Friday, 30 January 2015

Working As a PA? The Secret To Multi-Tasking!



PA's have always been a job role that is considered a busy one, but lately the trend has been for them to be even busier. Thanks to the trend of companies downsizing staff are being asked to take on more responsibility. This isn't often a big problem, but it does mean that you need to become a master of multi-tasking if you want to succeed.

Being Organised
As much as you might be organised and multi-task, you have to accept that you can't do everything. There  is nothing wrong with having work in progress that still needs to be completed as long as it on your to-do list and you know where you are with it. Have an end of the day review towards the end of your working day so that you always know exactly where  you are up to.

By knowing where you are up to, you should also know what works needs to be done at the start of each day. This gives you the ideal opportunity to browse through and prioritise what needs to be done. When you're able to delete work that doesn't need doing and tick off tasks as they are complete, you'll find that your working day gets much less stressful.



Manage Your Own Time

If there is anything that you feel you aren't going to complete on time, do what you can to reset deadlines. Most people will accept late delivery etc as long as they are kept up to date and their expectations are managed.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and author stuart miles


You are in charge of your own time, so if there is something that needs doing then don't be afraid to say no to other tasks until it is done. If someone asks for  5 minutes of your time see if you can talk to them when you have finished, so that you don't get distracted.

You are also in charge of your work load. Be wary of taking on tasks that aren't part of your job role. We all take on tasks to be helpful and progress in our career but be careful of taking on anything that is too far outside your work remit and will just result in delaying the delivery dates of your own tasks.
You know whether you are a naturally organised person or not. If you're not then you should make sure that you do what you can to counteract this. You might need to work a little harder to be organised, but with diaries, schedules and reminders set up, it is possible.

You should be aware of your work life taking over your private life. You're only going to be a good PA if you're fresh, not tired and enjoying your job. Remember that you do need time away from work and you do need relaxation time, so don't be afraid to take it.

To find out more about becoming a PA or Executive PA go to www.souterstraining.com

Job Hunting? How To Impress Recruiters



If you're looking for a job then the chances are that you're going to sign up to a recruitment agency. These work as the middle man between a job seeker and an employer, so often are your best possible chance of landing your dream job. Of course there are other ways to find a job but this is often one of the most effective. If you're going to contact agencies then it stands to reason that you are going to want to create a good impression. You want them to put you forward for jobs, and they're only going to do this if they think you are worthy. 

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


The Role of A Recruitment Agent

Before you can register with a recruitment, you should really have an understanding of their role. They usually work for an employer who has paid them to find the best candidate for a job position. It can be a hard position to be in, because there is a lot of pressure to find the right person. After all, if they don't then they run the risk of their client not coming back and this is something everyone wants to avoid.

That said there is often competition from different agencies so they can't always take their time to find the perfect person. Often they'll interview you before a position becomes available so that when the right one comes up they can put you forward for it without delay. They rely on having a good pool of candidates to pick from for when different opportunities arise. This keeps their client happy and means that they get paid quicker, which for any business is always a bonus.

Image courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Creating The Right Impression

Imagine you are the agent. You have a number of people on your books and you're feeling pressure from companies to find them people to work for. How do you decide who you are going to put forward for work? You're going to want the best person for the job. So what are they looking for?
Experience - Make sure you highlight any experience you have when you apply, this will make it much easier for them to match you to job positions.

A Decent CV - Your C is the best way to showcase your abilities to both the agencies and your potential employer. It is worth getting someone to look over this in order to make sure that it is perfect. Tweak your job roles and experience to make sure that they match the types of job you are applying for.

Flexibility - They want people that are willing to work hard and be available as and when they are needed. Make yourself as available as possible  - replying to emails quickly and ensuring that you are always on the other end of the phone.

Find out more about Office Manager Careers and Jobs at www.office-manager-courses.com

Project Management a career option for a PA



Whether you're involved in project management as part of your job role or as a permanent career change you're going to want to make sure that you know what you are doing. These days many executive PA and PA roles have a lot more project management demands within them, so it's a skill you're going to want to learn.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and author ambro


The problem is that many people assume that project management is something that they're not going to be able to do so they back away from going own this career route. This is a big mistake because it means that you are closing yourself off to a number of solid career choices. You don't need set qualifications to pursue a successful career in project management.

What Skills Do You Need?

One of the most important skills you need if you're going to be involved in project management is organisation. You're going to be in charge of diaries and all sorts of events and dates. You need to make sure that you're able to organise your own life as well as that of your bosses. You'll probably need to be involved in organising the diary of some of your team members too!

