In today’s business world, you very rarely luck into things. The rise of the gig economy and multiple careers means that personal assistants (PAs) need to leverage emotional intelligence, actively seek out opportunities for personal growth, and think big in terms of next career steps.
When you make a conscious decision to become that game-changer in your business, you need to get out of your own way and create successful habits – in the office and beyond.
The first step to really taking ownership of your game-changing role is knowing your purpose as a PA.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day to-dos that we forget to take a step back and think about our bigger-picture career goals. What makes you come alive? What are your innate strengths? Where do you add the greatest value?
By understanding these purpose-led questions, you can map out your career priorities and how this impacts how you show up within your organisation. It will also help you fall in love with your role even more.
If connecting with people in your team is what lights you up, look at ways to bring more of this into your day-to-day work. For example, you could volunteer for social committees. If recognition factors highly, ensure that you’re working towards this goal and consistently highlighting your successes to those around you.
As an assistant to someone else, it’s also important to know your own worth. This goes beyond asking for that next pay rise, and is as much about how you treat yourself as how others treat you.
By taking care of yourself, you’re already creating your baseline. And thinking practically, in this role you can’t pour from an empty cup. Self-care is great, and if it’s not realistic to take the time for it this week, at least know what gets you to an okay level. Is it going for coffee with your friend before the day, or your lunchtime walk around the block? Taking those steps to be the best version of yourself powers your self-belief, which spills out into your role.
Again, the nature of the PA role – as the lynchpin in a team, a communicator, a front-of-house representative – can mean that it’s a very visible role.
Too often we fall into the trap of worrying about what everyone else thinks of us – we never stop to consider what we think of them. It’s not about whether someone is “good enough” to be our friend within the workplace, instead it’s about what kind of value they add to our lives.
They say that you’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. Think about the support that you need to help reach your goals as a game-changer. Seek out positivity over complaining, empathy instead of advice, compassion over critique. This will ripple into your relationships, bringing you that supportive connection you need in your day-to-day.
PAs focus outwardly, anticipating the team’s needs, and creating brilliant systems to deliver brilliant performance. But knowing yourself is a superpower. By taking time to get clear on our goals and building that into our roles, we can deliver more value, and reach that next level of recognition and reward as a game-changer.
I am thrilled to be chosen as a judge for the City A.M. PA Awards, which celebrates just that. If you want to drive your career forward and be acknowledged as the amazing PA that you are, why not enter? See the details below.
I’m confident that this event will be an exciting opportunity to showcase the importance of the role of personal and executive assistants, and establish your place as the game-changer in your business.
Nominations for the inaugural City A.M. PA Awards close on 20 November. To nominate yourself or a colleague, visit cityam.com/events/pa-awards. The awards dinner will be held on 11 December.
Main image credit: Getty