Taking Care from Head to Toe

Each ‘FRIENDS’ episode reminds us that: ‘no-one told you life was going to be this way’. However, YOUR friends, family & colleagues, constantly remind you that you need to look after yourself. It seems like such an obvious notion, but as a PA, you are driven by the idea that you need to look after others and run their daily routines. For many, it’s in your nature to put others first, and consider yourself last (which is probably why you’re so good at your job). However, not looking after yourself can lead to lower energy levels; anxiety or the feeling of uncertainty; dwelling in guilt that you haven’t done enough; or performing your functions with less vigour or competence than what you are used to. Don’t worry – we’ll be there for you… We have a couple of techniques for you to use to pamper yourself (at a cost-effective rate) at home and PIVOT the way you feel about yourself, and #BeFabulous. SKIN: Your face is the first thing that you look at each day, and is the first thing that people notice about you. It holds the power to show your emotion, express yourself in conversation and create a...Read More

Captain Consistency

The very definition of a Personal Assistant is an ‘assistant who works for one person in particular’. Never mind working for yourself. You’re running your own life, and someone else’s (and often, more than one persons) at the same time as yours. To do this effectively, organisation is vital. In this day and age, PA’s have one of the most diverse job descriptions out there. Often their skills, abilities, talents and focus are not only shifted between executives, but could possibly range from running personal errands to conducting a staff meeting on the behalf of the chief executives. This versatility was emphasised during the economic struggles of the 2000’s. As most companies were forced to retrench staff, secretaries became responsible for more than one manager and started taking over tasks that were generally assigned to middle-level management. This would not be possible without some sort of organisation. As much as we would all like to believe that we are a secret super-hero, we are only human and are bound to forget something every now and then. Developing your own system of organisation can assist in avoiding this imminent forgetfulness, and assist in keeping the façade of a Marvel Avenger. Find...Read More

PA of the month Shirley Antic

Hello Shirley Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to the PA network. It is always interesting for us to hear about our members’ working lives and get insights into working practices in different environments and fields of expertise. You work for the world's largest primary producer of platinum and your boss is the CEO of this conglomerate. Saying you must be pretty busy is a bit of an understatement, so let’s get right to it. Can you clarify your role/title, and your boss’ title? Executive Assistant to Chris Griffith, CEO Anglo American Platinum Limited and his Technical Assistant, Stephen Bullock What is the first thing you do when you get to work? Greet Chris if he’s in the office (he travels quite a lot – to the mines and overseas - so isn’t always in the office first thing in the morning) – I have to walk past his office to get to my desk! Log on my office phone and laptop. Make us all a cup of tea - we’re all in the office by around 06:30. We are usually the first one’s in the office in the morning (and sometimes the...Read More

8 questions to ask a new boss

What questions should you be asking your boss in the first few days of your new job? You are working in a new environment, with new people and, more than likely, within a new work culture. Asking your new manager the following questions, will enable you to manage expectations, make a good impression and know where to find answers as early as possible, so that your new job begins as seamlessly as possible.   What is your boss' management style? This is one of Forbes.com’s top 10 questions and it’s probably one of the most important ones. Are you going to be micromanaged or will you largely be left alone to your own devices.   What is most important thing to your boss when it comes to their employees? Knowing what is important to your boss, will help you understand what they expect from you. So, for example, if they are a stickler for time-keeping, NEVER, EVER keep them waiting and your deadlines are exactly that – stick to them.   How does your new manager prefer to receive information? Some people HATE communicating via e-mail, and will only want to be updated during a face-to-face or telephonic interaction. It...Read More