The role of a personal assistant goes much beyond the dictionary meaning of the words. Of course most of those who’ve already had a personal assistant understand it so very well. Rarely will you find a boss who works without an executive assistant or a personal assistant or then your good old regular secretary who doubles as a personal assistant. Personal assistants are dime a dozen, but finding an excellent personal assistant, that would be a little bit more difficult. A competent personal assistant would ideally be one who, along with the mandatory qualifications, has a personal assistant course under his/her belt. This is where one would be taught formal skills and the professional qualification required to be eligible for the job.
A personal assistant’s job description would be pages long. A lot depends on the company he/she is working for and the boss’s position in the hierarchy of the company. The higher the post the more work the P.A has. More often than not, the P.A learns on the job and learns to work with the idiosyncrasies of his/her employer. Ask any P.A and you are sure to hear some horror stories about bosses.
At New Horizons Learning Center, a personal assistant is taught all the mandatory topics. From Communication, which is a key aspect of a good boss and P.A relationship, to management of all aspects of the business, the course covers it all. Once communication is established there is no looking back. Anticipating and preempting the need of the hour is a very fine skill. It comes with practice. A good understanding of the boss and the company’s business is essential as this is where a P.A. can ensure that work is not counter-productive to the overall working of the company.
So then what makes a good P.A? For starters, doing a personal assistant course is good but it’s not enough. Alertness is very important. A keen eye and a keen mind will ensure that what you lack in skills you make up in hard work. You have learnt all the important aspects of being a personal assistant. But if you want to make an impact then you have to be better than the best. Your ability to anticipate what your boss needs and your initiative in ensuring that his/her requirements are met down to the last letter is where you will gain a lot of confidence.
There are myriad things happening in an office on a daily basis. A personal assistant course teaches you office management, time management, appointment diary management, professional telephone skills, organizing meetings that are result oriented and more. These are the formal skills required by any E.A. or P.A. or even secretary. It is the intuitive skills of an individual that will set one apart from being a run-of-the-mill P.A.
The P.A. is like the boss’s right hand or Man Friday as Robinson Crusoe so aptly named. You don’t have to tell your hand to do work. Your hand knows and work gets done. That’s the hallmark of a good P.A.