This month we talk to Lucy, who is a PA working in the property sector. We asked Lucy 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?
I like to be busy! Every day is completely different and being a PA to 5 company directors means I have no trouble filling my time! Being a PA gives me a huge sense of value within the company. It’s great to be the ‘go-to’ person within the team when people have questions. I’m super organised and thrive being the small cog that makes the wheel of the wider company turn!
Q2. TELL US WHAT IT IS LIKE WORKING IN YOUR CURRENT INDUSTRY?
Working in property development is fast paced and fun. The team are all really friendly and I find it really exciting to be part of a growing company.
Q3. WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN YOUR ROLE?
The biggest challenge is a tricky question because I’m enjoying it all so much! I would probably have to say the biggest challenge so far is prioritising. There’s nothing worse that when I’ve just got stuck into a great project that requires quite a bit of my time and focus and then I have a request through for something to be done urgently. Juggling tasks and setting priorities is key!
Q4. HOW DID YOU BECOME A PA?
I previously worked in the events industry and found that there were lots of transferrable skills from organisation and planning, to teamwork and customer service. I fancied trying a new adventure and that’s when I met Olivia and Auria who helped me land the PA role that I’m in today!
Q5. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO START THEIR PA CAREER?
Be open to options. There are so many opportunities out there in a variety of industries. Take some time to think what sort of business would personally suit you and what job vacancies excite you. Finally, be yourself in the interview! Try to get your personality across and ask questions that give you an insight into the business and how they work. You’ll be working really closely with your boss or the team you are assisting so it’s important you find out a little bit about how they work and if you think you could work well with them.
Q6. WHICH APPS & TOOLS CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT IN YOUR DAILY ROLE?
My outlook diary and my work phone. I use my outlook diary every single day to plan ahead and prioritise tasks. Although my outlook diary is undoubtedly the most important tool I use, my work phone helps me to be on hand whenever I might be needed. If I’m asked to travel or pop out of the office at any point, I’m always on hand to help and contactable on the go!
Q7. WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Tricky one! People have given me some great tips along the way but I’d have to say the best advice so far is: ‘you’re interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing you’. I think this is so important - particularly for a PA role. You’ll be working so closely with your boss, it’s important that you both get a good first impression at the interview. You need to feel you’ll be able to work well with them and be happy at the company.
Q8. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT?
I would have to say my biggest professional achievement is being nominated by colleagues to attend the Queen’s Garden Party, representing the company. Apart from the fact it was an amazing experience, the nomination made me feel so valued as part of the team and I’ll always remember how fantastic it was to talk to members of the Royal Family about my work!
Q9. WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT WORK, WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING AND WHERE?
I love the fact the office is in central London so I can meet friends in the evenings for drinks and dinner. While I spend most of my time in London, I live in the country so love to relax and unwind on scenic walks at the weekend or by baking some sweet treats!
Q10. WHAT IS THE HARDEST INTERVIEW QUESTION YOU HAVE EVER BEEN ASKED?
‘What do we do?’ This seems like such a simple question. You’ve done your research, you know what company you’re interviewing for, but they want to see that your research sets you apart from others. Fortunately, I had the help of Oriel Partners who were amazing at helping me to prepare by telling me all about the company.
Q11. WHICH ONLINE MAGAZINES/ BLOGS DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT
I spent a lot of time on Linkedin looking for job opportunities and researching companies but this was before I found Oriel Partners on Secs in the City. When I searched the website, I found some really useful tools to help me prepare for interviews! Olivia and Auria have a great podcast on recruitment advice which I listened to before my interview.