A Personal Assistant (PA) usually works for a private household or small to medium business operator and takes care of both company and personal commitments. This is to ensure that the business owner is alleviated of administration tasks allowing the business owner to then focus on operational business matters.
The Executive Assistant (EA) role is very similar and there are many cross overs in tasks and responsibilities however an EA usually operates at a board level supporting Managing Directors (MDs), Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs). An EA will be most likely required to support company projects and support the executive team in ensuring administrative tasks are completed to achieve project milestones. PAs are essential to business managers who have multiple tasks to manage on any given day. They are integral in ensuring the Manager is supported in meeting the overall strategic direction of the business, while ensuring they provide support in personal tasks and responsibilities. PAs are often found in small to medium business across a broad range of industries.
The Personal Assistants core hours are usually based on the traditional Monday to Friday 9-5 working week, however the role typically requires working additional hours, both early mornings and late evenings depending on business needs.
You do not require any formal training to become a Personal Assistant, however it would be an advantage to have some training behind you, to showcase that you are educated and informed about administration and business functions and activities.
Administrative qualifications such as Certificate II, III & IV and Diploma in Business Administration are important in showcasing your education and knowledge. Many PAs also complete various courses at private business colleges and TAFE to further develop their knowledge and skill of business operations.
There are other methods you can use to gain further knowledge in Administration, Finance, Keyboarding, Software Operations, and Customer Service courses, through one day events and seminars which can be displayed on your resume.
- Easy going
- Communication - verbal and written
- Communication - email, online, fax, mail, memo
- Computer and Computer Software Operations
- Relationship Management
- Delivering Information
- Designing Forms and Documents
- Diary Management
- Document Preparation
- Event Management
- Meeting / Conference Bookings
- Office Equipment Operation
- Office Management
- Procedural Development
- Records Management
- Relationship Management
- Reports and Presentations
- Systems Analysis and Improvement
For the most part, a Personal Assistant often start out in administrative and customer service support roles and progress as they become privy to business and personal matters.
Career advancement in this field can lead to other roles such as:
- Office Manager
- Executive Assistant
- Personal Assistant
- Administration Assistant
- Customer Service Representative
- Call Centre Operator
- Data Entry Officer
You could be anywhere on this career ladder and from there be able to identify opportunities. Business Administration and Customer Service can cover a wide range of job roles and responsibilities. Choosing these careers is an ideal way to progress your professional qualities, particularly if you have a flair for organisation and are a great communicator with strong interpersonal skills.