Depending on the industry you're involved in, you'll need different kills that match this. You might need technical skills on top of planning and scheduling projects within this. Most people find that their project management skills allow them to move from one project to another quite easily, as long as they have knowledge of the industry you are looking to be involved in .

It is also important that you are confident in networking with other people and acting as a point of contact. The chances are that many people who call your boss will come through you first, so you'll need to be used to fielding calls and dealing with the accordingly. You should be happy to contact other businesses and industry experts that you need contact with in order to complete your project.
As organised as you might be, there are going to be problems that arise and that need to be resolved. It is important that you have problem solving skills  and are willing to get stuck in. You should be good at spotting issues as they arise and not afraid to deal with them quickly. A big part of your role is flexibility and known that you need to do lots of different roles rather than just one set role.



These are skills that you should have, but that can be taught and nurtured. If you are looking to move into a career within project management then an educational course for PAs and office managers could be a good way to get started. 

To find out more about being a Project Managing PA go to: http://www.souterstraining.com/project-management-courses

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2015 and changing jobs or careers



Are you bored in your current job or looking for a change, but unsure whether you should make a change? With each New Year it is good to assess where you want to be aiming in your career and general life, so why not assess whether it is a good time to change jobs, careers or just switch role at your current company. So here are some questions to ask you when making a decision.

  • What is the job market like; can I easily find another job?

The market is stronger going into 2015 than it has been in years, so this is an ideal time to look for a new job. Companies are growing and they are opening new areas and departments, so some great new jobs are out there now. The opportunities will be more abundant now than before, so if you are going to make the jump this is ideal.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and author xedos4

  • Do I want a career or job change?

Are you bored of working in your role or do you not like your career and need a total change. Changing job is easier to do as you have relevant experience, but the danger is that the other job will be similar to your current one. However, changing careers can be difficult as you will need to match your transferrable skills and then potentially retrain. Therefore, you must assess which is right for you. However, 2015 with a good job market may be the best time to make the jump and change career.

  • To make a career change choose the correct path

Look at jobs and try to match them to your transferrable skills. If they are a good match you are likely to be able to make the transition easily. Nevertheless, you should consider updating your skills as a qualification in the new industry will help you get that first job. It will also show your seriousness to making the change, because you have taken time to develop yourself in the new skills required.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and author stuart miles
  •  Find suitable training

You need to review the best courses and training out there. Ideally try to find training provider with connections to jobs and that have a good element of practical to help you get prepared for the new type of job. Theoretical and non-interactive training is not suitable for this type of situation, as you need to be job ready by the end of the programme. Once you have found the correct course, you can execute your plan.

Find out more about training at www.pa-course.co.uk

Monday, 29 December 2014

Minute Taking is a key skill for a PA or Administrator



Minute Taking is vital skills for anyone working in administration or as a PA. This is because at some point or perhaps frequently you will be required to take minutes at meetings. This task can be looked at as being a mundane task, but it is actually a moment to succeed in your position. It should be seen as a great opportunity. 

Why you may ask?

The answer is simple; in your role how often do you get attention from managers in the entire company?



The answer is likely to be that from time to time you will interact with individual managers, one at a time, whilst acting as the point of contact for your own manager. You will not interact with all managers collectively. However, when you attend meetings in the role of the Minute Taker, you are teaming up with senior managers. In distributing the minutes, you will be sending them out with your name across managerial levels. This is the ideal time to improve your image in the organisation.

Although it is a good opportunity to boost your career and be seen as an efficient worker, it could also jeopardise your position if you were to produce bad quality minutes.

For this reason you must ensure that you are comfortable with the quality and presentation of the minutes that you produce. Therefore, you will need to keep the knowledge of terminology used and your English to the highest level.

However, you will need to find and adapt the most suitable minutes template to ensure that your minutes are presented as the very best that it can be.

Freedigitalphotos.net image courtesy of and author ambro


As a Minute Taker, you need to take effective minutes, as the most difficult thing part of the task is to capture the most significant parts of the meeting, without missing key points. The main point is you do not want to write lengthy minutes with unnecessary details. When you attend a two hours meeting with lots of talking, it can be tricky to summarise the main points of the discussion. This is why it is important to develop good minute taking skills.

However, once you have mastered these skills you have then opened many options in your career such as higher paid job such as executive PA and Company Secretarial work require excellent minute taking skills. So it is a skill that you should aim to master sooner rather than later.

To find out more about Minute Taking Workshop please go to http://www.souterstraining.com/secretary-course/minute-taking-courses