Within any office there always seem to be those that progress up the company ladder much quicker than the rest, if you’re introvert and a PA we hope that with our help, you’ll progress up the ladder. Vincenzo Ferrara looks at the top tips for introvert PAs to get noticed in the office.
We get that it’s not easy to always wake up in a hardworking and social mood. Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning is tough enough, let alone the idea of a busy day at work, where being social is key to your role.
There’s a fine line to getting noticed, too much and you’ll begin to get on peoples’ nerves, but too little and you’ll become part of the background furniture. The key to being noticed is being a subtle extrovert.
So here are our top tips for getting noticed in the office:
Business development: At the end of the day, the thing your boss and the business care about most of all is the ‘bottom line’. Anything you can do to help the bottom line helps you get noticed. As a PA, you are constantly faced with meeting new people, businesses and opportunities and by bringing new business to your company, you will be seen in a very positive light.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone: We live in a world were less of our day is taken up by work because of the increasing number of business meetings and emails we need to respond to. A lot of emails are completely ignored, not on purpose but by the sheer volume received.
Getting on the phone with someone is still the best way to speak to them.
In our social lives, we use our smartphones for a million things, but making phone calls is now one of the lesser ways we contact each other. But at work, speaking to someone over the phone makes a personal connection that will help you be remembered a lot more than an email.
Build rapport with everyone: We aren’t saying you need to be friends with everyone or even like them. What we are saying is that you need to be in contact with everyone.
As a busy PA you are constantly meeting new people and creating new relationships. However, you don’t need to become everyone’s best friend. Just make sure to stay in contact with them. A few days after meeting follow-up them a follow up email, connect with them using sites such as LinkedIn and in your calendar put a reminder to send them another email four to six months down the line so that they don’t forget you. This also works around the office, with those you don’t see frequently.
Willingness to work extra hours: It’s not easy after a long day to voluntarily work an extra few hours to get your job done. Sometimes this will include having to cancel other plans.
But, the advantages out-weight the negatives. Offering to give a few extra hours at work every now and then can show your boss and other employees that you have a great work ethic and attitude. This will make you stand out in a positive fashion and show everyone that you care about the company and your role within it.
Don’t become a gossip: As a PA you’ll know a lot about your boss and about others in the company but that doesn’t mean you should be gossiping about them.
Some of the most respected PAs in the world know the deepest darkest secrets of their boss but part of the job is disclosing only what is relevant to make them shine. By letting others know the negatives of your boss, will only make you look untrustworthy and like a gossip.
Be a team player: Being a PA is often a very independent job, you don’t get a lot of chances to work as part of a team on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore others completely. Collaboration can lead to success. For example by joining a local PA network or working with those in the office that you’d usually ignore can have positive social effects, and help you develop a good rapport alongside some new skills.
Understanding the business – talk about it confidently: This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many PAs we’ve met that don’t really understand what the company they work for does. Some have even gone as far as to not fully understand the role of their boss.
This as you can imagine shocked us!
As a PA, the fundamental basics of the role require you to understand the business of the company you work for and the job/position of your boss. If you don’t, it looks sloppy and comes across as if you’re not doing your job very well. If you want to get noticed in the ‘right’ way, you need to make sure you know this very basic information.
Being able to read a situation and react accordingly: Sometimes it’s okay to speak about your home life and what’s going on with your family or even what you and your friends did over the weekend. However, sometimes it really isn’t okay to do this. As a PA you need to read a situation and respond accordingly. It will show professionalism and highlight your skill as a PA to read people/situations. This may sound easy but it’s a skill that is learnt and can take years to do well.
Participate in office activities: As a PA you will most likely be the person organising an office event. It’s always good to participate and meet new people, catch up with those that you don’t get to regularly see and it’ll boost your office presence.
Dress the part: The famous saying ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you’ve got’ is true. Dressing to impress isn’t about peacocking your way to a job role but if you’re well dressed and present yourself as a professional, you’ll be treated as a professional.