Insider Insight: Do you feel valued as a PA?
Posted on Friday, January 24, 2020 by Top London PA — No comments
At our PA recruitment agency, we love hearing about the PA jobs in London that you do. It provides valuable insight for other PAs and EAs looking to make a change, or for individuals looking to move into this as a career. Recently, we chatted with Cathy about her role as a private PA.
How did you become a PA?
I moved to London to be a nanny. However, as the children grew, the role changed considerably. I became the PA for the mother’s private and business life.
After that role, how did you get your next PA job in London?
That role gave me the experience I needed for my CV. From there, I did some temp work in London to continue to build on my office skills. I was then able to secure another PA role for a wealthy client living in Kensington.
What’s it like being a PA in London?
It’s busy, that’s for sure! It’s also quite tough. It’s certainly not glamourous all the time. However, every day is different and I really love that. I’m the kind of person who needs to be busy so it really suits me. I’m also good at juggling lots of different things, and I find that’s really handy as a PA. I would say that being a private PA really isn’t a 9-5 job though. It won’t suit everyone.
What’s your relationship like with your current boss?
It’s good and positive. There are some cultural differences (my boss is from another European country) but we’ve figured each other out now! I have a real commitment to making her life easier and know she really appreciates all I do.
Do you feel valued as a PA?
Yes, I really do. I know that my boss really values all that I do. I think there is a common misconception that as a private PA, you are somehow ‘beneath’ your boss and aren’t equal. Of course, my role is to make her life run more smoothly and to take care of the admin, but that doesn’t mean I’m a dogsbody! I am very much appreciated and would move on if I didn’t feel valued.
What’s been your hardest challenge as a PA?
In one of my temporary jobs in London, I was a PA to a Qatari businessman. He was recently married and frequently came up with elaborate ideas about how to surprise his wife, often with little notice! I would find myself trying to track down unusual items or trying to contact celebrities to make his plans come together!
What advice would you offer to other PAs?
Respect yourself and have a thick skin. This combination will mean that you work for people who respect you and the role you do. Once you’ve earned trust and recognition from your boss, it’s an incredibly rewarding role. But if it’s not working, then head back to your PA recruitment agency and start again.
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