If you are looking for a role with varying requirements, responsibilities and challenges, then being an Executive PA is the right role for you. As an executive PA, you will be the right hand to your manager or employer, the crucial person who keeps their work life running smoothly. But how do you start on the road to this kind of role?
What is the job about?
Before you consider any Executive PA Training Courses or starting to apply for jobs, it is important to understand what the job is about and if it is right for you. The main role of EA is to offer support and guidance to company directors, senior management or business owners – you almost end up running their life!
Your role will involve organising their daily schedule from meeting and appointments to organising phone calls, trips and other business activities. The role of each EA is always a little different, but it can involve anything from taking minutes at a meeting to helping brainstorm the company’s direction for the next quarter.
It is often seen as the next step up from a Personal Assistant (PA) and is sometimes just known as an Executive Assistant. As a result, there are more responsibilities in the role and with this tends to come more pressure. You need to be very organised and able to use these skills to ensure your manager is the same. You may also need to liaise with other EAs across the company, customers and partner companies.
Am I right for the job?
To know if you have the ‘right stuff’ to make an Executive PA, it is good to look at some of the most crucial skills and abilities that employers seek in people for these roles. Some examples include:
- Superb organisational skills
scheduling and planning the day, organising the meetings and phone calls, ensuring that your boss has the information they need for the events they are attending
- Attention to detail
making sure that this information is exact and accurate, that those calendar clashes are spotted, that everything runs smoothly
- Prioritisation of workload
both for yourself and your manager, to ensure the most important things are done with the greatest priority
- Time management
make the most of your time and have great productivity
Manage different aspects of the role – multi-tasking of a form, managing the different jobs you will have to handle without mixing things up or forgetting stuff
- Managerial soft skills
being able to cope with the pressure of the job including managing deadlines, coping with expectations and cultivating a good mindset
The path to becoming an Executive PA
Another great thing about becoming an executive PA is that there is no set route to the role. If you have experience in similar roles, you can take the right training courses and make the move. A good foundation in education is a strong starting point with Maths & English GCSEs being a preferred starting point. And some business qualifications can stand out in a good position to start in a PA role.
Most people start as a PA, secretary or receptionist before moving through to become an Executive PA. Different companies will have different ways to rank these jobs and what the differences mean in terms of role and wages. You will need to be able to prove you are ready for the promotion to EA either through training, experience or a combination of both.
Once you have reached the role of Executive PA, the future could involve jobs like an Executive Assistant. Or you could move into a specialist role depending on the industry that you are in. Your knowledge and experience will mean you are well placed for a range of different jobs and always, there will be something to challenge your abilities.