Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Victoria, one of our current temps, about her experience working in temporary PA jobs in London. She talked with us about her recent roles and how and why she is a temp.
Q1: What do you enjoy about being a PA?
I love working in PA jobs in London simply because I enjoy being such an integral and important part of the team, but also slightly behind the scenes. I love being close to the action and being able to make a difference.
Q2: What do you like about temping?
The variety of temping is great! I get to experience different sectors and different executives and it means I’m never bored.
Q3: Why are you temping at the moment?
I don’t really consider temping as a short-term thing any more. By working as a temp through Love Success, I have many of the benefits of being permanently employed, such as holiday pay. But I have more flexibility and variety, which works for my lifestyle.
Q4: What industry are you in currently and do you enjoy it?
I’m currently working in professional services. It’s fast-paced with lots of different priorities. I’ve found I have to be very adaptable. I’m enjoying it but it’s a challenge. I’ve made some good relationships with people too.
Q5: What are the biggest challenges in your current role?
I’m very used to getting to know different executives quickly, but in this role I’m dealing with changing priorities in an industry I’m not that familiar with. I just have to make sure I keep on top of everything.
Q6: How did you become a PA?
I got a degree in Business Studies and when I graduated I took on some temping jobs in Administration. This became quite a good bridge to PA-type roles. I discovered that I actually really love being a PA, so that’s where I’ve stayed! I can see myself being a PA for the rest of my career.
Q7: Do you have any advice for someone starting their PA career?
I really recommend temping to gain lots of experience working in a variety of different companies, but in a bustling and connected city like London. This gives you a chance to find out what industries and sectors you like. For example, I really enjoy working for creative companies as well as traditional corporations. I think it is really helpful to set yourself goals within each role when temping, too.
Q8: What’s indispensable in your life as a PA?
Lots of things! But if I had to pick one thing I’d say my phone! I use different apps to keep on top of everything. There’s Slack for communicating with various groups and teams, and my calendar is probably what I use most.
Q9: What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?
I think the best career advice I’ve had is actually about temping and that’s to build as many professional relationships as possible. You never know who is linked to who—well, without some LinkedIn stalking at least! I find that it opens up lots of opportunities and enables me to learn from lots of different people.
Q10: What’s the hardest interview question you’ve been asked?
The hardest question I’ve come across is “What did you not like about your last role?” It automatically implies there was a problem with the job (which there might not have been—I may have loved it), but even if there was something negative, I don’t necessarily want to share it. For example, it’s hard to explain if the boss was disrespectful. Now, I try to move on quickly to how I solved any problem.
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