Sunday, 30 November 2014

How you can benefit from changes in your job.

Many companies need to make changes at some stage. This can also include relocating, moving furniture around or even installing the latest version of Microsoft Office. Change can be traumatic and upsetting. They will be happy if everyone accepts the change but this is not always the case.

Our concern is having to work with new people or learn the new software system. The atmosphere becomes tense and everyone retreats into their little shell which can then result into communications issues.

Image courtesy of and author ponsuwan

But the PA, Office Manager or Administrator with the right attitude will accept these changes and turn them into successes. They may have these feelings but will always approach it in a professional manner. There is that strong sense to support the manager. It is very important that you know how to adapt, develop and be flexible as change can be exciting and challenging.

The best way to reduce negative tension in times of change is to ensure there is communication at all times. Management need the support of their supporting staff who in turn need to encourage teamwork and ensure there is communication with all staff.

Armed with a positive attitude, change can give you that opportunity to excel. On an even more positive note, you could see the imminent change as an opportunity to lead. Normally with change, people will resist, follow or lead. Would you not like to be that leader?

A flexible person takes the long term view. They make and take opportunities. They are interested in the project and will be positive when asking about the changes; they may even volunteer to be involved in projects.

The PA, Office Manager or Administrator who wants to benefit from change in the organisation will keep themselves informed and updated. They will be proactive and prepare themselves for the change in a positive way so they can then offer to assist their manager should staff have concerns about learning the new package in a short time.

So, the important thing is for you to embrace change. Find out about changing careers at

Friday, 28 November 2014

Bookkeeping Careers in the UK and the other options

Bookkeeper jobs are in every medium to large sized company. However, jobs that require bookkeeping or accounting skills are all the more prolific. Therefore, if you start developing skills in bookkeeping you can open up a wide range of openings. We will look at the different options for someone with qualifications in Bookkeeping. There are options to work in pure bookkeeping roles, to get roles that have a little bit of finance included, to get temp work or to even be your own boss. The range of work available is appealing and what’s more it is truly transferable, as every industry has this type of job within it.

Author nattavut and image courtesy of freedigitalphotos,net

If you manage to study and gain a Bookkeeping qualification there are naturally going to be lots of jobs in Finance. You also have the option to keep studying to become an Accounts Technician or Accountant. This can be a rewarding process and your earning potential is huge. The financial services industry is keen to get people with bookkeeping skills and the range of career opening sin this industry is diverse.

There is a great deal of pure finance jobs out there and it’s a profession that will always be with you. However, the skill can also accompany your main jobs and other skills to broaden the scope of your job options and gain more authority. For example, you may need to handle the budgets in your area and this skill will mean that you are able to take these responsibilities on.

Finally, if you decide to work for yourself, you will be able to handle your own bookkeeping which saves you quite a cost. It also means that you can think about working for yourself as a Bookkeeper or a Virtual Assistant. Both of these roles will lead to you being able to manage your own career and not answer to others.

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When you are looking for a job, you can use Facebook to assist you

Most of us use Facebook exclusively to exchange personal updates and photos with our friends and family. Some of us use Facebook as a leeway of our career exchanging only the professional side of our life. There are those who feel Facebook is too intrusive into our private life.

Many employers and recruitment agencies would often look at our Facebook in order to gain some knowledge of the candidate. Therefore it is important that we have positive and interesting information as it can influence any possible employer or recruiter.

The professional image on our Facebook, starts with the photo which gives the first impression of who we are. So, no selfies, holiday snaps or photos where we behave in an uninhibited way. Obviously, we need to carefully consider what we would like to be viewed by the public so we should have Privacy Settings in place.

We may want to ignore the Privacy Settings. In this case we need to be discreet with our posts as anyone can find us if they search our name. But this may have positive results as anyone following up our CV or looking for staff, may find the values they are seeking. These values are important to the employer who needs to ensure that we fit with the culture in the office. We may balance our professional life with our private life which gives us the chance to portray ourselves in a more likable light.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos and author taoty

Facebook is casual and relaxed as conversations flow. It is a great way of networking where it is can easily switch from light-hearted chats to serious business over time. This opportunity should not be overlooked as it can lead to job referrals.

Facebook is an ideal way to market yourself. You may update your own wall regularly so ensure you endorse your experience, skills, any course you have undertaken (with regular updates) or, it could be, some task you were complimented about at work. Conversations with your Facebook friends can definitely promote your image and career.

You can also introduce and share thoughts of others whether they are friends, family or colleagues. This can spread your qualities while strengthening relations.

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Getting the most out of the the PA and manager relationship

Image courtesy of and author nirots

The manager and the PA always have the same objectives. They will attend to different tasks in order to achieve these objectives. 

The manager and the PA are a team. It is important that they communication regularly throughout the day in order to achieve these objectives. Communication is also vital with the team or department. Imagine what it would be like if a team of twenty people came to work for nine hours every day for one week and not utter one word (not even emails). You will go mad! 

So you need to set aside time each day to meet with your manager, ideally to discuss the diary and important tasks needing attention. This time can also include planning the week or month. It would be lovely if this is done over a cup of coffee where you are both quite relaxed before you face the pressures of the day.
The meetings with your manager are very precious moments to both of you. Therefore, you should prep yourself beforehand as the meeting should be two way communication and not one way. You should write down all questions you need to ask, guidance you may need, points you need to bring to his attention and anticipate any questions he/she may have for you. In this way you can get on with you work confidently should he be unavailable during the day. 

These meetings will help greatly in understanding your manager’s rational and you can confidently, make the right decisions on his/her behalf.  Your manager, in turn, will trust and rely on you more. 

