What does it take to be a Top PA? We asked the experts...

Published on: 4 Jan 2016

At SecsintheCity we pride ourselves on attracting the best PAs and EAs in the country. We asked them for their top tips so we can share them with all our candidates:


Continually develop and learn new skills

Our PAs agree that developing and learning new skills is very important in your career. Helen Rees, PA at Marwell Zoo and winner of Social Media PA of the Year 2015 says “No matter where you are in your career, there are always learning opportunities out there….Approach everything with an open, positive mindset – take advantage of opportunities when they arise, you never know where they might lead”



There are many networking opportunities for PAs and SecsintheCity regularly host and advertise networking events. Make sure you’re signed up to newsletters to make sure you hear about them. As Shirley Purchese, PA at Rio Tinto says “network in your job; the more you know the more you grow”. 


Be organised

Be clear on what you need to achieve. Jules Clark, PA at Eversheds and winner of Legal PA of the Year 2015 says “In times of high pressure I will often stop what I am doing and take 5 minutes to clearly set out my priorities which ensure the focus is where it needs to be”.

Sheila Lyburn, PA at Peter Vardy and PA of the Year 2015 believes you need to “implement organisational structures and ensure that you follow them. Use check lists to prioritise your workload and tick off each point once complete”.


Be one step ahead

Stuart Martin, PA of the Year winner 2014: “I always ensure I am one step ahead of the people I work for. For example, booking them transport between meetings without them having to ask, noticing that perhaps they are going for a dinner with friends over the weekend and emailing them a couple of suggestions of where to go because you know they would be have been too busy to even think about it yet. Ultimately, just go that little bit further for them.”


Become knowledgeable about the company

Jules Clark, PA at Eversheds looks at minute taking as an opportunity rather than a chore. She describes it as a perfect opportunity “to keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening in the business which allows you to proactively manage the workload of yourself and your boss”


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