Are you an aspiring support professional with an interest in the property market? Progressing to a property PA could be a smart and rewarding career move.
Walters People heard from a PA at one of the biggest property businesses in the world about her career. Take a look at her advice for aspiring PAs.
What is a typical day as a property PA?
On a typical day in the office, I look after their diaries, book travel and provide assistance with PowerPoint, Excel and other computer programmes as and when required. I’m the PA to four directors for a large global real estate advisor which means I need to be organised to co-ordinate their activities effectively. Beyond being a PA, my role also entails some marketing & events assistance– including updating the internal website, and helping to organise events.
What was your development route?
I originally come from a marketing and events background. I graduated with a Human Sciences degree, going on to work for a magazine as a Sales and Marketing Executive. This involved a variety of duties, ranging from selling advertising in the magazine to various marketing activities including assisting with the re-launch of the current website and attending conferences and networking events.
Having exposure to the property sector really interests me. I learn something new every day - having good directors to work with is very important as they involve me in the work they do.
I was exposed to the PA role during my travels in Australia, where my first job was as a PA to the Marketing Manager at ING, and from there went onto to a number of PA roles for a wide variety of companies including higher education, charities and IT organisations. This gave me the appetite to fulfil a challenging PA role in the UK where I’d be exposed to a variety of projects. This led me to secure a role for a charity as an Executive Assistant for the HR team. I was approached for my current role, and the sector I was working in really appealed to me. I’ve always had an interest in the property sector, which fuelled my desire to land the opportunity.
What keeps you motivated as a PA?
Having exposure to the property sector really interests me. I learn something new every day - having good directors to work with is very important as they involve me in the work they do. For example, I can assist with some marketing projects, which is great. As it’s a global business, I also get to work with various people from around the world and book international travel.
What skills do you need to be a seasoned PA?
Having a ‘can-do’ attitude is very important as it means you can get involved in different projects which will challenge and stretch you. An undergraduate degree is also beneficial as it opens lots of doors within the support profession – it shows employers straight away that you have a level of written proficiency which is key in a professional support role.
Relationship building is also crucial. A director who’s inclusive and gets you involved with more things will allow you to develop and be of benefit to your career in the long run.