We caught up with last year's Interim PA of the Year, Rowan Forman, to discuss the PA of the Year Awards, her career as an Interim PA and to find out some top tips for other Interim employees in the industry.
Tell us about your experience of the 2014 PA of the Year Awards. What do you think the judges were looking for in an Interim PA?
The overall experience of taking part in the PA of the Year Awards was great fun. To be shortlisted was a big achievement and the fact that there are awards to recognise the achievements of all PAs is such a positive platform. I think the judges were looking for a person with dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to each role you take.
What have you been able to take away from the Awards process?
Being able to state the SecsintheCity PA of the year award on my CV is an accolade I am very proud of. It was nice to meet all of the judges, who made the panel interview an engaging experience rather than an interrogation. The awards ceremony was obviously a fabulous evening to attend, a lovely dinner in a wonderful venue with lots of other highly commended PAs from all different sectors.
Given you have to hit the ground running in your work, how do you establish relationships quickly?
Communication is key, it is your best tool. I would always take time to read any notes you have been left and look on the companies intranet or systems before asking questions as most information is normal available if you search. Being friendly especially to the post room and IT are the best way to establish good relationships.
When you inherit a workload, how do you prioritise what and who comes first?
Don't rush to start work, take a moment to look through everything and establish the deadlines and how long you think items of work will take. People who shout the loudest aren't necessarily the most important. If you still have questions, make a list before asking for help.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career so far?
Dealing with people who think they are too busy to engage with you, unfortunately they don't realise that you can help their workload if they spare you a few moments.
What is it that keeps you in the interim employment market?
Having worked in my one company for 10 years, it is good to be able to move when a role ends and engage a new challenge.
What's the best aspect of being an interim PA?
Your work is always changing and that keeps work interesting, along with meeting new people and being in new situations. It keeps your skills current and your enthusiasm high.
What are your top 5 tips for becoming a successful interim PA?
- Communication (always find out what your current manager expects/requires)
- Strong IT skills
- Be friendly and engaging
- Keep information confidential
- Work hard, always do the most you can, never the least.
Enter our PA of the Year Awards today
We're searching for talented temporary and interim PAs to enter SecsintheCity's PA of the Year Awards 2015.
The Awards recognise the professionalism of PAs and acknowledge their contribution to the organizations they work for. Winners will be announced at a prestigious Awards ceremony, held at The Ivy in November. This year, the Interim PA of the Year will win a years private membership to Beaufort House, Chelsea.
Winning Interim PA of the Year 2015 can transform your career; raising your profile across the profession and making your name really stand out.
Make 2015 your year, by submitting a nomination for Interim PA of the Year today.