting but viewed as an opportunity to get some valuable and diverse experience in the world of business. Of course, the organisational skills are going to be key to getting the role alongside other relevant skills that an executive will be looking for.
Moving out of an exec role to become a PA.
As Robert De Niro’s character in the film ‘The Intern’ portrays, an experienced business exec can bring lots of valuable knowledge and experience to a role. Rather than the position of Senior PA being the goal of many men or women who have worked their way up through companies or studied specifically with this role in mind, it can now be an effective career move for others within an organisation who are ready for a change. It shouldn’t be seen as a move ‘down’ but rather an effective move into another challenging yet rewarding position.
What it is important to recognise is that the role of the Senior PA is a lot more developed and demanding than ever before. While it is challenging and requires the candidate to be more prepared for a wider scope of responsibility, it can also lead to a long and satisfying career that could be more than you imagined possible.