Manchester offers so many job opportunities & many that are advertised in the city are PA jobs. The role of the Personal Assistant or PA is a varied one.  You may work for managers or executives, for a small team, for an individual such as a celebrity or even for a family. The exact role depends on who you work for and what work they do but there are some general job description elements that are common to the majority of these roles.

Basics of being a PA

The principal difference between an administrator and a PA is that a PA tends to work for one person or a very small team.  An administrator usually works with a large team or even manages the whole company. Therefore, the PA role is a much more individual one, focusing on the needs and requirements of one person rather than balancing the requirements of a number of people.

Some of the most typical PA responsibilities include:

  • Handling incoming phone calls as the first point of contact for their employer
  • Organising working time including diaries, meetings and appointments
  • Booking travel arrangements such as travel, hotels and other requirements
  • Being the reminder for the manager to let them know what is on their calendar, important events and other key information
  • Compiling reports, presentation and handling a variety of correspondence

Depending on the nature of the business, there is often a strong organisational element to these roles.  Not only are you required to organise yourself and your employer but often their office as well. This means having systems in place to hand incoming and outgoing post, emails, phone calls and other communications.  It can often involve liaising with both clients and other businesses.

There may be other tasks that fall under the umbrella of the PA.  Some basic accounting tasks may be required such as handling receipts, invoices and keeping track of business expenses.  This is usually then passed to an accounting department to handle for the whole of the company.

Non-business PA roles

Not all personal assistants work within a corporate environment.  Many people also employ a PA to help organise their lives. Wealthy individuals, celebrities, sports people and others who have the resources to hire someone will often get a PA to organise their lives.

In these roles, you will need the training you get from PA Diplomas in London or wherever you attend training.  You will also need to learn about the person, their habits and requirements to help them run their lives easier.  This might mean organising personal lives such as hiring staff to work in their homes, organising maintenance appointment for their vehicles and even making sure they don’t miss important personal events.

PA or EA?

Another variation of the personal assistant is the executive assistant.  Generally, these will be more senior roles and will have done extra training, such as Executive PA Diploma in London in addition to having experience as a PA.

EA roles often involve more responsibility and can involve working with a larger team rather than just with one person.  The role of the EA can be closer to that of the office administrator in some businesses or may even be more senior than the administrator, depending on company structure.

PA skills

If you want a career as a PA, there are some skills you need to ensure you can offer potential employers.  These include being flexible and adaptable to situations, having excellent organisation and communication skills and the ability to be proactive and to solve problems without being prompted.  You will likely need tact and diplomacy as well as being discreet and trustworthy as you will be party to confidential information. Good IT skills will also be a benefit for this kind of role.


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