Everyone wants to be the best they possibly can at their job. When you are a personal assistant, you not only want to be the best you can, but this is also important if you want to progress in your career to an executive assistant or office administrator.
So what skills do you need to cultivate to be the best personal assistant you can be?
Perhaps the heart of any of the Best PA Courses is teaching the best organisational skills. As a PA, you need to be the most organised person in the room, able to adapt to changing circumstances and handle the unexpected when it occurs. You need to be able to organise yourself but also those who you are responsible for. That means coordinating calendars, working across multiple schedules and being on top of things as they change.
Each job might involve using specific pieces of software and hardware that only the company uses. But you still want to be able to demonstrate technology skills in more general ways. Examples of this would include being proficient in Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint. It would also mean showing the ability to use common software around email, calendar organisation, video call scheduling and more. Then you can simply add the knowledge of any bespoke systems to this.
Copying, audio typing and shorthand
The needs of the business can be varied but if you have good skills and high standards of at least two of these three then you are well prepared to meet what they need. Copying to a high standard, a touch typist with good accurate is a key skill for many PA type professions. Audio typing involves listening to audio and creating written content from it – creating notes from a meeting that was recorded for example. And shorthand is a classic secretary skill that could be worth learning and improving when taking notes at meetings and other events.
While your employer will no doubt lean towards specific ways of creating and delivering reports, having a good standard of skills in the basics is important to then learn their specific preferences. This might mean using some kind of analytics tools, working with questionnaires from customers or even from social media. Then the report could be created in software like PowerPoint, a Google Word doc or any number of other formats.
As a personal assistant, you may need to work on your customer interaction skills. While customer service isn’t generally a big part the PA role, this doesn’t mean you might not have customer interaction. You might also need to coordinate with other companies that your employer’s business partner with or even other departments in the company. All of this means that people skills are an important part of being a PA.
Organising is one thing, you also need to master time management. This is the skill of managing your time, prioritising your workload and ensuring you get the most out of your day. This can apply to your employer as well as yourself and ensures that you can look at what needs to be done and decide the order it should be done in.
Key PA skills
To be the best personal assistant you can be, you will need these key skills. Some can be cultivated over time, with experience. Others may need the training to get the foundation of the skill in place. Whatever the case, by having these skills and building on them in your role, you can be a top PA and well placed for that promotion as well.