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5 Key Attributes of a Great PA

Written by: Evie Courtier
Published on: 17 Nov 2022


Being a Personal Assistant requires extremely high levels of efficiency and pro-activity. Being prepared for all circumstances, will allow you to excel in your chosen career as a PA.

Within this article, we will discuss a range of tips to help you gain the status of a ‘great PA’.


Understanding your boss’s schedule and work pattern will enable you to work efficiently and proactively. The need for adaptability comes with the nature of the job; your boss’s diary is likely to be busy and ever changing, so it’s always good to be one step ahead of the game. By regularly checking emails, and enabling a hands-on approach to your job, you’ll guarantee that your boss doesn’t miss any vital information.

Positive Mindset:

Working as PA requires a calm and positive attitude. Being level-headed and objective will allow you to take constructive criticism on the chin, and complete tasks to a high standard. Displaying a can-do, upbeat attitude will not only aid your boss’s day-to-day, but boost the morale of the office as a whole.

As Bethany Burns, the SecsintheCity 2020 PA of the Year stated, ‘believe in yourself! Make informed decisions, educated guesses, and take smart risks.” - her advice to fellow PA’s looking to join the industry carries weight across all sectors.


The crucial element amongst all PA duties and responsibilities is communication. Relaying information back and forth, in a clear and concise manner is essential. Taking thorough notes in meetings will ensure that information isn't misinterpreted and help you and your boss stay on the same wavelength. Having a strong understanding of the situation at hand will naturally deliver better results.  

Communication is even more crucial for those working for multiple bosses. From written and verbal communication to essential listening skills; PAs must master the skill of assertive communication across all platforms. The importance of communication has transpired further with the implementation of hybrid working. Adjusting to new working structures, and online forms of communication in a quick and efficient manner, is vital for PAs to warrant business running as usual.


Implementing your own organisational structures and sticking to them will make life easier for you and your boss. 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.


As Bethany Burns stated, ‘Assistants don’t just appear with a nice smile and blank canvas – they possess an arsenal of skills, a massive textured canvas of knowledge and experience to assist people and businesses’. Staying one step ahead of your boss/bosses will ensure a smooth-running operation. Be constantly thinking of future actions. Try to prepare for all meetings in advance and constantly think about what your boss may require for their next meeting.

To discover the latest PA Jobs, head over to the SecsintheCity, the UK’s leading specialist job site, advertising a myriad of PA roles.

For more career advice, industry insights and PA CV tips, head over to the SecsintheCity blog.