Carrying out your personal and business tasks with ease, friendliness and care, a highly capable and versatile Personal or Executive Assistant is an indispensable attaché thanks to their extensive training and background.
The interpersonal skills of our PAs are unparalleled, their reputations earned through and supported by years of experience responding to the needs of high profile principals working across the globe.
As problem solvers with excellent common sense and proven career track records, your PA/EA will be a bright and attentive individual. An ideal PA/EA is someone with a great degree of personal initiative and discipline who can work well in a fast-paced environment.
Set your mind at ease by engaging one of Irving Scott’s PAs/EAs to assist with time management, scheduling, errands, house-opening, and other crucial, time-consuming matters. Fulfilling this role requires an individual who has excellent interpersonal skills and administrative ability, so Irving Scott engages only those PAs/EAs who are cordial as well as capable.
The Role of a Personal and Executive Assistant
Personal assistants most often serve as a client’s first point of contact with the public, which can range from answering phones and greeting visitors, working alongside the client, or working completely autonomously, making sure properties are kept in tip-top shape in the resident’s absence or open for residency when needed. At times, they are retained to handle a client’s financial or real estate dealings as an agent or by proxy when a client is unavailable.
The personal and executive assistant designations are often used interchangeably but might be considered as two different roles. A personal assistant (PA) typically carries out administrative and organizational work and alleviates other time-draining tasks from a client’s agenda. An executive assistant (EA) can be considered a more senior position and will be accorded more responsibility, such as assisting with a client’s corporate or company business affairs or acting as a team manager. A Senior Executive Assistant may be asked to assume a certain level of control that necessarily demands a superb grasp of business operations, project management skills and even specialized qualifications such as CPA, paralegal or advanced business degrees.
Responsibilities of the PA/EA typically include:
- Acting as a first point of contact with the principal
- Dealing with correspondence and phone calls
- Liaising with staff, suppliers, purveyors and clients
- Keeping agendas and diaries, organising meetings and appointments
- Arranging travel plans, speaking engagements, and social appearances
- Keeping track and reminding client of important deadlines, dates and appointments
- Preparing reports, presentations and correspondence
- Composing correspondence and maintaining computer files and systems
- Researching areas of interest or concern for a client’s business or personal needs
Qualifications and Training Required
Key attributes for PA/EAs:
- Discretion and trustworthiness, as being privy to confidential information demands
- Ability to compartmentalize and put aside personal needs at times
- Staying calm when working under pressure
- Flexibility and adaptability, comfortable performing tasks on an impromptu basis
- Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
- Organisational and multi-tasking skills with high-level of efficiency
- Proactive self-starters with the ability to motivate others
- Tact and diplomacy with good critical thinking ability
- Computer and digital tech savvy, able to master new technologies
The work of a PA/EA may also cover home or personal life maintenance tasks, such as ensuring permits and licenses are up to date or managing the household staff’s calendar.
‘Not Just a Girl’s Job’
As the Nanny profession includes more Mannies in their workforce, the P.A. profession is also experiencing a gradual narrowing of the gender gap as more men are regarding the profession as a viable and satisfying career opportunity. Being the boss’s ‘right-hand man’ is often more a right-hand person in the personal assistant world but yesterday’s ‘Girl Friday’ could soon become ‘Guy Friday’.
A innovative national, non-profit organization whose mission is to ‘champion, promote and develop the Assistant profession’, the Executive & Personal Assistants Association (EPAA) serves as a membership body that offers support services for career development and networking. Their 2017 campaign ‘Not Just a Girl’s Job’ was created to highlight the disparity in the female:male ratio. They estimate that approximately 97% of Assistants are female, 3% male.
Another certification that career-oriented PAs/EAs may seek to possess is a CAP designation, Certified Administrative Professional, awarded by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). This designation is earned by passing a 4-part examination in relevant topics such as management, administration and office technology.