Most secretarial roles were fairly traditional then, unless you were lucky enough to have a particularly inspirational and forward thinking boss. Remember, these were the days when senior management in larger organisations had their own dining rooms with silver service waiting staff – no sandwiches in a “break out” area or a quick coffee at Pret!
I have worked at Director/Board level in Private Banking since the mid 1990s and have been in my current role since 2001.
I arrived at a period of significant strategic change in the organisation, which did not pose a problem for me, but needed careful management and consideration as other colleagues were obviously stressed by this.
The ability to cope with the change is a key quality for a senior PA.
The main challenges of my role are prioritisation and dealing with the various personalities of the Directors. Also, as technology permits so much homeworking and contact whilst on the move, it’s important for me to be a “hub” back at base.
One of the best parts of my role is that, with the different directors having so many interests over and above banking, I have made an enormous amount of contacts across a variety of sectors.
I first met Heather when she was presenting at a PA conference in London in 2006 and then introduced her to my organisation to provide coaching for other colleagues in secretarial and administrative roles. They were having to cope with immense change, but no one had thought to ask them if they were equipped with the tools to cope with these changes. Heather provided some valuable assistance and has remained a trusted contact of the organisation.