This month we talk to Charlotte, who was recently placed by Oriel Partners in a very exciting role, working as a Private PA. We asked Charlotte some questions to find out what she enjoys the most about her role and how she got to where she is today.
Q1. What do you enjoy the most about being a PA?
What I enjoy the most about being a Private PA is the variety of tasks I’m being asked to do on a daily basis. You learn so much from so many different areas, it is really interesting. No two days are ever the same, there is no routine, you find yourself looking for the most unthinkable things sometimes and it makes the job very rewarding!
Q2. Tell us what it is like working in your current industry?
Working in this industry is a huge challenge. I get to learn from people who are at the top and it makes me feel very lucky. Being a private PA is about representing your boss at all times, therefore discretion is paramount. Something I’ve realised is that working as the closest person to the boss creates lots of jealousy around you, but it actually shows how important your job is, no matter the task.
Q3. What are the biggest challenges in your role?
I think the biggest challenge of all is knowing that plans always change and often at the last minute, so you can never be sure, or actually almost always be sure things will not go according to plan! Another big challenge is obviously the fact that we are living through a very tough period and dealing with delays or consequences of the Covid pandemic, making our job very difficult at times.
Q4. How did you become a PA?
I must admit I got very lucky in the way that I became a PA. This is something I had wanted for a very long time, dedicating myself to a family or a principal. Unfortunately, because I have a background in luxury hospitality my profile was not a match for PA positions and I didn’t have the experience required. Fortunately, I met with Olivia at Oriel Partners and she understood my position, fought for me and got me this role I am in now, so I owe it to her and my boss who took a risk hiring a PA with no experience!
Q5. What advice would you give to someone looking to start their PA career?
One piece of advice I would give to someone starting a PA position would be, enjoy the job but make sure to look after yourself. This is the kind of job, if you care about it, that can become overwhelming and it’s important to maintain a good work life balance. Secondly, take a lot of notes and always carry a notepad with you, I believe it’s the only way not to forget anything when you get given so much information a day!
Q6. What couldn’t you live without in your daily role?
My phone, calendar and notepad are three things I could absolutely not live without! My notepad is like my sacred book that contains every little piece of information I need!
Q7. What is the best career advice you have ever been given?
Someone once said to me: "Always be professional, the professional people are the trusted ones and therefore the ones who succeed”.
Q8. What is your biggest professional achievement?
For me the biggest achievement is knowing that through my previous employment I was able to build long term relationships. I think it truly shows how much your work was appreciated.
Q9. When you are not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
When I’m not at work I like to meet with friends for drinks, discovering new bars and restaurants in the city as I’m quite a foodie! I also have a certain passion for fashion so I keep myself up to date on this matter and when possible I travel!
Q10. What is the hardest interview question you have ever been asked?
I think the hardest question to answer somehow is “what is the biggest challenge in your role” as every single day itself is always a challenge! There is always unexpected things coming up or at least one thing that does not go according to plan so really every day is a challenge!