You Are More than "Just" an Assistant

Posted on Monday, November 8, 2021 by A Top London PANo comments

Those in PA jobs in London can sometimes have an identity crisis. You can be treated and feel like “just” an assistant with all those undertones of lacking in value and being unimportant and easily replaceable. As a PA recruitment agency, we know that at some point in every PA or executive assistant’s career, they will come face-to-face with this reality.

The problem is that it can be really detrimental in many ways—to your self-esteem and sense of self-worth, and consequently your mental health, as well as your success and contribution at work. This can be experienced in big and small ways, from the PA industry still being largely female-dominated with all the realities of gender pay gaps, to smaller individual experiences of domineering bosses and micro-management on a daily basis.

It is really harmful to the business and yourself when you don’t feel valued in your role. Of course, you could simply jump ship and move to somewhere where you will be appreciated. And we’re here to help you find new PA jobs in London if that is what you’d like to do. However, we also know that sometimes those feelings are coming from inside, and will simply move with you wherever you go. So how do you tackle them?

You need to work on changing your outlook and beliefs so that you personally don’t believe that you’re “just” an assistant, but truly recognise your value as a collaborative and supportive employee. Here are some ways you can do that:

  1. Reflect on your achievements and accomplishments

    Start by building a rock-solid understanding of your own accomplishments. Write down everything you have achieved and the results you have delivered in your role. This way, you can tangibly see how you’ve added value to what you do, which shows you are valuable even if the people around you forget to say thank you! Having these achievements written down can also really help you with formulating a winning CV if you do decide to change roles.

  2. Figure out why your confidence is shaken

    We all have confidence wobbles from time to time. It’s important to figure out why your confidence is shaken, as you can then begin to address it. Sometimes the answer is obvious—a derogatory boss, an undermining colleague, or being overlooked for praise. However, sometimes the insecurity comes from within and doesn’t stem from the here-and-now. You may find that “faking it ‘til you make it” helps, or you may need to do some reflective work with professional support from a coach or counsellor.

  3. Draw on your support squad

    Once you know what’s going wrong and have good evidence to prove you do add value, it can be good to speak to others. Share your feelings with a trusted friend or mentor and they will not only encourage you, but also help you see what’s true and what may need reframing in your outlook.

  4. Speak your value

    If you’re feeling like this because of the way you’re treated by those around you, then you need to become an independent marketing machine for yourself. Try to be more vocal about what you do and how it adds value to those around you; for example, send an email to those who matter, stating what you do that would otherwise be invisible.

  5. Know when it’s time to move on

    If you’ve tried all of the above strategies and you’re still not getting anywhere, then the work environment may be at fault.

    Let us help you find new PA jobs in London. Get in touch on 020 7870 7177.


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Our expert recruiters can help you find permanent and temporary jobs in London.

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