Starting a new Assistant role can be a pretty nerve-wracking experience. We have to form productive working relationships pretty quickly, build rapport, learn new systems and hit the ground running within a few weeks (if we are lucky!). Many organisations that I worked in assumed I knew what I was doing from day one, which wasn´t the case, but I was used to colleagues thinking that I was the fountain of all information so it came as no surprise that a new group of people would feel the same. There are 5 things to do when starting a new PA role and I thought I would lay them out in a new blog for you today. So, if you are starting a new position soon, this is a good template. Or if you have been in your role for a while but aren’t quite getting to grips with the business, these tips will work for you too.
5 things to do when starting a new PA role
1. Ask what Office Technology your Company uses before beginning the position and keep up to date and develop your knowledge of the latest office gadgets and technology. The internet is a great learning tool. Once you start in the role if you are using a new system for the first time make sure you attend some training or have some time to research best practice online. If this system is fundamental to your role, you have to ask for the time to become a total whizz.
2. Ask for help and keep asking. If your immediate colleagues don’t know the answer, seek out established PAs in other areas of the company to ask for help. Keep a record of everything that you have requested, it might help other PAs when they join the organisation. Also, make sure that you look on the intranet for information, any reports or documents the organisation might have that are for new joiners and of course HR for anything relating to your career development. If you are working with a manager who has not had an Assistant before, here are a few tips.
3. Meet your counterparts by scheduling a lunch, coffee or after work get together. This will help in building a strong network you can use on an ongoing basis. If it doesn´t happen automatically, make sure that someone in your team shows you around the office and introduces you to people. If this doesn´t happen (and quite often it doesn’t), you will have to do this yourself. Take a walk around the office and say `hi, I´m the new PA to … I wanted to introduce myself so that you know who is support … now’. Not easy, but it sets you off on the right foot as a proactive Assistants.
4. Be pro-active about talking to your Manager have some clear goals in mind of what you’d like to achieve in your role. Be assertive about what you need and what you can offer. They are getting to know you and what you can do. Be diplomatic, you don’t want to tread on any toes, but you certainly can let your colleagues know that you are the expert in this area and you have mad skills!
5. Don’t doubt your knowledge! Even if you are an experienced PA, sometimes a new role can be daunting. Give yourself time to understand the new processes – and remember no one can know everything by the end of the first day!
So, these 5 things to do when starting a new PA role will help you make a real splash in your new organisation. Remember that you were hired because of the skills that you have, your amazing personality and the qualities you bring to this new role. They are lucky to have to you!
Starting out as a new Assistant
If you are starting a new Assistant role, it is well worth checking out our eBook – Starting Out As a New Assistant. The eBook is designed to help you navigate the first few months of your new role. Here you will find everything you need for the initial first meeting with your Executive. You will also find articles on how to navigate the tricky world of working with the Executive Team, building rapport with your new Executive and advice on how you can work effectively with a boss who has never had an Assistant before.