If you want to be a PA, there are certain skills or attributes that you need if you are going to be a success.
Some of these are things you can learn, others are things you might have naturally but that you can enhance for the role. To be the right-hand person for your boss, these attributes will be a big help.
It is vital that a PA has strong communication skills. Not only do you need to communicate with your boss in order to fulfil their requirements and ensure you are clear on what is to be done but you also have to communicate with others. There are team members, other PAs, managers and fellow professionals inside the business. Then there are customers you may need to talk to, vendors or suppliers, other businesses and a variety of people outside the company. Good communication skills mean that you are well prepared to handle all of these.
Another of the most important attributes for a PA is the ability to organise. This applies not just to your own day but to that of your boss and even of other team members around you. You need to implement organisational structures and keep to them and make sure your workplace is organised and helps you to stay focused and in control.
There are also lots of smaller ways that you can organise your work so that it helps to ensure you know what is happening at all times. Learn the best digital tools and paper-based systems to ensure that your time is organised, and you are ready to adapt to the changing needs of your employer.
One of the first things you learn when you take a PA Training Course is that you need to be flexible. You might have your work schedule planned out for you or an idea of what you will be doing during the day, but your boss might have other ideas that lead to changing plans. This means you need to be flexible and ready to adapt to whatever the day throws at you and keep going. It may also mean that you work outside standard office hours to ensure things are prepared or done on time.
A positive mindset
It is important that you keep a positive mindset when you are a PA. It can be easy to take things to heart but mostly criticism is a constructive thing that helps you improve and ensures you are evolving in your role. Having that can attitude can also help you to handle the pressures of the job and find enjoyment even when things are a little stressful. And that positive attitude can rub off on others and make for a pleasant office environment.
Being proactive means that you need to be a little bit of a mind-reader and predict what your boss needs in order to provide it before they ask. This is often practical stuff like having information for a meeting before the meeting comes around. Or preparing what will happen while your boss is on holiday so that when it happens, everything continues to function smoothly.
This pro-activity can also apply to your daily workload. Catching jobs ahead of time so you can be better prepared makes you seem like a magic-worker and means you are rarely caught surprised. Plus it can reduce stress in your daily life.
The right attributes
With the right training and practice, these key attributes can be learned by anyone to make themselves into a great PA. And as you do the job, your abilities will continue to grow.