personal assistant:

Personal assistants work for managers and executives (or sometimes for wealthy or celebrity individuals and families), undertaking a variety of administrative tasks.
Personal assistants often act as the manager’s first point of contact.

What does a personal assistant do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Unlike an administrator who tends to look after a team, a personal assistant (PA) typically carries out administrative work on behalf of one individual. This individual is usually a manager or executive in a commercial, not-for-profit or public sector organisation. The role of a PA is to free an executive’s time from organising and administrative tasks so that they can spend maximum time on strategic tasks. Responsibilities typically include:

  • acting as a first point of contact: dealing with correspondence and phone calls
  • managing diaries and organising meetings and appointments, often controlling access to the manager/executive
  • booking and arranging travel, transport and accommodation
  • organising events and conferences
  • reminding the manager/executive of important tasks and deadlines
  • typing, compiling and preparing reports, presentations and correspondence
  • managing databases and filing systems
  • implementing and maintaining procedures/administrative systems
  • liaising with staff, suppliers and clients
  • collating and filing expenses
  • miscellaneous tasks to support their manager, which will vary according to the Sector and to the manager’s remit, eg completing some corporate governance reporting (to ensure that the business is being run properly and complying with legislation and regulations) or conducting research.
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