What Makes a Successful PA?

Posted on Friday, October 18, 2019 by Top London PANo comments

We were having a chat with some of our leading PAs recently about what makes them successful. It was a fascinating discussion and those looking for PA jobs in London will benefit from the revelations. As a PA recruitment agency, we know that successful PAs often have common traits, but also it is frequently about the fit between the PA, executive, and organisation.

Be flexible and adapt easily

Cathy describes herself as a “chameleon, always changing to be what my employer needs me to be”. Paul also says that doing PA jobs in London is all about “being able to wear different hats such as events planner, confidante, travel agent, or customer service representative”.

The best PAs seem to be akin to gymnasts—highly flexible and agile! They work to fit the organisation and their principal, not the other way around. This may mean being flexible with hours worked but it also means being able to adapt to changing situations and demands.

Be communicative

Subomi told us “It’s impossible to be a successful PA without being a successful communicator”.

A central tenet to every task you do is efficiency and expert communication. The most successful PAs, in our experience as a PA recruitment agency, are those who are skilled communicators, whatever the medium whether that’s texting, face-to-face, phone calls, or emails.

Be organised

Peter has four executives needing his attention. He says: “My job would be impossible if I wasn’t good at organising and prioritising.”

Speaking to all of our PAs, we often discover how good they are at organising determines how successful they are in their career. It seems that to keep your executive’s work and life managed, then organisational skills are simply non-negotiable.

However, you all ‘do’ organisation differently. Peter relies on spreadsheets, Subomi has an arsenal of time management and scheduling apps, and Cathy uses a paper diary!

Be enthusiastic and positive

Not highlighted by our PAs themselves but something we realised after talking to them—all of our most successful PAs are enthusiastic and positive individuals. As a PA recruitment agency, we also find that these are personality traits highly sought by employers.

It’s vital to be enthusiastic and positive as a PA and have a ‘can-do’ attitude. Tasks can be highly variable from the mundane to the urgent. There are times when there will be immense pressure or your executive is stressed. A successful PA will remain calm, upbeat, and encouraging throughout.

Be proactive

We know that employers can find it hugely frustrating when their PA isn’t proactive. Those doing PA jobs in London need to be forward-thinking and capable of foreseeing what needs to be done. Subomi said: “I get real pleasure out of being one step ahead of my boss, predicting her problems before they become reality, and removing blocks in her path”.

The best PAs are those who look at what’s coming on the horizon and take steps to prepare for eventualities and mitigate problems.

Find PA jobs in London

PAs often work in highly variable and complex situations and environments. The ins and outs of the job may vary, but as a PA recruitment agency, we know that the best PAs are proactive, communicative, flexible, organised, and positive. Do you have what it takes to be a successful PA? Give us a call on 020 7870 7177 to find out about current opportunities.


Love Success is a leading PA and secretarial recruitment agency in London.
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