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PA Seminar - Hays and APA Ipswich 2011


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At a seminar in March 2011 three key individuals in the PA profession spoke to an audience of PAs in Ipswich - here is the content.
The presenters are: Geoff Sims, Managing Director, Hays Pa & Secretarial, Laura Richardson FAPA DipPA, the Hays and The Times UK PA of the Year 2010/11 and Dr. Gareth Osborne, Director General APA.

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PA Seminar - Hays and APA Ipswich 2011

  1. 1. Hays and APA Roadshow 2011 Ipswich presentation 01/03/11 The Association of Personal Assistants
  2. 2. HAYS/APA SEMINAR CAREERS BEST PRACTICE Geoff Sims Wednesday 1 st March 2011 Winner of the PA Employer of the Year 2010
  3. 3. AGENDA <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Essential skills </li></ul><ul><li>Career Development </li></ul><ul><li>Your CV </li></ul><ul><li>The local market </li></ul><ul><li>PA of the Year Award </li></ul>
  4. 4. A CAREER AS A PA TODAY <ul><li>The challenges </li></ul><ul><li>PAs often lack someone to look out for their career development and may not get regular appraisals </li></ul><ul><li>PAs have to juggle many tasks at once </li></ul><ul><li>PAs don’t challenge their boss sufficiently because they see how busy they are </li></ul><ul><li>Many PAs don’t realise their worth </li></ul><ul><li>The advantages </li></ul><ul><li>More respect for PAs as a profession </li></ul><ul><li>Increased opportunities and salaries for PAs </li></ul><ul><li>Professional networks and specialist advisers can provide assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of training courses exist </li></ul><ul><li>Strong networking within an exclusive community </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>ESSENTIAL SKILLS </li></ul>
  7. 7. ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR THE MODERN WORKPLACE <ul><li>Technical </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced level of Microsoft packages inc Word, Excel and PowerPoint </li></ul><ul><li>Language skills more desirable than ever as companies globalise </li></ul><ul><li>PAs with degree level or equivalent qualifications are in demand as profile rises </li></ul><ul><li>Soft skills </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-tasking </li></ul><ul><li>Communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiating </li></ul><ul><li>Influencing </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational skills </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomacy and discretion </li></ul><ul><li>Self motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrating initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Attention to detail </li></ul><ul><li>Networking </li></ul>
  8. 8. THE IMPORTANCE OF SOFT SKILLS <ul><li>The modern PA must have excellent interpersonal skills as they often liaise with many different parties </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to deal with people in a clear and firm manner but also display empathy is vital </li></ul><ul><li>Good relationships depend on awareness, diplomacy and clear communication </li></ul><ul><li>Your manager having confidence in your abilities to deliver will determine your career success </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>CAREER DEVELOPMENT </li></ul>
  10. 10. CAREER PATH <ul><li>Continue as a PA </li></ul><ul><li>Increase existing responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Manage and train other staff – admin, executive assistants </li></ul><ul><li>Become PA for a more senior director </li></ul><ul><li>Move to a different organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the boss! </li></ul><ul><li>Move into other areas </li></ul><ul><li>Human Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>PR </li></ul><ul><li>Company Secretary </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Procurement </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>YOUR CV </li></ul>
  12. 12. KEEP YOUR CV UP-TO-DATE <ul><li>Keeping your CV up-to-date ensures that you are ready to pounce should an internal (or external) opportunity become available </li></ul><ul><li>An up-to-date CV means that you will not have to produce one in a hurry and compromise on content and presentation </li></ul><ul><li>An accurate CV helps focus you on your responsibilities and achievements, which can also help with appraisals and career discussions </li></ul><ul><li>An aid to CPD </li></ul><ul><li>Reminds you of your achievements </li></ul>
