The PA (Personal Assistant) is probably the most valuable member of the team for many senior executives. In many organizations, they are known as executive assistants that add productivity for leaders. The pillar that holds everything together, the PA has many assets and is usually the person that most people turn to for the answers to their queries.
In fact, the PA has become such an integral part of corporate life that they have become invaluable. Among the daily duties of managing diaries, emails, events and other important tasks, there are also those requests that you wouldn’t find in the traditional job description. Attic Recruitment gives their view on the role of the corporate PA vs the personal PA and whether the lines are becoming increasingly blurred:
What Is Acceptable?
Of course, the PA needs to be familiar with the boss’s personal diary as well as their business calendar. It will be necessary sometimes to plan around family commitments like birthdays, anniversaries and other important events. Often, they are called upon to organize such events. From booking dinner reservations to arranging family holidays down to the care of pets, the PA is usually the ‘go to’ person.
In today’s corporate world it is not uncommon for the PA to be almost a part of the family. They take calls from the wife/husband, answer telephone calls and give information as to the time the boss will be home, knowing the whereabouts of the whole family at all times. When do the lines between a personal PA and a corporate PA become blurred and what is acceptable?
Are The Requests Acceptable?
It could be argued that many of these tasks could be deemed as unsuitable requests, but are they? Being hired as a personal assistant means that sometimes, to manage your boss efficiently, you need to go above and beyond the realms of ‘normality.’ The role of the corporate PA is often about being able to manage your boss, this will sometimes encroach on the personal as well.
Some may see the personal duties as a step too far, preferring to keep things to the corporate environment, while others may see it as part of their role to look after the boss’s needs. If you are going to be working as a senior PA to a senior executive then it is good to set boundaries from the start. Agree what is expected of you and perhaps understand that at times there will be occasions when things are asked of you that are outside of the norm.
While the roles of the corporate PA and the personal PA are completely separate there are times when they will inevitably become blurred. It is widely recognized that sometimes many PA’s will be required to go above and beyond with executive travel arrangements. If this is the profession that you have chosen there is a certain acceptance that needs to be adopted however this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to speak up if you feel the lines are blurred. If you are spending a large amount of your life in the professional environment you need to be happy in your work.
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