6 Tips for First Time PA’s

With each new year, comes new beginnings. For some, this includes a first job, a different position or an unknown executive. This unwritten chapter of your life provides fresh opportunities of adventure, hope and challenges. Although it takes courage to grow, and become who you really are – no one has ever said that you should do it by yourself.


As a personal assistant – other people’s priorities become your own. Their wants, needs, likes and dislikes fill your day and capture your attention continuously. Walters People have developed and advised on 6 tips for first time PA’s.

  1. Set priorities

Scheduling is a vital part of our job, as you keep someone else organised and on top of their game. This will not be possible if you are not organised yourself. Using checklists can help with providing a clear overview of your tasks; the appropriate time allocation of each one; as well as deadlines that need to be adhered to. Visit your checklist every morning and evaluate if there should be any additions; postponements; or removals of tasks. Effective time management can assist in understanding and fulfilling your role in the workplace; developing the ability to remain committed to the most important tasks; and communicating effectively with stakeholders and team members.

   2. Don’t procrastinate

More often than not, workloads can become overwhelming, and seemingly unmanageable. The dangerous snowball effect can create a perception that some tasks are bigger than what they are. While it could be tempting to put some assignments on hold, (for motivational or functional reasons), it’s important to stay on track to ensure you meet all your deadlines. If you force the less desired tasks to become reality, you force yourself to face these “fears” in a dynamic manner. Booking a meeting room, or telling your manager what to expect by the end of the day, can force you to suppress the tendency to postpone it even more.

  1. Keep your boss informed

You can’t assume your boss knows what you’re doing, the progress you’ve made or the obstacles you’ve overcome unless you provide them with that information. By creating a central Excel file (using Google Sheets / Google Drive), you can supply an overview of all the tasks and projects you are working on, as well as your successes/challenges. Be sure to look through your email regularly, so you can keep the list up to date. Create a visual understanding by using colour codes of accomplished tasks, pending or future activities for specific projects. Not only will it help you stay on top of your work, but it also demonstrates the respect that you have for your boss by keeping them in the loop.

  1. Ask for input

If you are new to the organisation, there are other people around you who understand the company culture, goals and mission through experience. Asking them how you could better serve the organisation shows eagerness and provides you of an idea of what your next steps should be. Take control and volunteer for additional projects which will help the business; such as updating systems; filing; or even customer contact. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback regarding your own personal performance either. It is equally important to show gratitude and give praise. Everyone likes to be noticed and appreciated. By showing admiration, people know you value them, and they will be more likely to value you in return and want to work with you.

  1. Stay informed

Ensure that you are always up-to-date on all topics relating to the projects your manager is working on. By being prepared for all meetings in advance and constantly thinking about what your boss may require, you demonstrate your initiative and knowledge. By understanding your boss’s job, and how they fit into the organisation as a whole, you can add more value to your position as well as aiding the bigger picture of the company’s vison. Keep your eyes and ears open and stay informed on who is working on which project. In the event that your manager asks whether an event will take place or who is responsible for adjusting information in a system, you will be able to respond quickly.

  1. Learn about your boss’ likes and dislikes

Don’t’ be afraid to ask your manager how they want their work week to be scheduled. Every individual has their “own” way of how they want their days to pan out. Some prefer to book important meetings first thing in the morning whereas others might need to first settle in and plan out their day. This information will assist with your scheduling of appointments. If you know your boss likes to have completed projects on their desk in a particular coloured folder, make an effort to include those folders in the office stationery order. Small details make a big difference and will help you become indispensable.




* Walters People
* https://www.walterspeople.be/career-advice/six-career-tips-for-first-time-personal-assistants.html
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