The role and duties of a PA can often be unclear for some and there are probably still a few people that imagine that all a PA does all day is collect the dry cleaning and send a few emails. Of course, those of us in the know fully understand the demands placed on the modern PA and that the role is continuously busy, ever-evolving and is nothing if not diverse.
No two days are ever the same for a modern PA as they delicately juggle their employer’s administrative, personal, and professional lives in a manner that ensures they reach their goals with flexibility, proactivity and the highest levels of professionalism.
What we have learned from our years of recruiting PAs all over the globe is that there are lots of PA’s out there who can fulfil the basics of the role, but very few can match the essential requirements that make a PA excellent.
Yes, an excellent PA will always be willing to go the extra mile and be confident in taking proactive measures.
They will always act with all the necessary characteristics of tact and discretion and possess excellent problem-solving, organisational and time management skills.
Their ability to multi-task will be second to none, but they will also have a certain set of skills and qualities that will not only make them stand out from the crowd but also a very attractive candidate when applying for the most demanding of PA roles.
So, what are these essential skills every excellent PA should possess?
Being ahead of the game
You could say that a PAs chief role is to take the workload off their employer and manage and organise it in a way that allows the employers more time to focus on other things by lightening their burden.
This is a powerful and responsible position to be in and as a result the most efficient PA must be able to anticipate and premeditate their employer’s needs.
This demands precise judgment to be adept at anticipating your employer’s needs and priorities.
Always finding a way
As a modern PA you will often act as your employer’s spokesperson and your words and actions are an extension of theirs.
You will be inextricably bound in the most important professional and personal concerns of their day and any employer will expect that you always find a way as they would.
Open to change
An excellent PAs openness to change can be seen through their ability to multi-task and adopt a flexible approach, but it is much more than that.
A high-level PA will be challenged every day with an immense work schedule that even the most adept multi-tasking, organised and meticulous PA will find daunting.
The only way to stay at the top of the game is to have a flexible approach, a willingness to change and continuously learn new skills on the job to meet the evolving demands of the role.