It’s Not Impossible!
It’s no longer enough to be a secretary, despite the high regard in which secretarial job roles are held.
Nowadays, as with all professions, there is a scramble to be at the top of the tree, to be the best, to dive into your role with full job readiness and a best practice toolkit to support the most senior executive for whom you will work.
And this can only be a good thing as it pushes the skills and the abilities of the traditional secretary into the realms of the true Personal Assistant (PA) or Executive Assistant (EA).
While both the PA and EA carry out secretarial job roles, they add a lot of value through their organisational skills and the application of office technology to get the job done.
The PA or EA will spend a lot of time working at the highest levels of management and will often have earned a professional qualification such as the Pitman Training Executive PA Diploma or Executive Plus Diploma.
Either could be termed a high level executive pa course but the fascinating aspect of the Pitman Training approach is that they are able to accept students with no prior experience of office work of any kind.
They can literally take people from any walk of life and in most cases, turn out a fully experienced professional Executive PA or Executive Assistant!
The organisation’s training centres in London’s Notting Hill, Holborn and in Manchester offer ongoing enrolment programs which means that potential students can enrol at any time without waiting for academic terms to start. In addition, Pitman Training aims for students to have completed their diploma training courses in a year or less, so the aspiring PA or EA can be on the jobs market and potentially starting their careers very quickly.
One might question how someone could go from no experience or knowledge to being a fully fledged professional in so little time and how a student could win a senior role without prior experience.
Those questions are easily addressed by Kasia H, a recent Pitman graduate who claims:
“When I joined Pitman Training in 2012 to take my diploma Executive PA course, I didn’t 100% believe that it would land me a job, but it did! I’m now working for one of the world’s biggest accountancy firms.”
“With the skills I learnt at Pitman, I went through all the tests and recruitment processes easily, I felt confident at the interview and now the job is mine!”
Another student, Rae Jones, mirrors Kasia’s enthusiasm:
“Pitman Training offered me the help and guidance I needed in order to get started and achieve my goal. Just 5 months on from studying with Pitman I landed my dream job working as a PA for a prestigious Law firm based in the City.”
Student Anna Collins used her Executive PA course to gain promotion at work:
“When I signed up to do the Executive Pa Diploma, I knew that there were no guarantees as to where this was going to lead. My Pitman skills not only helped me to work faster and smarter and gain the confidence I needed but I won a promotion to PA at work.”
So the evidence suggests that a Pitman Training course and their diplomas in particular, can have the effect of pushing newcomers to office work to the top of the career ladder very quickly.
But what are the downsides to hothousing your way into the top roles?
The first is that these courses don’t come cheap. To become a PA from scratch will cost from £4000-£5000 and to become an EA, up to £8000.00, however the organisation offers instalment plans to help students to pay for their programmes over time.
Second, there is no guarantee that the student will be successful in their job search although Principal Shilpa Wymer claims a high success rate for students starting their careers:
“There is no doubt that the jobs market is tougher than before the recession and that is why you have to learn to be the best from day one if you want to be a top PA. Even today, our students are still getting the best jobs, often beating experienced candidates in the interview stakes. We say that Pitman Training is the next best thing to experience but to be truthful, our students are often more highly skilled than experienced people whose skills need refreshing.”
Of course, one should always consider one’s options before committing to any programme claiming to fast track you to the top but Pitman Training claims potential students are welcome to visit them to speak with their staff and to sample some of their course modules before making up their minds about whether their courses are as good as they say.
They can be contacted by clicking on this email link or by calling them:
London Notting Hill – 020 7792 5214
London Holborn – 020 7025 4700
Manchester – 0161 923 6814