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The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.

Occupation Details

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Personal Assistant

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€24k > 70
Personal Assistant
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€24 - 70
Related Information:
Personal assistant: 24 - 60
Executive/CEO assistant: 24 - 70
Data Source(s):
Sigmar / CPL / Robert Walters / Abrivia

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Works closely with a senior member of staff by providing secretarial support and dealing with a range of administrative tasks.


Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Assistant to the General Manager - from: icould [UK] Video
Go..Personal Assistant - from: icould [UK] Video
Go..Personal Assistant - from: icould [UK] Video
Go..Personal Assistant - from: icould [UK] Video


The Work header image

A personal assistant's (PAs) main role is to help managers make better use of their time and energy. For example, they screen telephone calls and incoming mail, dealing with some themselves, distributing others to the appropriate individual or department, and only passing on those which the manager must deal with personally.  
 
PAs often manage their manager's diaries, arranging meetings and making appointments on their behalf, organising travel itineraries, booking rail or aeroplane tickets and hotel reservations. They use their organisational skills to arrange conferences and trade exhibitions, and try to make sure these events run smoothly. This may involve some public relations work, such as drafting press releases.  
 
PAs make sure their managers are well prepared for meetings. They may be required to research information, for example, from trade periodicals or professional bodies. They may then summarise this information clearly and concisely for the manager's benefit.  
 
They may have a range of administrative and secretarial duties, including word processing letters and reports. They have to use their initiative as far as possible, for example, composing letters themselves, without the manager's input. PAs often have a senior role within an organisation, delegating many clerical tasks to other staff. They may help to recruit and supervise staff, and may manage the office in the manager's absence.  
 
In some organisations, PAs may travel locally, nationally or internationally, to attend meetings and conferences with their managers.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Prepare invoices, reports, memos, letters, financial statements and other documents, using word processing, spreadsheet, database, or presentation software.

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Answer phone calls and direct calls to appropriate parties or take messages.

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Conduct research, compile data, and prepare papers for consideration and presentation by executives, committees and boards of directors.

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Attend meetings to record minutes.

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Greet visitors and determine whether they should be given access to specific individuals.

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Read and analyze incoming memos, submissions, and reports to determine their significance and plan their distribution.

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Perform general office duties, such as ordering supplies, maintaining records management database systems, and performing basic bookkeeping work.

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File and retrieve corporate documents, records, and reports.

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Open, sort, and distribute incoming correspondence, including faxes and email.

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Make travel arrangements for executives.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Performing Administrative Activities: Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

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Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Clerical: Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

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English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Administration and Management: Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a personal assistant, you must have strong secretarial skills and a good standard of English. You should be capable of using a wide range of office equipment, including computers.  
 
This is a responsible job, and you must exercise judgement when making decisions. You would be working for people whose work is often very demanding and often pressurised. Therefore personal assistants must be able to demonstrate initiative, for example, to relieve their manager of unnecessary pressures and frequent interruptions on less important matters. You should be efficient and able to establish priorities. Planning and organising skills are essential.  
 
If you are responsible for staff, you will need the ability to supervise, encourage and motivate people. You must be flexible and able to work under pressure.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Personal Assistant - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Personal assistant/secretary - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Irish Times Training
Address: The Ballast House, Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 4727101
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Clerical & Administration
Business Management & Human Resources

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