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    Heather Baker recounts her career ahead of PA Life Training Day

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    Esteemed PA Trainer and Founder of Baker Thompson Associates Heather Baker is set to help attendees at PA Life Training Day “Build a personal brand with strong communication skills”. With just three weeks to go before this must-attend event, we asked Heather to tell us more about her fantastic career.

    “I can’t believe it’s more than 16 years since I established Baker Thompson Associates.

    “Not having been able to get decent PA training in the 1990s (courses were often facilitated by guys from HR who’d never actually done the job), I was absolutely sure that there was a need for specialised training and coaching for PAs by people who’d got the T-shirt!

    “I hoped to be able to go into companies around the North West of England, where I am based (and maybe even London), and help PAs, EAs and administrators to find ways to excel in their roles. I had no idea how things would turn out.

    “16 years later and I travel all over the UK and the Channel Islands. For the last 11 years I have been regularly working around the Middle East and since a couple of years after that in the Far East. I have now also made three trips to Australia and am invited back later this year, and I visited South Africa in February. I have had three books published and created a speedwriting system. What a wonderful job!

    “However, besides my blessings, what is particularly wonderful is how the role of the PA is now perceived.

    “When I started, I constantly heard tales of bullying and managers taking advantage; now, it is very different. Sadly the bullying still exists, but things are so much better.

    “Office professionals are benefitting from the rise in exceptional trainers around the world who help them build their confidence, value their contribution and encourage their development.

    “We now see PA networks around the world, within organisations or national, international and local areas. I am delighted to be involved with these groups.

    “Happily, we are now reaching a point where organisations have started to value the role of administration and understand the need for relevant and high-quality training (this article tells you more).

    “Office professionals themselves appreciate the steps they have to take to excel in their roles and ensure a successful career path. Learning and development is encouraged and enjoyed.

    “People are proud to be a part of this vital profession.”

    PA Life Training Day takes place on 14 November at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel. A full day of sessions costs £295 + VAT, or you can book a half day for just £175 + VAT. PA Life Club members are entitled to a 50% discount on a full day of training. Places are limited, so book soon to avoid disappointment. To find out more or to book your place, visit palife.co.uk/training-day

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson