You will often find that, behind every great manager, MD, CEO, or even world leader, there is an equally great personal assistant (PA) managing things behind the scenes. A PA’s main duties include organising and keeping track of their manager’s daily schedules, booking venues, answering the telephone, preparing reports, and taking responsibility for office administration in general.
When it comes to succeeding as a PA, having the right qualification is not the only thing that matters. Your personal characteristics will have a big influence on whether you will get the high-profile jobs you are after, as well as whether you will ultimately succeed in your role.
Here are 10 of the characteristics you have to display if you want to be an exceptional PA:
1) Interpersonal skills:
As a great PA, you should be able to communicate well with people at all levels, and you should be able to put people at ease (for example, when you make polite conversation with clients who are waiting to meet with your manager).
2) Active listening skills:
This goes hand-in-hand with the interpersonal skills mentioned above. Additionally, it will help you to be more efficient in your job if you remember things after hearing them only once — and active listening skills will help you to do just that.
This will not only help you to do your job more effectively and efficiently, but it will also help to reduce your stress levels. As a PA, you will be required to work with a range of digital/technological devices, which may include laptops, desktop computers, cellphones, tablets, projectors, printers, scanners and photocopiers.
This will help you to provide a trusted, honest, and professional opinion when your boss asks you for your thoughts regarding important business relationships and business decisions.
5) Knowledgeableness regarding global and cultural issues:
This comes in handy in the context of business communication regarding certain topics, or when you need to make polite conversation with clients or guests.
6) Multitasking skills:
This characteristic will help you to keep tabs on the wide variety of tasks that you will be required to perform, and will help you to make sure that nothing slips through the cracks.
7) A proactive approach:
This will enable you to anticipate needs before they arise, and to fix mistakes before they turn into disasters (which will create a good impression in the eyes of your boss).
8) Punctuality and reliability:
This will help you to make sure that you meet your deadlines, that you keep your boss’s schedule up to date, and that you perform your tasks to the required standard.
9) Positivity and energy:
This will help you to form good working relationships with your colleagues, to deliver high quality work, and to create a good impression in the eyes of all the relevant parties (including your boss). If you maintain a positive attitude, and if you enjoy the work that you do, you are far more likely to succeed in your job!
10) Organisational skills:
Organising meetings, updating calendars and scheduling tasks will make up most of your day-to-day activities. Displaying good organisational skills will help you to come across as competent, and will help you to show that you are the right person for the job.