Mature study and retraining
Thinking of retraining as PA just turned 40.
Billyvoo · 08/01/2022 14:30
I worked as a nanny for years and have a toddler now, so not really a suitable job anymore. Already have a degree, so was thinking of doing a pitman or Lewis college training course and becoming a PA for a private individual.
Has anyone become a PA in their 40s?
Anyone completed a PA course?
Do you like your job as a PA-any pointers?
Whydoesthecatalwaysdothat · 18/01/2022 23:21
What do you mean when you say a private individual? Someone wealthy? To run their house/personal affairs?
Depends on where you live but there aren't an awful lot of those type of jobs and that's generally not an entry level PA job.
Generally, you will need excellent Microsoft Outlook skills so Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. You'll need to know how to create and format business letters, documents, reports, presentations and spreadsheets. A bit of advanced Excel is really helpful so knowing how to work with formulas and pivot tables.
You'll need to be able to manage a constantly shifting diary (or potentially multiple diaries). More often than not you will be managing your own inbox as well as your bosses (and potentially multiple diaries). There's lots of relationship management and you'll need to be assertive. People will tiptoe around the boss but quite happily be as rude as they like to the PA.
A good PA will be anticipating deadlines and prompting decisions rather than waiting for direction from the boss. For example, you'll see an email about an event that will require an overnight stay. Your boss is out of the office so you do the digging of what is required and because you know his preferences and this is something he would generally like to do you, you get a copy of the agenda, find out who is attending and hold a hotel room for that night. It can be a bit more complicated than that but you get the gist!
It's very much an organisational job these days rather than just typing letters and making the tea so if you like working flat out doing 100 things at once then you'll love it.
I have a degree and literally started out doing temp admin jobs and worked my way up to a very senior role which I did for quite a long time. I used to like it but fell out of love with it. Expectations on PAs are horrendous these days and it can be a very stressful job. The last couple of bosses I worked for literally expected me to be on call 24/7.
There are lots of YouTube tutorials for all of the office packages. I would mug up on those and see if you can get any temping jobs to build up some experience. See if you like working in an office before you spend money on Pitman type qualifications. You don't need shorthand!
What appeals to you about it?
What do you think you'll be doing?
Billyvoo · 19/01/2022 14:51
Hi, thanks for the reply. Very concise—you can tell you were a PA!
My background is HNW so yes family office or (their) home based.
I’ve done nanny/PA and working on Yachts. Oversaw renovations on homes, organising parties, buying gifts clothes etc. So I’m not completely entry level. Obviously not expecting to walk in an EA role in Mayfair!
I totally get the 24/7 thing even as a nanny I was text 6am/12am/weekends. And working on yachts you were expected to have a Chrystal ball in your back pocket.
You make s fair point in regards to choosing the right role, i don’t want to be stuck in front of the computer all Day. I definitely check out youtube for some inspiration.
Billyvoo · 19/01/2022 15:00
In regards to what appeals to me, tbh it seems a natural progression from what I did before. I have no clue what else I could do really?! Maybe I need a life coach :)
LizziesTwin · 19/01/2022 15:06
Friends of mine who were nannies for HNW moved into teaching KS1 or at nursery schools. You’d only have to do a post grad teaching degree & could do that. The woman who moved to a nursery school is a headmistress now (she was a Norland nanny). The other woman had an NNEB and went back to uni. She’s the head of a pre-prep now.
Worldgonecrazy · 19/01/2022 15:14
HNW PA is very different to Office PA, even at senior /CEO level.
I think your nannying experience will help because you will have understanding of the family requirements.
Could you contact one or two of the families you worked for and ask if they could put you in touch with whoever their PA is? That way you could get some support and knowledge.
It’s also worth contacting some of the more specialised agencies. I’ve been a senior C-suite PA for decades and your experience sounds much more relevant to HNW work than mine.
Good luck, I hope you find a great boss.
CeilingWax · 19/01/2022 15:19
Maybe not the exact thing you were thinking of, but a lot of people with health/ disability issues would value PA services. Maybe not high waged though
FitAt50 · 19/01/2022 18:39
I'm a recruitment manager for a university and we are crying out for PA's. We have had 3 vacancies constantly advertised and only getting a couple of applicants, and they have no skills. Salary starts at £24k a year and 38 days holidays.
RebeccaHarv · 27/04/2022 13:15
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Missmarple2 · 14/05/2022 07:55
Taking and writing minutes and diary management are skills required in many PA jobs today - along with Microsoft packages and ability to prioritise tasks.
Maybe becoming secretary to a committee would firm up your skills and would look great on a job application
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