At these meetings, do not be afraid to make suggestions or offer a solution to a problem. It may be dismissed immediately, but, you should look at it as a learning curve. Also you are developing your thinking and reasoning abilities.

As you gain your manager’s trust and are more confident in your role, you can be more proactive and see if you can assist in taking on some of his/her minor tasks; ideally one at a time – there is no rush as you are looking to gain confidence in yourself and he also needs to trust you to do a good job. 

The essential tool in a PA’s job or in any courses an aspiring PA attends, is preparation. Preparation can be done by planning your day’s work and prioritising tasks throughout the day.  

Networking internally and externally is also vital to your career. Take every opportunity to improve your skills by learning about anything that is new on the market and you know it will help you to work quickly. This may entail enrolling on a course in order to achieve this. Remember you will be more confident if you are working quickly and last but not least, it will boost your career real. 

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Microsoft Office skills required by a PA

IT skills are vital to all careers now, but a PA needs a wider range than the average career. Why is this the case? This is because a PA has a wide range of tasks and often has to adapt to different situation in order to ensure that all runs well. This means that you will need the range of IT skills to meet any issues.


Firstly, a fundamental part of PA and EA work is being able to organise and prioritise. This means that you must be able to use Microsoft Outlook, and possibly Lotus Notes. It will depend on the company that you work on, as to which is most important. This means being able to use the diary and calendar function and the email management part to the highest level.


Another useful planning tool in the longer term for small projects or events is Excel. Using Excel as a calendar or to plan resources is used in Project management frequently and knowledge of this product will help any planning. However, your knowledge of Excel is likely to be more important for if you receive tables, numerical or financial data. This is common for a PA nowadays and all the more important if you work in an industry where Excel is a common product. This means for those of you in London that Excel is likely to be important given the large numbers of Accountants and Financial Services.


PowerPoint is a fundamental programme for any PA who has to assist, edit or deliver presentation for themselves or on behalf of management. This is a programme that can really help you to produce high quality presentations.  A good quality presentation can be seen by all in management at times, so this can really raise your profile and get you noticed for your high quality work. This type of benefit should not be underestimated.


Word is a key of course; you are likely to need to produce letters and other forms of written communication. This means that you will need to be able to use the formatting, layout and editing tools that are in Word. There is quite a long list of attributes that Word can offer and ideally you should look to gain as much skill as possible in this programme. This again means that you can get yourself noticed for the professional output that Word can provide you, when delivering documents.

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Core skills for a PA

A PA needs to have some key technical skills which include the ability to organise, work to tight deadlines, diarising and scheduling. These tasks can take up a lot of the day and the requirements for these tasks can vary, so you will need to be highly adaptable to your jobs requirements.

Other core skills that are vital are good writing skills in all different forms of communication. You will need to write excellent emails for all levels formality and always maintaining a professional and high level of Business English.

You will need to have a full range of IT skills in key software for the office, so Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook are likely to be core.

Typing and Audio skills are still important in some jobs, but are less important in others. You will not necessarily need 80wpm, but a competent typing speed is ideal of say 50wpm. Naturally, the more jobs will be open to you to apply the higher your speed. Audio transcription is less common, but again there are jobs that require this, so the skill will make more opportunities open and with a wider range of jobs than with audio skills.

Soft skills are the key to a good PA, so this means that you will need to have great people skills and be able to adapt them to each situation. This means being able to teamwork with your colleagues, manage upward with bosses and deal with complaints.

Client care skills are very important skills as well. However, negotiation and taking the initiative are also very useful in this type of job. All of these skills again need to be employed in a way that suits the conditions that you encounter. A PA is a flexible and dynamic worker who needs to change to suit their conditions.

Advanced and specialist skills are a great opportunity for a PA to be noticed. Projects are a skill that is a new part to many PA roles now, either working with the Project or even managing some Projects. Events are another similar skill. Bookkeeping and Finance are areas that PAs often find they have interaction when dealing with finance reports, budgets and expenses. Social Media and communications are now often managed by a modern PA and this offers a great opportunity to get noticed. This will mean understanding how to coordinate your Social Media work with the corporate strategy which is not as easy as it sounds.

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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Tricks to get a job interview

When you are looking for a new role and the job is either a little higher than your previous job or different, it can be tough to and the job interviews. Unfortunately, it is far easier to just look for another job that is similar to your last, but you will not get ahead if you just keep looking for the same type of job.

Here are tips on how to get the job interview that you want, by just tweaking your job seek.

  • Networking: Social media networking on LinkedIn can get you the contact that you need to land an interview. However, general old fashioned networking and telling your friend and acquaintances that you are looking for jobs in this area can lead to referrals. The key to this being a success is making sure you keep contact with a wide range of people and this is a process that will reap rewards in the long run.

  • Training: Update your skills if you need more current qualifications. Or if you need more relevant qualifications find an appropriate source of training and get the certificate. This is the most logical and easy way to gain the necessary accomplishments to get a job interview. However, it is going require some hard work, but nothing comes to those who don’t try to put in more effort.

  • Amend your CV: Amend your CV and covering letter to match the requirements of the jobs that you are applying for. Your previous roles and experience may be great for another role and things that you did not emphasise may be more relevant now. You need to be prepared to think totally from the perspective of your new job role.

  • Customise your covering letter: Ensure that when you apply to an individual company you include details of the company. This shows that this is not a mail shot to many different companies. It will even show an interest in the specific company.
Image courtesy of and author stuart miles

  • Follow up when appropriate: Because this shows interest and can even encourage the employer to take action, if they are procrastinating on the CV that they have received.

  •  Persevere and keep motivated: There are many reasons why some companies don’t get back in contact and try not to read anything into, as you will get through provided that you persevere and don’t lose sight of your objectives.

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