Want to work for a startup? What you need to know

With the end of the year hurtling towards us, many of you will be thinking about next year and potentially looking for a new job. Many of you will want to try something different and that may well be in the form of a new and exciting organisation – or startup, as trendy people like to call new businesses these days! There are many pros and cons when it comes to working for any new organisation, particularly when you are part of the initial setup. Working for a startup can be a real challenge, but for assistants it can also bring lots of rewards. Do you want to work for a start up? This is what you need to know!

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Is job hopping the only way up the career ladder for assistants?

Hi, I’m Nicky Christmas and I am a job hopper. There, I’ve admitted it. I’ve spent many years cleverly covering up the fact that I spent most of my career hopping from one job to another in an effort to climb the career ladder. Prior to running Practically Perfect PA, the longest time I spent in any one organisation was 4 years and in that time I took on two different roles. Recently, I’ve been reading quite a bit about job hopping and how common it is becoming, particularly for younger people entering the work force. Apparently, being loyal to one company doesn’t necessarily pay off (both in terms of salary and promotion) and moving from one role to another in pretty quick succession is becoming less frowned upon.

It’s an interesting topic for me because as I said I have always been a job hopper. During my time as an assistant I always felt that I had a variety of valid reasons why I was looking for a new role and in general job hopping didn’t do me any harm. But, I’ve been thinking about the pros and cons a bit more, particularly for assistants. Here are a few of my thoughts…

Salary increase

I didn’t job hop for an increase in salary, it was always for other reasons, but with every new role I did get a pay rise. For many assistants trying to negotiate a pay rise is extremely difficult and many are turned down because of their organisation’s internal structures. It can be a lot easier to find a new role and negotiate an increased salary during the recruitment process.

Applying for jobs outside of the PA role

Over the years I did apply for a few jobs that were not PA roles, but I very rarely got any response. Once you are in a role it can be very difficult to find a different job – you are effectively pigeonholed by recruiters and organisations alike. If, however, you stay within one organisation, gain experience, it can be easier to move outside of the PA role and find something different. During the course of my career, I applied for two roles that were not traditional PA roles. Both were internal positions and my experience within the organisation really helped me during the interviews. I got one of the roles and I didn’t get the other (to be fair, I didn’t have much experience, but I did get down to the final two). If you are looking for a job outside the normal PA role, perhaps job hopping is not the best approach…

Are you worth investing in?

Although I did job hop a lot I didn’t have much of an issue securing new roles. I always had a valid reason for leaving my current employer. It was often because I felt unmotivated and that I had reached my potential in that organisation. Although I would proactively look for new things to keep me motivated and fulfilled my employer wouldn’t be able to offer me anything more and I would reach a point that I was just ready to move on. Looking back, I wonder if this was a bit of a catch 22 situation. I job hopped because I was unmotivated, but my company didn’t motivate me because they knew I would probably leave anyway… I wonder if I was more loyal to the organisations they may have invested more time in keeping me happy.

Lots of different experiences

A huge pro for all of my job hopping is the amount of different experience I have as an assistant. I worked in lots of different environments, industries, countries and supported lots of different types of Executives. All of the different projects I have worked on over the years have provided me with lots of skills that I might not have otherwise acquired if I stayed in one role. For me that has made job hopping worth it.

I do find this topic really interesting. I think it is slightly different depending on where you work. Job hopping is easier if you work in a major city like I did (during a time that jobs were easier to find too). What do you think? Is job hopping the easiest way for PAs to climb the career ladder?

If you are thinking about changing your current job, we have a free eBook that will help you prepare for the perfect PA interview.

The Practically Perfect PA Guide to: Preparing for the perfect job

Download our free eBook!

Download the eBook

 

How important is office culture?

Our lovely friends over at Career Moves recently conducted a survey to find out how important salary is when looking for a new role. You will be surprised by the results. Here is Sarah with more details…

Do we just want a good salary?

The Career Moves Office Support team recently sent out a Salary and Insights Survey, which produced some surprising results. We surveyed over 200 office support professionals, and discovered some interesting facts:

A huge factor for Assistants when looking for their next opportunity is unsurprisingly salary with 89% saying this was most important when looking for a new role. Interestingly, only a 3rd of respondents are actually happy with their current salary and benefits package!

