Although I wax lyrical that the role of a PA is a great career I would not recommend going into it with rose tinted spectacles expecting to be recognised for all your efforts and achievements on a regular basis. This is simply not the case and if you are someone that needs constant praise and reassurance then perhaps this is not the path to take.
More often than not a great PA will have put processes, practices and procedures in place for their office and every day working life to run smoothly. However due to the varying and ever changing and evolving demands that may arise from the job, not all eventualities can be predicted or foreseen ahead of time. However much effort and thought has gone into any given task, whether it be organising a large event such as an end of year party for staff, inter-office team building activity or an overseas business trip involving complicated machinations such as time zones, language and cultural barriers, something will inevitably not go according to plan, more often than not through no fault of the Assistant. By the very essence of the role, a PA has to rely on others to deliver and however much instruction has been given something will occur or someone will not step up to the plate for whatever reason. I have resolutely accepted that in my role as an Assistant I am paid to be blamed, but as long as I know I did everything in my power to deliver the best result, then I can sleep sound at night. My advice to any would-be PA is to realise that the position is very much in the background and to be prepared to take the flack when things don’t go right and to accept you may not be the conquering hero when things go right as this is expected as the norm.
There are so many tasks I do on a regular basis that I don’t mention and don’t get recognised for but if they were not carried out then it would become apparent, from managing the office to sending out gifts and the list goes on. I’m also happy to take the role of ‘bad cop’ with my Boss being the ‘good cop’ or nice guy. In my mind, an integral part of my role is to make my Boss look good or be seen in the best possible light, and that is ultimately achieved discreetly behind the scenes.
My most wished for reward upon successful completion of a task is a mere THANK YOU and I am lucky enough to get this on a regular basis. Who needs chocolates, flowers or Champagne when two simple words mean so much more!