Do you dream of being a PA? Did you watch The Devil Wears Prada and think “That looks like my dream job”? If you want to be part of the hectic office life and daily challenges, a PA job might just be perfect for you. But do you know what life is really like for a busy London PA? As a top London PA, I’ll let you in on a real day in the life of a personal assistant.
5.30 – 7am: Like most personal assistants, my day starts before the crack of dawn. I choose a professional outfit the night before to save time, grab a quick breakfast, then head out. The morning rush on the tube isn’t fun, but I beat the crowds by heading out earlier than most.
7am – 8am: My boss gets into the office early, so it’s important that I get there before her to set up. Before she’s reached the office, I already have everything organised. I’ve answered the early morning emails and re-prioritised the schedule I set last night to account for changes. When she gets in, I make her a coffee and brief her on all the important matters, such as the day’s schedule, meetings, and priorities.
Morning: As my boss does from meeting to meeting, I’m on hand to keep her organized and take minutes. Being proactive and prepared means I have all the information ready for when my boss needs it. Our whole plan can change at a moment’s notice, and sometimes my boss needs to reorganize everything, so I’m always ready to make changes throughout the day. To stay on top of things, I always have a keen eye and ear for what’s going on in the office.
Lunch: I grab lunch when I can, often on the go between meetings, or have a working lunch.
Afternoon: In the afternoon, I type up all the notes and minutes, follow up on emails, schedule meetings, and answer the phone, which rings off the hook some afternoons. I get a head-start for tomorrow by setting the to-do list, confirm my boss’ schedule for the next day, and prepare all paperwork. I also keep notes on the key things throughout the day, so my boss can review them later. My boss is passionate and driven, so she needs someone who can match that intensity.
5pm: The day never really ends. While my boss leaves the office around 4 or 5pm, she calls me in the evening with questions. Sometimes we have after-hours meetings or events where I support too. As a personal assistant, you’re never off the clock and need to be ready at the drop of a hat to support your boss. So, keep your mobile nearby and your laptop on standby!
If you’re still keen on becoming a personal assistant after reading this, then you may have what it takes to tackle the challenge. The work is rewarding, fast-paced, and exciting, but you need to always be on your toes. So, is being a PA the dream job for you?
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