8 Smart Tips For Starting a New Personal Assistant Job

Personal assistant jobs are all about first impressions. Hit the ground running with these nifty tips! 

8 Smart Tips For Starting New Personal Assistant Jobs 1

Personal assistant jobs

Personal assistants are mind-readers. At least they are in the eyes of the organisation they work for. It’s as if your colleagues assume you keep a crystal ball on your desk, expecting you to have the answer to every question under the sun: from room bookings to the chances of rain next week. You should take this as a compliment. 

But this attitude isn’t particularly useful when you’re getting to know the ropes at a new company. All too often personal assistants and executive assistants are expected to hit the ground running and start performing from day one. 

 Don’t worry though! Help is on hand. These 8 terrific tips will make sure you can start your new personal assistant job with complete confidence.

1: Ask for help

Starting a new PA job is stressful, so why make it any harder by admitting to your new colleagues that you don’t know all the answers after all? But honesty really is the best policy. 

Asking for help actually is a show of strength in a new workplace; it signals your desire to learn and improve. So ask your colleagues! 

And if they don’t know, there’s plenty of other resources to turn to, like your local library or an agony aunt … Or maybe just google it? Remember the Jump Academy has always got your back. 

2: Get to know your boss

The role of PAs and EAs has evolved dramatically, from being reactive and directed, to dynamic and proactive. This is a huge change! 

It has never been more important to get to know your boss properly. What are their priorities? What are their medium-term and long-term goals? What is their working rhythm like? You’re not going to get to grips with all of this overnight, but you can definitely make a start

3: Set your own goals

The role of PAs and EAs has evolved dramatically, from being reactive and directed, to dynamic and proactive. This is a huge change! 

Where do you want to be in 2 years time? Yeah, we’ve all heard this one before and we’ve all given the same vague, rambling answers. But this time I’m serious. 

Your future is truly in your hands! And it’s crucial that your executive understands this too.

Following on from Tip 2, you need to align your own ambition with the aims of your boss and make sure that they get to know a little bit more about you. This working relationship will only succeed if both parties are honest with each other.

4: Set your own boundaries

What is an Executive Assistant? What is a Personal Assistant? These aren’t silly questions. 

Different people will have different answers. And they’ll also have different answers about where the line between your personal and personal assistant life should be drawn. 

Fundamentally you can’t be all things to all people. Your priorities are going to be personal. You need to work out which areas of your life are the most important and set boundaries that protect them.

But crucially, communicate your boundaries! Don’t just tell your boss, tell your friends, your family, your colleagues … anyone who will listen. People can only respect your boundaries once they know where that line is. 

One of the key advantages of being a personal assistant is having the flexibility to manage your time and decide what feels comfortable: make the most of it.

5: Get up to speed with the office technology

You might’ve thought that being an assistant would mean you could get away with being a bit of a technophobe. You thought wrong, very wrong.

Make sure to ask for training if you’re using tech that you’re unfamiliar with. And don’t forget to google ‘best practices’ and ‘how-to’ guides. While your new company will probably give you some boot-camp training to get you off the ground, the internet is full of useful tips and tricks to turn you into a whizz in no time. 

 So don’t panic! (Easier said than done, I know). 

6: Know your processes

Each company has a different way of doing things, but that doesn’t mean the processes in place are definitely going to be the most efficient. 

Don’t underestimate your ability to make tangible changes that will have knock-on effects for the entire business. 

The key part of any personal assistant job description is the bit where employers explain that they’re looking for ‘a proactive individual’. By improving existing processes and establishing new ones, you can prove beyond all doubt that you really are the perfect personal assistant.

7: Avoid PA-FOMO

I don’t care if it isn’t a real word, I’m coining it: personal assistants’ fear of missing out. 

Sometimes personal assistants and executive assistants can feel isolated from the rest of the team. That’s because there is an enduring misconception about the role – keeping your boss’ confidence and staying ‘professional’ does not mean saying no to after-work drinks. 

Most assistants are a people person (and enjoy the odd Thursday night happy-hour), so don’t say no to fun. Make work hard, play hard your mantra!

8: Believe in yourself and your capabilities 

Whether this is your first foray into the world of personal assistants, or if you’re a seasoned PA, we can all agree that starting a new role is nervewracking. 

The ceaseless stream of new faces, pedantic processes and terrifying tech will be daunting, and that’s fine. But never forget that you are brilliant! 

There’s a reason you were the candidate that stood out from the crowd of other applicants: you’ve got the skills needed to be an awesome assistant. Be confident. Be assertive. Be yourself!

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will you new assistant career

You need to have a little patience. But by following these essential tips you’ll be well on your way to really making this new role your own. 

 

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