Since beginning my journey to starting my own VA business, I got to thinking about how undervalued PA’s are. It is said that 72% of PA’s felt that their role was undervalued as a professional career choice, and PA’s with over 30 years experience, one in three said that they wouldn’t choose a career path as a PA again. Quite high stats don’t you think? What is it about being an assistant that makes others question this career choice and why do we stay in a job that we feel is undervalued?
I have been fortunate enough to have worked for some fantastic executives in my career. There were times when I worked with bosses who valued my advice. PA’s roles these days, are now almost on par with a manager or director. We are decision makers, have strong social media skills and often manage staff and teams.
A PA’s role is constantly evolving and in today’s world. An assistant does so much more than filing and typing letters. We carry out unseen hidden tasks such as social media management, document production, research, relationship management, bookkeeping, minute taking, diary management, system knowledge, HR and marketing. A good PA will even be a step ahead of you, silently contributing to your day.
I truly believe that assistants have such a wide range of skills. In fact we can turn our hand to most things. Assistants are one of the greatest assets a company has. It goes without saying that our role is indispensable. We save our bosses time, which enables them to be more productive which in turn, makes the organisation more money.
So recognise your PA’s talent and hard work. Automate, and reduce our time to alleviate us doing menial repetitive tasks and allowing us to focus on what we enjoy doing. Elevate our role to make it more personal and the title more applicable. Set boundaries so that people don’t use us as a dumping ground. Be aware of the way that you communicate with your PA, exercising kindness and empathy occasionally will go a long way.
You would be remiss to think that the admin role in your business was not important. Undervaluing this core responsibility can cause chaos and instability.