Could you kick it as Jermaine Defoe’s PA?..

09/09/15

We’re not really sure who could..

Placing an advert for a PA is one of the most pivotal moves an Executive can make. Attempting to find this one person, that will be your right hand man/woman, who can support you in your business and who can put up with your quirks AND that you’ll get along with, is a huge task. What is often lost in this process, is the reality of what any 1 person can achieve…

I’m sure many of you saw the advert for Jermain Defoe’s PA – but how many really fancied the role? We’ve read through it several times now, and attempted to read between the lines of what he is actually looking for, and how he views the role of the PA.

If you strip out some of the basic duties, like watering the plants, and stocking the fridge, you get to some real nitty gritty. He is also looking for someone with the technical design and software skills to produce him some apps – no small task. He’s looking for help with building his global brand, and organising some of the biggest events in his calendar. Sounds exciting right and surely many people would snap his hand off for that role… but realistically, how many people could rise to this challenge.. and why did he get so much flack for this ad from the media

It’s all about his vision of the PA role. He wants it all, in one package, or rather person, 24/7. And whilst he has included some incredible elements of the job role, his elaboration of the more menial tasks, takes the light away from what the role is, and begins to undermine what is on offer.

The truth is, being a PA often does involve organising the family pets, picking up the dry cleaning and checking everything, including the boss, is in order. But this discretionary service is part of the confidential day to day duties of a PA, the ones that aren’t openly advertised per say.

PAs are well known as being the gatekeepers in business, the organisers, the secret service that just ‘makes things happen’ and just ‘deals with it’ when things don’t go to plan. However this doesn’t help them escape from the ‘master Vs servant’ stereotype that has gathered because of the nature of the nurturing role.

In reality, Defoe, amongst so many other bosses out there, is looking for a small army… but will he provide the training to enable someone to do all elements of this role, and more importantly, can one person do it all?

PAs and EAs that have been in the limelight of late – for their great achievements in supporting their executives such as: Helen Clarke – Richard Branson’s PA, Lauren Jiloty – Bill Gates’ EA and Zelda La Grange – Nelson Mandela’s former PA. PAs underpin the structures of many businesses, and have stepped into a multi-channel roles which more often that not cover middle management responsibilities – which they conduct and manage, yet often go unseen and unpaid.

There are few roles which are as heavily underestimated than that of a PA…

If you’re a PA, looking for a role such as this, our advice to you, is pace yourself. Make a plan of action – fortraining and development – if someone wants it all ,they have to be willing to invest in you and your future. Lastly, ensure that you can manage your boss. Employers that want it all, more often than not, find it difficult to understand why training is required, and what to expect from a one-man/woman army! By ensuring that you steer them into managing their expectations of your productivity, capability and skills, you will put yourself in a much better position to ask for training, development and support.

Thinking about becoming a PA? Watch out for our free training sessions in association with Barclays PLC.

We’d love to know what you think on this topic – post your responses below, or tweet us @PitmanTraining

sources:

www.theguardian.com/football/2015/aug/24/jermain-defoe-personal-assistant-sunderland-stocking-fridge

www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/aug/25/jermain-defoe-job-advert-celebrity-small-ads

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