By Olivia O'Malley
Olivia O'Malley is PA to Tiger Recruitment's managing director. With over three years' experience in marketing, Olivia also manages Tiger's marketing and advertising. Tiger Recruitment is a leading secretarial and PA recruitment agency, which provides a dedicated service to both clients and job seekers.
5 key attributes of a great PA
Being a Personal Assistant is not easy. Levels of efficiency and pro-activity must be extremely high and you must be able to adapt to how your boss works. Your role as a PA is to be a 'right hand man'. Be prepared for all circumstances and you will be a fantastic PA.
You will need to fit around your boss's diary. You will not always be required to work out of office hours, but must be prepared to do so when requested. Your boss's diary is likely to be very busy and ever changing, so bear this in mind. Keep ahead of the game by checking emails during the weekend and out of working hours. That way you, and your boss will never miss any vital information.
You will need to be very calm and positive when working as a Personal Assistant. You cannot allow yourself to take things to heart. Take any criticism constructively and move on. By keeping level headed you will be able to complete tasks to a far higher standard and will ultimately please your boss. Display a pleasant, can do attitude. Your boss has not employed you to dampen the mood within the office. Be upbeat and show your peers the reasons as to why you are such a great PA.
This is extremely important when working as a Personal Assistant. Relay all information back and be very clear when doing so. Information cannot be misinterpreted, as this could lead to serious errors elsewhere. When attending meetings, do take thorough notes and ensure that you discuss each point with your boss in order to stay on the same wave length. By doing this you will have a better understanding of the situation in hand and will be able to deliver a far better result.
Implement organisational structures and stick to them. Keep your working area clean and tidy - this will enable you to keep your mind focused on the tasks in hand. Use check lists to prioritise your workload and tick off each point once complete. Do try to keep your Outlook organised by arranging it into folders. This way you will be able to locate vital information quickly and efficiently when required.
Do try to stay one step ahead of your boss. Be constantly thinking of future actions. Try to prepare for all meetings in advance. Constantly think about what your boss may require for his/her next meeting. Another time when you will need to be very pro-active is when your boss takes annual leave. Although most are workaholics, they do need a break too. You will be the first point of contact for your boss's clients and your colleagues. You will need to be prepared to have an answer for every question thrown at you.