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Lindsay Taylor breaks down the PA and EA industry

Lindsay-Taylor-on-the-PA-and-EA-industry-at-the- London-Venues-Summit

Lindsay Taylor, PA Coach and Trainer and former PA herself, joined us as a speaker at the London Venues Summit to share some top learning tips with our delegates. Lindsay has previously hosted sessions at PA Life Summit and last year’s PA Life Training Day. Shreena Chandarana from Forum Events Ltd took a few minutes to speak to her about her role, the PA and EA industry and her latest book, A – Z Pearls of Wisdom for Executive Assistants, at this week’s London Venues Summit.

Tell us about yourself and background

I’m co-director of Your Excellency Ltd; we specialise in executive training and coaching and we also offer some exciting team development programmes. I personally specialise in training PAs, EAs and admin professionals across the world and I’ve just written my first book – which happens to have an amazing review in PA Life and is now sat on our table as well. I “do the circuit” with speaking, training opportunities and also one-to-one coaching with PAs and EAs – it’s my contribution to raising the profile and kudos of the PA profession – and I love what I do!

What’s your book about?

The book is called A – Z Pearls of Wisdom for Executive Assistants and it is split into chapters beginning with each letter of the alphabet. It’s a resource for PAs and EAs. I’m a former PA so I have first-hand experience of the PA role – I’ve drawn on that experience and also input from PA and EA clients from across the years. It’s receiving some really good reviews from both the PA community and business world – which I’m delighted about of course.

How long did you work as a PA?

I worked for 12 years both in the UK and the US.

What led you to this event?

I was invited by your team, having worked with them before. It’s great to support an event that is purely aimed at PAs and EAs, who are my potential client base.

Can you give us a glimpse of what you’ll cover in your talk later on?

So my session is something a little bit different, it’s called ‘Act your shoe size not your age’, and it’s about tapping into the enthusiasm that a six year old has for learning, based on the average shoe size of a female in the UK being a size six. The PA profession is female dominated but there are increasingly more males joining the profession – check out the hashtag #notjustajobforgirls. There are huge benefits to tapping into your enthusiasm at age six and taking ownership of your own learning journey. The session is going to be down-to-earth, fun and friendly, which is what we’re about at Your Excellency; we believe that fun learning is memorable learning.

What are the most pressing issues in the PA and EA industry right now?

For PAs and EAs, the role is evolving all the time, and there are inevitably going to be challenges. The very nature of the role, supporting and working with senior management, means you are invariably working with some strong-willed characters. Whilst recent research suggests there is going to be a change in the role to the more traditional PA working one-to-one with senior executives, more often than not, the PAs and EAs I meet, even if their job title is “PA to the CEO”, they actually support more than one person – sometimes tens of people in practice.

I believe as well – it features in my book – that the main challenge for PAs is actually believing in themselves and having that self-esteem. PAs need to embrace their roles and be proud of their knowledge and understanding – very often you are the “go-to” person in an organisation and you are actually adding a huge amount of value for your manager(s), teams and organisation as a whole. A lot of PAs don’t realise that to be honest. Very often they are decision-makers as well, hence at today’s London Venues Summit, the PAs are the ones who are meeting with the suppliers so that they can then go back with that information and make the decisions based on the knowledge they have.

How do you think the industry will change in the short-term or long-term?

I think the role is becoming much more strategic, a lot of organisations are recognising the value and the worth of their PAs and EAs, which is a really good thing. I think the PAs themselves need to recognise how much value they add, and going back to my last point, have more self-esteem and belief in themselves, embracing the PA role as a profession. Hopefully more males will be joining the profession as well.

Why do you think an event like the London Venues Summit and also events like our PA Life Training Day that you’ve spoken at are important?

I think they are great because the speakers and the suppliers are chosen to meet with the PAs’ needs and wants – for me I know I have a captive audience who are keen to learn new skills to enhance their working life. I know quite a lot of the PA Life and Forum Events team too –  it’s great because you’re all very friendly and down-to-earth, and I love being in an environment where everyone is friendly.

Is there any advice you’d give to PAs and EAs?

Believe in yourselves. Tap into all of the resources that you have out there, including events such as this. The PA community really supports each other, so tap into this and make the most of it. Some PA roles can feel quite isolating and you might feel that you’re the only one that’s going through certain challenges, but if you research all the information that’s out there, you’ll find there are so many resources available to you. There are so many networking groups that you can join, conferences and training sessions that you can hook into.owe Howe

For more information about Your Excellency and the services they provide, please click here.

If you missed this year’s London Venues Summit, why not join us at the upcoming Venues & Destinations Summit? For more information or to register your interest for the event, please click here, or contact:

Laura Spratt
Delegate Portfolio Manager
01992 374053