A personal assistant (PA), sometimes called an executive secretary or personal/private secretary, works closely with senior managerial or directorial staff to provide administrative support, usually on a one-to-one basis.
PAs help managers to make the best use of their time by dealing with secretarial and administrative tasks.
Lagos: Orile, Lagos.
Personal assistants (PAs) often act as the manager's first point of contact with people from both inside and outside the organisation. Tasks are likely to include:
- devising and maintaining office systems, including data management and filing;
- arranging travel, visas and accommodation and, occasionally, travelling with the manager to take notes or dictation at meetings or to provide general assistance during presentations;
- screening phone calls, enquiries and requests, and handling them when appropriate;
- meeting and greeting visitors at all levels of seniority;
- organising and maintaining diaries and making appointments;
- dealing with incoming email, faxes and post, often corresponding on behalf of the manager;
- carrying out background research and presenting findings;
- producing documents, briefing papers, reports and presentations;
- organizing and attending meetings and ensuring the manager is well prepared for meetings;
- Liaising with clients, suppliers and other staff.
In addition to supporting managers, their team and departments, many PAs also have their own personal workload and responsibilities. The scope of the PA's role can be extensive and additional duties may include:
- carrying out specific projects and research;
- responsibility for accounts and budgets;
- taking on some of the manager's responsibilities and working more closely with management;
- deputizing for the manager, making decisions and delegating work to others in the manager's absence;
- being involved in decision-making processes.
Although this area of work is open to all graduates and those with a HND, a degree in business or management may increase your chances.
For HND holders, the following subjects may increase your chances:
- secretarial studies;
Most positions will require a minimum of two years' relevant experience, which will generally have been gained in a more secretarial or administrative role.
In addition to relevant experience and secretarial/administrative knowledge, you will need to show evidence of the following:
- exceptional written and oral communication skills;
- excellent word processing and IT skills, including knowledge of a range of software packages;
- ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines;
- good organizational and time management skills;
- ability to research, digest, analyze and present material clearly and concisely;
- excellent interpersonal skills;
- ability to work on your own initiative;
- honesty and reliability;
- attention to detail;
- flexibility and adaptability to juggle a range of different tasks and to work extra hours to meet deadlines;
- discretion and an understanding of confidentiality issues.
Language: Fluent in Igbo and English will be an advantage.
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