A salary increase can be extremely attractive, and often a big motivator to change roles, or sometimes even move industry. But interestingly, in the results of our survey, salary did not come out on top. The number one is actually job content with a staggering 92% saying it’s all about the job itself. Secondly, was workplace culture. A whopping 90% said that this is their number one factor to consider when thinking about their next opportunity.

So if you’re thinking of moving roles, and salary is a big motivator for you, stop and consider job content and culture. These are equally as important – sometimes even more so!

How to spot a good office culture

90% considered workplace culture to be the most important thing when looking for a new employer. That is a huge percentage! It can be difficult to get a sense of the office culture before you take the job so here are a few tips to help you spot a great work place:

  1. Has the organisation won any awards or put themselves forward for any. Every year in the UK The Sunday Times puts together a list of the top 100 firms to work for. Alternatively, have a look on the organisation’s website to see if they have been nominated or won any accolades.
  2. Extend your research on the firm to include office culture, values and benefits (particularly around wellbeing). If the organisation has a social media presence this is also a good place to look for examples of their office culture. Is their content fun and relaxed or professional and formal? This will give you a good understanding of the culture and atmosphere in the office.
  3. Remember, you can ask questions in the interview about the office culture! You will get a good sense of what to expect from the interviewer’s answers. During your interviews also take a look at the office itself – what is the set up and what does the furniture look like. Again a nice environment shows that the employer is thinking about their staff.
  4. What is the overall package you are being offered? Although salary is not the number one driving factor it is still important. An employer that offers a good salary for the work that you do shows that they will value you. Also look at the overall benefit package. What else do they offer to retain employees?
  5. Last but not least, you can also speak to your recruitment agency about the employer. What type of candidates have they placed before and if you will be a good fit.

If you are looking for a new role please do download our free Ebook – The Practically Perfect PA guide to: Preparing for the perfect job.

The Practically Perfect PA Guide to: Preparing for the perfect job

Download our free eBook!

Download the eBook

We would also like to thank Career Moves for access to their survey results. If you would like to get in touch with Career Moves, here are the details:

Sarah Savage
t: 0207 758 4308
e: sarah@careermovesgroup.co.uk
w: www.careermovesgroup.co.uk

The Practically Perfect PA guide to finding the perfect PA job

I’m very excited to launch the first Practically Perfect PA eBook! With the support of Career Moves we have been able to put together a guide to help you prepare for the perfect PA job. Each chapter is dedicated to helping you through the process of applying for and securing the dream assistant role.

What can you expect to find in our eBook:

I think we have covered everything that you will need to think about when it comes to planning your next career move including the following:

  • Looking for an assistant role online
  • Making the most of your CV
  • Covering cover letters
  • How to stand out in a crowded market
  • Example interview questions and answers specifically for assistants
  • Questions to ask during an interview
  • Working with a new Executive

The eBook is free to download and I really help you find it useful during such an important point in your career! 

If you are reading this on email, here is the link to download the eBook.

Preparing for the perfect pa job

Download the Practically Perfect PA eBook

Download our free eBook

A word from Career Moves

Career Moves is an award-winning recruitment company, which matches the most talented individuals some of the UK’s leading organisations. Our Office Support Division has more than 25 years’ experience working with highly experienced administrative professionals. Our network of clients ranges from startups and SME’s, to global tech and media brands. We also work with a number of high-net worth individuals looking for a private or business PA.

This year we are thrilled to be the sponsor for the Practically Perfect PA eBook and Assist Conference 2017.

You can learn more about the Office Support division here and you can also check out our sister divisions; HR, PR & Marketing & Broadcast.

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The future of recruitment for Assistants

At the recent Assist Conference we held a great panel session about the future of the assistant role. We asked Claire Grant, Head of London Talent at the new recruitment firm, specifically for assistants, Sidekicks onto the panel and she provided a great insight into the future of the role from a recruitment perspective. For those that couldn’t attend the conference, here are the thoughts of Jessica Williams, Founder (and former assistant) at Sidekicks… 

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