There are many skills needed to be a successful personal assistant. Luckily, with time and effort, they can all be learnt. So if you’re looking to pursue this career, have a look at what it will take to ace your duties.
Skills Needed to be a Successful Personal Assistant
A personal assistant helps an individual with personal and professional tasks. They have to write reports, organise events and much more. To understand the full scope of this role, take note of the skills needed to be a successful personal assistant. This is a demanding, highly rewarding role and requires you to have above average skills. You can make an impact if you have the following:
- Computer skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Good communication
- Ability to multitask
This should go without saying, but your main priority as a personal assistant is to help executives manage their tasks. You have to make sure they stay on schedule. But you cannot do so if you struggle to stay organised yourself. Being unorganised wastes time, and time is money.
Gone are the days when you had to write everything down with pen and paper. There’s amazing software to help personal assistants organise and schedule. In order to use them, you need to have good computer skills. Also, if there are issues, you won’t always have enough time to wait for IT, so you should know how to do basic troubleshooting on your own. If you’re worried about your technical abilities, you could study a computer course to help you brush up on these skills.
A great personal assistant is someone who pays attention to details. It will make you more efficient at your job. This job is a game of chess, not checkers. You have to see 12 moves ahead, meaning you should prepare for all potential issues and have solutions available. To do so, you need to take note of everything. Notice that your boss is more productive in the morning? Then be sure to schedule meetings for that time. Don’t worry, practice makes perfect.
Time management is a crucial skill in this field and it will always involve clever manoeuvring on your part. Your boss is counting on you to make sure they get round to completing all their duties. So if they have a meeting on the opposite side of town, your job is to make sure they get there on time. This involves scheduling their day to prevent any clashes and to allow for contingencies such as traffic.
These are also known as people skills or workplace skills. You need to know how to interact with people from different backgrounds, organisations and levels of management. For example, if your manager runs late, you’ll have to keep clients company while they wait. It’s important to know how to have good, meaningful conversations and understand people’s tones and body language.
Not only do you have to be good at communicating, but you have to be good at understanding instructions. Depending on what your job requirements are, you’ll probably have to create reports, make appointments and speak to clients. This includes written and verbal communication skills. If this is something you struggle with, you could try taking a business English course to help you out.
Ability to Multitask
This job requires you to keep track of many tasks at once. You’ll have to book flights, hotels and restaurants months in advance, all while answering the phone. To be successful, it will be important to learn how to prioritise your duties. But rest assured, even though your tasks may seem endless, ticking them off your to-do list will be highly rewarding.
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