PA roles – Are Mums Already Qualified?
A PA can be indispensable in businesses of all sizes or types. Sounding board, typist, supervisor, organiser, diary-keeper – it’s a role that requires humility, discretion, flexibility, quick-mindedness and the ability to improvise at short notice.
Whilst these skills are undeniably honed through years of experience in the business and require a specialist touch, when you think about it there are actually stark correlations between the responsibilities of being a PA and the duties which come with being a mum. Yes, looking after little ones isn’t easy – and remarkably you’ll find you probably already possess the skills to become a competent, reliable PA simply through the day-to-day talents you have picked up whilst raising your children.
Kids by nature don’t have an agenda – which means you have to. Routine is key in day-to-day family life, juggling
various appointments, parties and work around school, swimming, dancing and taekwondo. If you think about it, you’re already managing the diaries of 3 or more people (yourself included) and that’s pretty good going – most PAs only have one or two directors to take care of.
Time keeping skills
With such a packed schedule, it’s imperative to ensure that everyone is in the right place at the right time and appointments aren’t missed. Don’t forget that you’re also keeping to a number of deadlines – school trip forms which have to be signed and in by a certain date, homework that needs to be in by the next morning – not to mention your own personal diary and perhaps that of your other half!
A PA is often the ‘port of call’ for other staff before a director is disturbed. This means that often they adopt a supervisory role even if that’s not part of their remit – alternatively a PA is in charge of other admin staff by default. Either way, you need pretty good leadership skills – skills which you undoubtedly already possess if you’ve ever been in charge of children – especially teenagers! Leadership is all about endearment, positivity, fairness, and motivation, as well as being firm and persuasive where needed – all things you’ve likely already learnt cajoling your stubborn little (or big) ones (especially the bigger ones!) into various situations.
Ability to multi-task
You’ve probably been there – balancing a pan of hot water in one hand, vegetables in the microwave, a phone wedged between your ear and your shoulder with on-hold music blaring through the receiver, pretending to be listening to your child talking about what’s just happened in the latest episode of Curious George. Being a PA can sometimes throw up very similar situations –on the phone, a director relaying minutes from an important meeting they’ve just had, emails coming in left right and centre, post needing to be opened lying on the desk in front of you. However if you’re a mum, you‘ve been there and done that – in fact, it may actually be easier than the dinner-time rush!
It’s pretty clear to see that if you’re a mum looking for something new to sink your teeth into, a new exciting career as a PA could be perfect for you. You may already have most of the skills required, and you may learn a few more that will make your time at home a little easier too.
To further expand on the confidence and skills you feel you may need for a PA role within an organisation then it could prove ideal for you to look at undertaking a personal assistant diploma which can be completed conveniently at home and in keeping with your current commitments, with all the support you need being readily available.
Guest article by Owen Smith – NCC Resources Ltd.
Bio: I am the Business Manager of NCC Resources LTD, a Home Learning and Commercial training provider based in St Helens. My responsibly is to oversee the growth of both business sectors NCC Home Learning and NCC Training Resources.