  13. 13. GET YOUR CV RIGHT <ul><li>Do </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it to three pages or less. Your CV must look clean and well laid out, with an abundance of white space to enhance readability </li></ul><ul><li>Use a simple font like Arial, 10-12pt, and keep formatting like italics and underlining to a minimum. </li></ul><ul><li>Bullets are extremely useful in CVs as they allow you to highlight key points succinctly and keep the document looking tidy. Start each one with an action verb if you can ('created', 'managed', 'increased', 'improved' etc), rather than 'I‘ </li></ul><ul><li>Spelling and punctuation must be perfect </li></ul><ul><li>The reader of your CV may not have more than a few seconds to spend scanning applications, so including a skills section can capture their attention by making it immediately clear what you can offer. Use real examples of responsibilities and achievements. </li></ul><ul><li>Make it clear which packages you can use and your level of proficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t </li></ul><ul><li>Send a photograph, include your age or feel you have to include your marital status </li></ul><ul><li>Exaggerate your abilities as you may be tested at interview </li></ul>
  14. 14. THE IMPORTANCE OF KEYWORDS <ul><li>Multi-tasking </li></ul><ul><li>Communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiating </li></ul><ul><li>Influencing </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational skills </li></ul><ul><li>Budget management </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomacy </li></ul><ul><li>Self motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Attention to detail </li></ul><ul><li>Problem-solving </li></ul><ul><li>Diary management </li></ul><ul><li>Provide examples of how you have demonstrated these skills and show it has benefited your employer </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>THE LOCAL MARKET </li></ul>
  16. 16. IPSWICH SNAPSHOT <ul><li>PA salaries from £18,000 - £25,000 (dependant on experience) </li></ul><ul><li>Redundancies have impacted salary expectations, £25k + salaries scarce </li></ul><ul><li>Strong IT skills, especially PowerPoint are essential </li></ul><ul><li>Minute taking (shorthand) skills are in demand </li></ul><ul><li>Public sector limited to temporary opportunities </li></ul>
  18. 18. THE 2010 AWARD <ul><li>Record number of applications </li></ul><ul><li>Impressive quality of PAs in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>Winner – Laura Richardson </li></ul>
  19. 19. 2011 HAYS PA OF THE YEAR AWARD <ul><li>Applications now open and close on Sunday March 13 th </li></ul><ul><li>Judging panel: </li></ul><ul><li>- Geoff Sims, Managing Director, Hays PA & Secretarial </li></ul><ul><li>- Laura Richardson, 2010 PA of the Year </li></ul><ul><li>- Gareth Osborne, Director General, APA </li></ul><ul><li>- Susie Barron-Stubley, Managing Director, Castalia Coaching & Training </li></ul><ul><li>Awards presented by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Michelle Mone OBE, Co-founder of Ultimo </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The process: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Shortlist, telephone interview, face-to-face interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Awards ceremony </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD <ul><li>Demonstrate the impact you have had on your organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight any additional responsibilities you’ve taken on </li></ul><ul><li>Show how you have been pro-active </li></ul><ul><li>Show your passion and enthusiasm for the role </li></ul><ul><li>RAISE PAs PROFILE IN YOUR ORGANISATION </li></ul>
  21. 21. THANK YOU
  22. 22. Laura Richardson FAPA DipPA Hays and The Times ‘PA of the Year’ The Association of Personal Assistants
  23. 23. Be a PA of the Year! Laura Richardson
  24. 24. <ul><li>My story </li></ul><ul><li>What do I think makes a great PA? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The 5 roles a great PA performs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to be a great PA! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The right mindset </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overcoming common challenges </li></ul></ul>Today I plan to take you through… © Laura Richardson 2011
  25. 25. <ul><li>A journey through the weird and wonderful… </li></ul>How did I become a PA?! Professional chocoholic Frozen Food Fiend Sausage Connoisseur Yellow Fats Ambassador © Laura Richardson 2011
  26. 26. <ul><li>Decided to leave marketing role because… </li></ul>How did I become a PA?! Laura- Brand Manager Senior Brand Manager Marketing Manager Business Unit Director Category Vice President The Dreaded Corporate Ladder! POLITICS! © Laura Richardson 2011
  27. 27. <ul><li>I want direct involvement at the highest level of the business </li></ul><ul><li>I want to work closely with & learn from the great business minds (Directors) </li></ul><ul><li>I want the fast pace & variety at the top level </li></ul>My epiphany! <ul><li>So, I’ll become a PA </li></ul>© Laura Richardson 2011
  28. 28. “ Why on earth do you want to become a PA?!” The reaction…. © Laura Richardson 2011
  29. 29. Starting my PA career… <ul><li>March 2008: Started ELEXON Ltd as PA to CFO </li></ul><ul><li>May 2008: ELEXON Induction Seminar </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I boldly told the CEO I thought ELEXON needed to rethink its stance on competitors! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And to prove my point… </li></ul>© Laura Richardson 2011
  30. 30. <ul><li>I stood up and asked the CEO: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Who is Harley Davidson’s BIGGEST Competitor?” </li></ul>My Breakthrough Moment… CONSERVATORIES!! © Laura Richardson 2011
