This month we talk to Lauren, who is a PA working in the real estate sector. We asked Lauren some questions to find out what she enjoys the most about her role and how she got to where she is today.
Q: WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT BEING A PA?
A: The thing I enjoy most about being a PA is the variety that the role brings. There is always the opportunity to be involved in a variety of projects, whether that be organising events or project managing a task from beginning to end. The role I am currently in is supporting a Partner in both a business and personal capacity, so this certainly offers the variety that I look for in a role. I also find it fulfilling knowing that your actions have made somebody’s day more productive.
Q: TELL US WHAT IT IS LIKE WORKING IN YOUR CURRENT INDUSTRY?
A: I am currently working in real estate investment – it is a new industry for me but is a very exciting one. It is a fast-paced industry, whereby I have the opportunity to assist a Partner on multiple projects and see the progression of the real estate projects develop.
Q: WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN YOUR ROLE?
A: I would say prioritising the line manager’s workload; this is forever changing, given the fast-paced nature of the real estate investment industry - so being on top of this is a necessity. Having the ability to react fast to certain situations and having the ability to remain calm when under pressure is an important skill to have as a PA.
Q: HOW DID YOU BECOME A PA?
A: I studied an Executive PA course at college and learnt all the essentials of being a PA before deciding to further this and study an BA hons in Event Management at University. Upon graduating, I secured a role at an events organisation within the accounts team. After five years in accounts, I decided that I wanted to focus on my career as an EA. There were many transferable skills that I brought with me in my new career like being detail orientated, organised and being a problem solver.
Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO START THEIR PA CAREER?
A: Go for it! If you are an organised, detail orientated individual who enjoys helping others, finding solutions to problems and enjoy getting involved in different projects, then you will find it to be a very rewarding career. Secs and the City is a great job site for EA, PA and Secretarial roles - which is where I discovered Oriel Partners!
Q: WHICH APPS & TOOLS CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT IN YOUR DAILY ROLE?
A: It’s a simple one – my notebook and pen! I write everything down. The Outlook app is also a necessity, this allows me to have access to my emails and diary at the end of my fingertips.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
A: If you don’t know how to do something either ask someone or Google it! There are plenty of forums or tutorials on YouTube if you need assistance on something new.
Q: WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT WORK, WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING AND WHERE?
A: Pre-pandemic you could find me at various music events, socialising with friends and travelling, however right now, I am enjoying the simpler things in life like park walks, online HIIT workouts and yoga – there’s a fantastic app called Keep that I highly recommend.
Q: WHAT IS THE HARDEST INTERVIEW QUESTION YOU HAVE EVER BEEN ASKED?
A: What three things would you like to improve on?
Q: WHERE DO YOU GO TO UNWIND & RELAX
A: The gym – I’m a member at Nuffield, they have a great range of classes and spa facilities available. I am also looking forward to treating myself to a spa day, once they are back open again – The Cowshed is a favourite of mine.
Q: WHICH ONLINE MAGAZINES/ BLOGS DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT?
A: There are plenty of LinkedIn pages for PA’s/EA’s that are fantastic for tips and advice. The Assistant Room is a great page for skill sharing and networking with other assistants. They’ve also recently launched a podcast under the same name, where they interview PA’s from different industries, which can be very inspiring!