Shilpa Wymer of Pitman Training in London (Notting Hill & Holborn) and Manchester comments on the National PA Day Survey.
The National PA Day survey is out and makes for some fascinating reading for students of our diploma level Executive PA course.
When you consider that, in addition to their everyday work activities, survey respondents have also been asked to change car tyres, syringe the boss’ ears and pretend to be the boss’ wife, it’s no wonder PA’s enjoy such terrific salaries. An amazing 59% of them earn between £26K and £40K per annum and over 10% of them earn between £41K to £50K or more!
Students of our Executive PA course certainly bear this out, especially in London, where we have seen people complete their training and walk into £30K plus jobs with no previous experience.
We often say that our training is the next best thing to experience!
But it must be the non-strictly-business activities that lead to an interesting feeling of whether their pay reflects what is expected of them.
A whopping 48% of PA’s reckon their salaries are only an average or poor reflection of what they do yet 63% scored their bosses 4 out of 5 or more for making them feel appreciated.
So there may be a mismatch between how bosses view their PA’s compared with how their organisations pay them.
Feeling Appreciated – Or Not!
When it comes to feeling appreciated, some respondents commented that they know their bosses can rely on them and trust them to get things done though they’re a little backward in coming forward when it comes to verbally recognising the fact! One respondent commented that she was “appreciated more when I’ve been away!”
It’s interesting to note that even though these personal assistants are well paid, the need fro recognition is still a key motivator at work (bosses please note)!
Career Prospects & Development.
Nearly 30% of respondents felt that their career prospects were good or very good, which leaves 70% feeling their prospects are less than good, an interestingly large proportion of the sample. It would be fascinating to find out whether this group is professionally trained and whether such training would have an impact on their career prospects.
Thinking about the mismatch between how bosses view their PA’s compared with how their organisations pay them, a surprisingly high 40% felt their career development was neither actively encouraged or discouraged by their firms while 13.4% said that it was discouraged!
Perhaps employers are unaware that training is available to develop PA’s skills, our Executive PA Diploma course being the industry standard.
On the plus side, 47% of PA’s feel their organisations encourage them in terms of career development and that would be borne out at Pitman Training where we experience unending demand for our diploma level Executive PA course.
As for PA’s themselves, the belief is that by far the most important quality to be successful in the role is to demonstrate discretion and confidentiality, followed by the ability to multi-task and this would seem to reflect the responsibility of working closely with such senior people.
Discretion is clearly an important trait when you consider that nearly 20% of respondents rated their bosses at 3 out of 5 or less for being good at their jobs. One can only guess that there is a fair amount of covering up going on! And even though not all bosses are perceived as being good at their jobs, 54% of PA’s asked claimed they would be disappointed to have to work for someone else, so there is a lot of loyalty out there.
PA’s More Important Than Ever Before.
PA’s are also aware of the importance of their roles. Indeed far from having been replaced by technology, 38% of those asked felt that the role of the PA is much more important now than it was 15 years ago.
A favourite task of PA’s is clearly the challenge of events management and many expressed how exciting it has been to get involved in this.
Pitman Training will soon launch an events management course to help PA’s get up to speed with this important aspect of their work. You can pre-register for information on this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org