  31. 31. <ul><li>The CEO was impressed! </li></ul>I’d had a Breakthrough Moment! <ul><li>He met with me later that day and appointed me to the Customer Service Improvement Forum: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ELEXON Branding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Company Events </li></ul></ul>© Laura Richardson 2011
  32. 32. With a little bit of hard work & enthusiasm- I kept growing my role! Became Chair of Company Event Committee Promoted to PA to Chairman, CEO & CFO New Project: Lead a Benchmarking study of the company New Project: Designed Business Process Models to improve company efficiency Made part of Managers Group Promoted to Executive Assistant Line Management of own Assistant New Project: Part of Business Transformation Team- identifying growth opportunities for the company Became Chair of PA Group PA of the Year!! © Laura Richardson 2011
  33. 33. <ul><li>Colleagues were openly re-evaluating the PA role: </li></ul><ul><li>I worked with HR to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-write my Job Description & re-grade my role </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a career progression path for support staff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I encouraged others to grow their roles </li></ul>I transformed my role in 2.5 years… “ I’ve never thought of the role as senior or important, and certainly not manager level …until now!” © Laura Richardson 2011
  34. 34. So, why did I win?! What makes a PA of the Year? ? © Laura Richardson 2011
  35. 35. Become an excellent PA/ PA of the Year! <ul><li>The What : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The five roles an excellent PA needs to perform </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The How : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to ensure you are performing excellently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The right mindset </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overcoming three common challenges </li></ul></ul></ul>© Laura Richardson 2011
  36. 36. The five roles at a glance: © Laura Richardson 2011 Switched on Structurer Confided-in Therapist All-seeing PR Agent Business Guru Transformer- Translator
  37. 37. How to become an excellent PA/ PA of the Year! <ul><li>The What : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The five roles an excellent PA needs to perform </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The How : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to ensure you are performing excellently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The right mindset </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overcoming three common challenges </li></ul></ul></ul>© Laura Richardson 2011
  38. 38. What do I mean by having the right Mindset?! “ I’m just a PA” © Laura Richardson 2011
  39. 39. The Media is realising the importance of PAs! © Laura Richardson 2011
  40. 40. Surveys show how important PAs are! The APA Business Leaders Survey of 5000 businesses showed that 44% of business leaders thought a PA increased their effectiveness by significantly more than 40%. Deborah Meaden from Dragon’s Den publicly commented that this statistic came as no surprise as ‘ the importance of having [a PA] at the base is paramount ’. © Laura Richardson 2011
  41. 41. The world’s most successful people know we PAs are important! Oprah Winfrey valued her PA, Beverley Coleman, so highly that she offered her $1 million to stay in the job. George Clooney rates his PA so much he bought her a mansion down the road from his in Beverley Hills. Richard Branson bought his PA , Penni Pike, a houseboat to show his gratitude for her brilliant work. 94 of the Times 100 Most Influential People in the World list a PA as an important influence in their lives. Two of the World's Richest Men (Bill Gates & Warren Buffett) publicly praise their PAs. © Laura Richardson 2011
  42. 42. Key business & industry experts know the importance of the PA role! “ The role is changing and it is now far more to do with planning, scheduling and management effectiveness than typing, filing and making coffee. The modern PA provides essential support to a busy executive and is there to catch the ball in a crisis.” Dr. Gareth Osborne, Director General Association of Personal Assistants “ The role of a PA used to be regarded as a support function but its status has risen so it is now seen much more as a fully fledged career .” Geoff Sims, Managing Director Hays PA & Secretarial © Laura Richardson 2011
  43. 43. “ Being a PA can be a career choice for highly competent business professionals . You can never underestimate the value of a good PA.” Karren Brady “ The role of the PA is changing; PAs are far more valued and respected than they were ten years ago” Victoria Sprott, UK Director Office Team “ It is clear that the position of a PA is becoming highly coveted ” Sophie Silver, Gumtree Jobs “ The PA has never been better qualified and that’s reflected in salaries” Cora Lydon, Executive PA Magazine Key business & industry experts know the importance of the PA role! © Laura Richardson 2011
