What does a PA/EA do?
As the title suggests, the role of a PA role automates responsibility to assist one or a few people with their correspondence, phone calls, diary management, arranging travel, and in some cases organising events and conferences. An EA acts as the point of contact among executives' employees, clients, and other external partners conducting similar duties as those mentioned earlier.
What qualifications do they require?
Naturally, educational qualifications will prove advantageous, however, prior experience is the most important factor for aspiring PAs. Many begin their career in a form of administration building office skills and working efficiency before stepping into a team assistance position for example. In larger organisations, the ability to work your way up within the same company is greater of course but it is not considered abnormal for administration or support workers to consider a change of position every 2-3 years to continue learning and improve their earning potential.
What is their market value?
Very broadly, an experienced personal assistant might earn anything from £30,000-60,000+ basic salary whereas Executives can expect anything from £50-80,000+ in addition to all travel expenses and additional perks.
What are the working hours/shift pattern?
It is widely understood that this role is likely to require a more flexible lifestyle and working routine. There are of course exceptions and positions we recruit for that ask for 9-5 availability Monday – Friday however it is not unusual for the team to receive instructions for less “normal hours.” This might look like a late start and finish, such as 10.30 am – 7pm or perhaps usual hours between Tuesday-Saturday for example.
How often do you recruit PA/EA’s?
Our office support desk is tasked with recruiting on average 3-5 PA/EA’s per month; these positions more often than not require a minimum of 1-year previous experience in the role and up to a minimum of 5 years. Depending on the seniority of the position and the stature of the client, in some cases, you might be expected to sign confidentially agreements before full disclosure.
What do you think is one of the advantages of being a PA/EA?
Loyalty is highly respected in this career and we’ve seen in many cases PA’s change careers with their Associates. In the right role and supporting the right person or people, you can quickly grow alongside them and might be exposed to more and more exciting things throughout your career, together. Furthermore, for those who have been in the field for a few years already, as you become more experienced you will, of course, have the opportunity to work with more senior executives who might require you to, for example, travel internationally alongside them and meet with other important faces and elevate your experiences.