How to be a PA – a practical guide to becoming a super-efficient personal assistant by Maria Fuller
(Available to buy at amazon.co.uk, £17.60)
This book is very comprehensive and interesting, however it would possibly be useful to have an author’s section regarding her career at the beginning of the book so the reader can see it is written from a PA’s point of view.
When starting a role as PA, unless you are working in specialist industries, i.e. law or finance, where specific training is given, it can be quite a daunting process getting to know how someone works and their little whims and ways. Whilst this is the case in most industries anyway this book gives a great, almost educational breakdown of how to master the many different tasks of a PA. It contains some great tips on how to manage a working day and how to manage your time and prioritise requests in a logical fashion.
Although we have many options for business travel today, sometimes even using companies that manage these for us, the information regarding itineraries and booking processes are great examples of what you come up against when arranging trips for your bosses. This is not something that is covered when you are training to be a legal PA, for instance, and is usually something you learn over time on the job.
This is a great little book for anyone starting out in a role as PA working in any industry, specifically the advice pertaining to making your own working bible, which would become invaluable over time and especially useful when doing handovers to PAs covering holiday absence, etc.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for some practical advice on working as a PA/assistant.
Reviewed by Michelle Long, PA Team Leader, Harbottle & Lewis