I think we’ve all been there. You’ve been working in your role for a few years, you know everything there is to know about the job and you’re settled into a fairly easy routine that doesn’t come with too much pressure. Life is good right? Well, yes, it sounds like it. But then comes the day when you start to feel a bit bored, a bit unmotivated, the stuff that used to make you feel excited just, well, doesn’t anymore. I’ve definitely felt like that in some roles. Particularly after a few years when the every day was good, but not in the slightest bit challenging. If you feel the same, maybe it is time to ask yourself ‘are you outgrowing your PA role?

There are tale signs that you are outgrowing your PA role and here are just a few….

You’re not feeling motivated

This is a biggie. When you are not engaged with your work or don’t feel like you are helping the organisation as a whole then it is time to have a think about your role. Are you unmotivated because you need a more challenging role completely? A new role and a new environment will certainly give you that creative spark again. Or, are you just bored with your day to day role and perhaps you could ask your Executive for something more challenging?

Every day is exactly the same

If I was in your shoes and every day was exactly the same, I would be worried. Pretty much every good role that I’ve been in I have been able to say that the variety is the best thing about the job. For most PAs, every day is completely different and that is what we love. If every day is the same and you have little or no variety it could be that you have outgrown the role. Also, if you are so good at your job that any problem is easily solved and you don’t get that rush of excitement when something new crops up – also a sign!

There is no room for growth whatsoever

Okay, this is a tricky one for PAs because we often ask ourselves ‘where is this role going?’ Firstly, many of us are put in pay brackets that don’t reflect our worth, secondly, our role is not part of the career development path within the organisation so actually there isn’t any promotions or job title changes available and thirdly moving from being a PA to a non-board level Executive to an EA to a CEO doesn’t necessarily mean that the tasks and the day to day really change. So traditional growth within a PA’s career is quite difficult to find anyway! If you find that you are not being given any new opportunities to grow within your current role, and this could be new projects, being allowed to travel with your Exec or having a new job title so that you can get a pay rise, then it is time to ask if you are outgrowing your PA role.

Your expertise are not being used

As Assistants we come with a lot of skills and expertise and obviously some will be used more than others depending on the role. If you find that your favourite skills, the stuff that you are really good at and that you love to do, are not being utilised then it might be that you’ve outgrown the role. Especially if you have skills that came with a degree or skills that took years to perfect through hard fought experience.

What should you do if you find that you have outgrown your PA role?

If you have read this and thought, yup, that’s me, then don’t quite pack up your bags, throw your resignation at your Exec and leg it out of the office! Aside from that being slightly over dramatic, it isn’t always the best approach. So, the first thing you have to do is talk to your Executive. If they are a good manager they will probably have noticed you aren’t quite as motivated as you were. Be honest, tell them how you feel. The answer your manager gives will tell you everything you need to know about your next move. Either they will be supportive and help you rediscover your love of the role or they will say something like (and this happened to me) ‘oh, yeah, it’s not great being an assistant, it must get a bit dull after a while.’ At which point, I packed my bags, threw my resignation letter at my Exec and legged it out the door!

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One comment

  • Lorraine November 2, 2017  

    Yes, my boss’ idea of giving me something challenging to do is to try to coordinate an hour long meeting with 5 or more top tier executives within 48 hours…its and almost impossible task, but is it really a “challenge” that I can sink my teeth into and feel really pumped about??? Sigh.