A day in the life of an executive assistant


Being a personal assistant isn't just about diary management

Gone are the days of old school typing pools. Nowadays, PAs are organising global events and managing budgets. Interested in a career as a PA? Wondering exactly what the role entails? We got the inside scoop from one of our top PAs.  

What does your day usually consist of?

I currently work supporting our CEO who looks after the UK and Asia Pacific. As with most executive assistant roles, no two days are the same and I am often working on several different projects and tasks at any one time – multitasking is crucial! Predominantly, I act as gatekeeper for the CEO; often organising his diary, international travel and liaising with both internal and external contacts on his behalf for any upcoming meetings and events. 

What skills are required?

Personal assistants and executive assistants work across multiple industries. Key skills include the ability to prioritise, strong organisational skills, adaptability and good communication skills. Relationships are important and good working relationships will help you to progress, increase your internal network and make life easier on a day-to-day basis. The one-on-one PA role is based on chemistry. You must be a ‘change advocate’ as things move quickly and at short notice. You always need to be good at anticipating what your boss’ needs, using your initiative and tenacity to get the job done.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

PAs are at the heart of organisations; working side-by-side with chief executives and leaders, playing a key role in supporting decisions. In supporting senior members, I have been involved with events, investor relations and marketing and stakeholder management. Every day is different and there is never any time for clock watching!   

What advice would you give to an aspiring executive assistant?

Hard work gets you noticed although you won’t be praised daily. Always be forthcoming, get involved and don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility. My boss regularly takes my recommendations on business decisions. I've worked for my CEO for over eight years and I love the variety of the work and my ability to improve and implement new processes.