Become a personal assistant and climb up the career ladder to management

There is a boom in jobs for skilled personal assistants as the role becomes a sought-after career.

Demand for personal assistants and top-level executive assistants — like The Simpsons’ Mr Burns’s aide Smithers — are at record levels, with 24,000 vacancies nationwide.

The average PA salary is £31,000, while EA pay is up to £60,000. The number of bosses wanting a permanent PA is up by half in the last 12 months, while salaries have also risen — up five per cent, double the UK average.

Rebecca Siciliano, boss of PA specialist, says: “PA roles have evolved considerably in recent years and now exist in all shapes and sizes.

“Many senior-level PAs and EAs are managers within their own right, making decisions and acting on behalf of the senior leadership team within a company.

“While many hiring managers do prefer to hire graduates, it’s possible to forge a career as a PA without a degree, provided you have a proactive attitude, high attention to detail and exceptional communication skills.”

More than half of UK PAs polled help organise events, a third work on business development, and one in five get to travel the world with their boss.

The job was traditionally seen as a female role, but more men are entering the profession with around one in ten hires now male.

'I'm close to whole business'

Craig, 44, from Holborn, London, said: “Being an EA or PA means supporting someone very senior – and sometimes life can be difficult, frantic… it’s not for the faint-hearted.

“But you get to enter a partnership with a senior leader, which is a fantastic learning opportunity.

“You get to be close to everything in the business. My boss is good at what he does and is a great mentor for me.

“You’ll need patience, an organised mind, flexibility, a love of people and process, an ability to get on with everyone and a happy disposition.

“For qualifications, touch-typing and packages such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel are helpful.

“Be prepared to spend at least five years as an EA before considering a career change. The foundation skills of the role will then support and assist you in any future role.”

Meeting thy doom

THE average employee wastes nearly 13 working days a year in “unproductive” meetings.

A study of 2,000 employees in the UK, France and Germany found the typical worker spends 187 hours in total – or 23 eight-hour days a year – in meetings.

But 56 per cent of these get-togethers are a complete waste of time, so much so that half of British workers admit they make excuses in order to avoid them. Experts found that most staff think 40 minutes is the “optimum” length for an effective meeting.

Mike Greenup from Crowne Plaza Hotel & Resorts, which did the study, said: “Meetings are essential for collaboration and reaching business goals, but ensuring catch-ups are effective isn’t always simple.’’


STORE giant Wilko has more than 100 job vacancies to be filled, ranging from cleaners to customer service staff. You can apply at

Forced out? Go in style

THIS week saw the launch of the first #EmployeeRightsDay in the UK, set up by employment lawyer Alex Monaco.

Here are his tips on how to negotiate a fair exit package if you are forced out of a job:

  • Alex’s book, The Resignation Revolution: How To Negotiate Your Exit Package Like A Pro, is £14.99 at


OASIS stores want sales advisers, store managers and visual merchandisers across the UK. See

Don't be a dope about rules

IS IT high time your firm had a medical cannabis policy?

Yesterday, it became legal for doctors to prescribe cannabis-based drugs for sufferers of conditions including chronic pain and drug-resistant epilepsy.

Wayne Dunning, of business support specialists ELAS, said: “Both employers and employees need to be aware of the new legislation to ensure no one is breaking the law or their employment contract. It’s possible that the employee may not inform their employer that they are using such medication and this will indeed be breaking company rules and their health and safety policies.

“If an accident was to occur, then the employer would have to prove they have done everything possible to make sure their employees were aware of the policies and procedures and that they monitored their workforce, otherwise there could be serious repercussions for the employer.”

Hundreds of jobs in Hull

Vodafone UK and call centre firm ResQ are creating 200 customer contact centre jobs in Hull.

Salaries start at £16,400 and staff can earn £24,000 including bonuses. Apply at

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