Personal assistants usually work closely with one, or several, high-level individuals to help them complete their daily responsibilities as efficiently and effectively as possible.  Personal assistants are required to reduce the admin burden faced by their boss, and so they will often be asked to complete tasks such as drafting communications on the individual's behalf and organising their diary.  This leaves their boss free to work on the specialised tasks for which they are being paid a high salary.

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Personal assistants need to be able to work effectively with another individual, and be reliable enough to earn the trust of their boss.  This article will explain how personal assistants can further their careers through training and personal development.

Day-to-day responsibilities

On a typical day, a personal assistant is likely to be required to draft email responses, answer the phone, and look after travel arrangements for their boss. They may also often be required to attend meetings, and to draft letters and proposals.

Each day can bring new and unique challenges along with it – from buying sandwiches to running business presentations in the absence of the executive.  This means individuals need to be able to adapt to new situations well, and cope with pressure effectively.

Salary expectations

Depending on the executive for whom the personal assistant is working, the salary attached to the job can vary quite dramatically.  Executives in more responsible positions are likely to reward their personal assistants accordingly.

Personal assistants at small companies tend to earn around £18,000 per annum, and this figure can rise from there up to around £40,000, for a high-level personal assistant.  There is also the potential to earn a hefty bonus for good performance.

The location in which a personal assistant works can also have a strong bearing on how much they will earn.  Central London is one of the best places to be a personal assistant salary-wise, with an average salary of £28,267.  In Manchester, on the other hand, the average salary is £22,616.

How to develop and grow as a personal assistant

Personal assistants should always be looking to develop their skill set in order to improve the service they can offer.

Investing in training to learn new skills and gain a greater understanding of business, is often wise, as the individual will need more complex and specific skills, for example, to be able to produce complex PowerPoint presentations, the higher they rise.

Many employers will be happy to fund training, as a means of encouraging their employees to develop.  Anyone who feels that they are stagnating in their current role should consult a recruitment company to see if there are any other tempting opportunities available elsewhere.

Starting roles to potential growth

For personal assistant jobs at entry-level, basic secretarial skills will be required, including touch-typing, good communication and organisational abilities.

Higher-level managers often need their personal assistants to have more specific skills, however, such as being able to budget effectively, or speak multiple languages.  Acquiring new, relevant skills is a great way to improve a personal assistant's salary.

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