Earlier, personal assistants were only employed for celebrities and millionaires. Today, however, huge job opportunities wait for personal assistants. The job responsibilities of these professionals include assisting executives, managers, ministers and politicians to reduce the workload for a range of administrative tasks. So, the basic responsibility of a PA or a personal assistant is to provide secretarial support to managers and other senior level professionals. And the best part is that there are no specific qualifications required to become a personal assistant. Yes, you do need to posses a host of essential skills to perform the job efficiently. So, if you are equipped with these skills and have the capability of reducing the workload of upper level professionals, you are definitely ready for a successful career as a personal assistant.
A personal assistant major role is to help executives, managers and other senior level professionals reduce their work load. This includes secretarial support and performing an array of administrative tasks. Daily job routine of these assistants may vary a little, depending on the professionals and influential people they work for. The PA's major roles include streamlining the communication and prioritizing important events and obligations.
Duties of a personal assistant may include -
Working in close contact with managers, executives, influential people etc
Handling enquiries and phone calls
Prioritizing the manager's appointments
Handling letters and emails
Putting together reports and speeches
Handling business proposals and accepting important invitations
Making arrangements for traveling
As mentioned above, the roles and responsibilities will also depend on the level of responsibilities personal assistants are being given. In case of higher responsibilities, a personal assistant may also need to shoulder some more tasks for their managers, listed below.
Representing the manager in their absence
Performing the roles of an office manager
Supervising the administrative staff
Handling the accounts and budgets
Looking after writing projects, research work etc
Training & Skills Required
Apart from being an internet savvy and having computer skills, candidates aspiring to become a personal assistant should possess time management, event planning skills and people skills and etiquette knowledge. Employers mostly look for candidates who have some prior experience in administrative work. Today, there are several colleges and professional schools offering a wide range of courses in administration. Besides, there are private secretarial colleges as well offering you courses for becoming a PA or a personal assistant. Besides having general education, candidates also need to possess some other essential skills including organizational skills, communication skills (verbal and written), multi-tasking skills, ability to take initiatives, attention to detail, problem solving skills, time management capabilities etc.
Career Prospects for PAs
Employment opportunities for personal assistants are available across a wide range of companies and industries. Whether it is the field of education, larger companies, central government, media industry or the local authorities, there are multiple career prospects waiting for trained personal assistants. With growing experience and skills, these assistants can also be promoted to senior level positions in the management.
Also referred to as social secretary or executive assistant, a personal assistant's salary may vary depending on the job responsibilities and the years of experience they carry. The annual salary of a PA ranges between $40,000 and $70,000. Starting salaries can be less. However, these professionals have a profitable career awaiting them as they gain more experience and join larger organizations.
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