As a PA recruitment agency in the capital, we’ve been amazed by the resilience and flexibility shown by those doing PA jobs in London during the pandemic. We always love finding out what it’s really like for you and how you develop your careers. It’s been fantastic to chat to Catherina and find out what she’s got to say about her PA career, why she’s used temp work in London over the last year, and how she sees the future unfolding.
What type of PA job in London do you do?
At the moment, I’m doing a temporary role working for two executives in marketing. Before this, I was a PA to the board of a hospitality business, from which I was unfortunately made redundant.
How did you find this role?
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was furloughed due to being in the hospitality industry. This turned into redundancy in the autumn. I approached Love Success, and my consultant explained that because of the pandemic, it’s easier to find temping roles at the moment. That’s how I secured this role. I’m also on the look-out for my next permanent position.
What are your daily duties as a PA?
At the moment, I’m based at home. Each morning, I go through three inboxes: one for each executive and my own. I prioritise tasks and create to-do lists for all three of us. I carry out all of the admin that I can on behalf of my bosses to make their working days easier. I put together proposals and also do some basic HR stuff. All calls come to me first, so I manage the phone and direct calls as appropriate. This week, I’ve been creating a presentation about a new service the company is offering and that’s been taking up most of my time.
What skills are important to your role?
As a PA, I have a lot of experience. Currently, I’d say my computer literacy skills are absolutely vital, as they also would be if I was travelling into the office in London. However, when I’m actually working as a PA on-site, I think I use more skills. Communication skills are a must for PAs, as are telephone skills. I think an underrated PA skill is project management. I’d say that it’s actually a vitally important part of every PA role, and it’s often overlooked. Of course, organisational skills are important too!
How do you think the pandemic has affected your career?
It’s been tough being made redundant from a job I loved. However, it’s also been a valuable opportunity for me. I’ve enjoyed working in quite a different industry and seeing the world outside of hospitality. It’s really boosted my confidence, and I don’t feel my skills are limited to one niche anymore. I guess that’s what’s good about being a PA: My skills are highly transferrable.
Would you recommend being a PA in London to others at the moment?
Absolutely, and my opinion on that hasn’t changed. I think a PA career can be very rewarding if you love admin and office life. It’s very satisfying. Obviously, at the moment, lots of people are working from home, and I do want to get back into the city. But at the moment, this is working. I’d also recommend that those in hospitality really evaluate their skills and think about how they can be used elsewhere. Being a PA is just one example.
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