Just last week I was reminded how brilliant PAs are at using networks to get stuff done. I’m lucky to be a member of a direct messaging group on Twitter made up of some very awesome and proactive assistants. I was on the website the other day and noticed that I had a load of new messages flashing away. When I took a quick peek I saw that one of the PAs had messaged the others to ask if they knew any courier services that could deliver to Germany over the weekend. It was a bit of a tricky and really urgent request. Within the space of an hour the assistant had the contact details for a courier service and had resolved the issue. I can only imagine how impressed her boss was! It showed me how powerful assistants can be when they tap into their networks. We don’t have the answers to everything (although often our organisations think that we do!) but with the help of other assistants we can basically rule the world! So how do we ensure our networks are there to help us get stuff done? Here are a few tips:
Firstly, can I have a little background about you…
What is your career background?
I started my working life as a Chef. When I left Catering College it was obvious to me that I wanted something with more regular hours.
The hotel where I was working part time to obtain my catering qualification asked me to stay on. When I told them what I was looking for, they asked me to become the receptionist. After a few years of becoming their Head Receptionist and not learning anything new I was ready for a new challenge. I came across a role for a Doctor’s PA and this gave me my first taste of a PA role. I stayed there for four years.
Next up in our series of blog posts about regional PA networks, we have the Peterborough PA network. Launched by Bethany Fovargue in 2013 this network has gone from strength to strength and Bethany is now asked to speak and promote the role of assistants all over the world.
One of the reasons I started Practically Perfect PA back in 2011 was because I wanted to create an online community for assistants. A place to come, learn and realise that there was at least one other PA that felt the same way you did and was facing the same every day issues you were (and some of the triumphs too!) Jump forward nearly five years – where the heck has that time gone!??! – and things have certainly changed. Over the last few years there are plenty more online communities and in more recent times we have taken networking to a whole new level with local networks, organised by assistants, springing up all over the place. It is brilliant! Meeting other assistants who work near by, who share the same suppliers, hotels, restaurants etc. is great and obviously getting to hang out with people that understand the job – well that is invaluable. I thought it would be great if we had a little space on Practically Perfect PA dedicated to these awesome networks and I thought it would be even better if we found out a little more about the assistants who start up the groups. First up we have the Edinburgh PA Network. The networking was established by Sherien Ahmed, Sally Lloyd and Amy Smith… Here is everything you need to know….
The word networking can strike fear, horror and / or joy into the best of us. Networking is without a doubt a valuable skill set and resource tool but for many it can involve going outside our comfort zone when confronted with the notion of chatting to a complete stranger.
People are undoubtedly the best asset of every firm and having a PA network will help confirm that PA’s are an important and integral part of the organisation.
Back in November I had the pleasure of speaking to 50 assistants who were attending a networking event organised by ACE (Assistant Community EMEA), an internal networking group set up by assistants at BlackRock. I must say I was completely bowled over by the event, which is not something I have often said about networking events for assistants!
Networking can be a scary word can’t it? At the start of my career aged just 21, I had no real grasp of what networking was, nor was I interested in finding out. Now, just 5 years on, I have come such a long way and networking has been a huge part of my journey and contributed to my success.