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A personal assistant (PA), sometimes called an executive secretary or personal/private secretary, works closely with senior managerial or directorial staff to provide administrative support, usually on a one-to-one basis. PAs help managers to make the best use of their time by dealing with secretarial and administrative tasks.
PAs need extensive knowledge of the organisation in which they work. They need to know who key personnel are (both external and internal) and understand the organisation's aims and objectives.
Managers often rely heavily on their PA, trusting that work will be handled efficiently in their absence. Discretion and confidentiality are therefore essential attributes for a successful PA.
Personal assistants (PAs) often act as the manager's first point of contact with people from both inside and outside the organisation. Tasks are likely to include:
In addition to supporting managers, their team and departments, many PAs also have their own personal workload and responsibilities. The scope of the PA's role can be extensive and additional duties may include:
Some PAs do all the secretarial work themselves, while others take responsibility for recruiting and training junior staff and delegate some of the less demanding and confidential work to them.
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