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Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Salary Range
€24k - €70k
Job Zone

In Brief...

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

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

In Summary - Personal Assistant

Career Sectors

Personal Assistants typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Temping
Clerical & Administration
Administration
Clerical & Administration

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Further Information

The Work - Personal Assistant

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.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Prepare invoices, reports, memos, letters, financial statements and other documents, using word processing, spreadsheet, database, or presentation software.
  • Answer phone calls and direct calls to appropriate parties or take messages.
  • Conduct research, compile data, and prepare papers for consideration and presentation by executives, committees and boards of directors.
  • Attend meetings to record minutes.
  • Greet visitors and determine whether they should be given access to specific individuals.
  • Read and analyze incoming memos, submissions, and reports to determine their significance and plan their distribution.
  • Perform general office duties, such as ordering supplies, maintaining records management database systems, and performing basic bookkeeping work.
  • File and retrieve corporate documents, records, and reports.
  • Open, sort, and distribute incoming correspondence, including faxes and email.
  • Make travel arrangements for executives.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Performing Administrative Activities Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • 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.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • 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.

Interests - Personal Assistant

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Administrative

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Enterprising

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.

Social

The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with 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.

Qualities

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.

Entry Requirements - Personal Assistant

Pay & Salary - Personal Assistant

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €24k - €70k

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.

Labour Market Updates - Personal Assistant

Useful Contacts - Personal Assistant

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