  44. 44. You should now be convinced we’re important!! <ul><li>But there may still be something stopping you from performing this important role well </li></ul><ul><li>3 Common Challenges: </li></ul>“ I think that the PA role can be a very full & important one- but I don’t think I’m capable of growing my role.” “ I have lots of low-level tasks that I need to do- they’re time consuming but are important, and they don’t leave me enough time to do some more advanced things like project work etc.” “ I think my role is important, but others don’t, which means that I don’t get invited to projects or get given high level tasks.” 1. 3. 2. © Laura Richardson 2011
  45. 45. <ul><li>THE ANSWER: SELF DEVELOPMENT! </li></ul><ul><li>The more skills you have, the more indispensable you are! </li></ul>Common Challenge 1: Perceived lack of skills “ I think that the PA role can be a very full & important one- but I don’t think I’m capable of growing my role.” TRAINING NETWORKING © Laura Richardson 2011
  46. 46. <ul><li>THE ANSWER: </li></ul><ul><li>Look for opportunities to make processes more efficient: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>These changes will save you time & the company money </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Meaning you can add more value to your boss </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>I changed the ELEXON Starter Leaver Transfer process </li></ul>Common Challenge 2: Lots of low level tasks consuming time “ I have lots of low-level tasks that I need to do- they’re time consuming but are important, and they don’t leave me enough time to do some more advanced things like project work etc.” © Laura Richardson 2011
  47. 47. <ul><li>THE ANSWER: </li></ul><ul><li>Educate the ill informed- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share the proof I’ve shared with you! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work with HR to ensure your role is at the correct grading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I re-wrote my job description and re-graded my role </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lastly- USE your boss!!.... </li></ul>Common Challenge 3: Lack of respect from colleagues “ I think my role is important, but others don’t which means that I don’t get invited to projects or get given high level tasks.” © Laura Richardson 2011
  48. 48. <ul><li>You are a brand ambassador for your boss… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your boss should be a brand ambassador for you! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When your boss PR’s you: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You get the respect you deserve from colleagues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Colleagues will refer to you instead of your boss </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your boss’ workload decreases! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So make sure you use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your boss to PR you!! </li></ul></ul>USE YOUR BOSS!! © Laura Richardson 2011
  49. 49. <ul><li>At meetings sit in the middle of the table rather than hide at the ends </li></ul><ul><li>Pretend to be some one else- Eva Longoria/ James Bond/ Scarlett O’Hara </li></ul><ul><li>Internet articles on personal brand </li></ul><ul><li>Make yourself speak at meetings- at the very least to wrap up actions. </li></ul><ul><li>Mentally pay attention to the language ou are using about yourself- stop if you are saying anything less than positive. </li></ul>Confidence? © Laura Richardson 2011
  50. 50. “ Why on earth do you want to become a PA?!” In conclusion…. Because it’s a great career choice! © Laura Richardson 2011
  51. 51. <ul><li>I’ll keep on spreading the word about the importance of PAs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roadshows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politicians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daybreak </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Please join me in raising awareness! </li></ul>So what next?! © Laura Richardson 2011
  52. 52. “ Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion” Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel There’s nothing to stop you now!! <ul><li>Be proud of your role and have passion for it as… </li></ul>© Laura Richardson 2011
  53. 53. The Association of Personal Assistants The professional body for PAs, EPAs and VPAs in the UK and increasingly the world Dr. Gareth Osborne © APA 2011
  54. 54. Membership © APA 2011
  55. 55. to a group of like-minded professionals belonging © APA 2011
  56. 56. being recognised as a true professional Laura Richardson FAPA DipPA © APA 2011
  57. 57. being informed You, your Boss and your business © APA 2011
  58. 58. sharing best practice © APA 2011
  59. 59. £ expressing an opinion to local, national and European government © APA 2011
  60. 60. having a career path © APA 2011
  61. 61. being trained © APA 2011
  62. 62. and qualified © APA 2011
  63. 63. coming together © APA 2011
  64. 64. sharing advantage © APA 2011
  65. 65. © APA 2011
  66. 66. © APA 2011