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- SCOTT TAYLOR TELLS US WHAT IT'S REALLY LIKE TO BE A PA...
SCOTT TAYLOR TELLS US WHAT IT'S REALLY LIKE TO BE A PA...
February 19th, 2015
- 1.Tell me about yourself.
- I trained as a barrister before
working as a private secretary to two cabinet ministers. I then moved into the private sector working
for high-profile people. Outside of work, I am a PADI scuba diving instructor
and my favourite hobby is cycling. I am also a British Cycling commissaire.
- 2.What made you pursue a career as a PA?
- It happened by accident when I
discovered that I enjoyed being a private secretary. I was able to replicate this role to a
certain extent by becoming a PA in the private sector. I enjoy being the right-hand person that is
relied upon to solve problems, offer advice and make things happen.
- 3.Describe a day in the life of a Personal Assistant.
- You must be ready for anything
and everything! Juggling lots of issues,
running errands, organising itineraries and ensuring you have everything
covered. Every day I think of new ways to say no without saying no.
- 4.What do you think makes a good PA?
- A good PA is someone who can
remain calm under extreme pressure and when faced with a seemingly impossible
request. They should have the ability to
deal with people at all levels. Absolute discretion, diplomacy and a
willingness to put the needs of your principle before you own are essential. In addition to all of this a good sense of
- 5.Why did you choose Quintessentially People to help you find a role?
- I chose Quintessentially People mainly
due to the reputation of the company. I
liked how I was treated as a candidate. They don’t just match you with any
position available. All of my skills, experience and career goals were
considered when putting me forward for roles.
- 6.What are the most important skills &
qualities for a PA to have?
- Excellent organisational skills
are absolutely vital for a PA. They should portray a composed manner and
demonstrate their ability to work under pressure. Be polite - being nice to
people gets you a long way when you are making extraordinary requests!
- 7.Is being a PA what you expected it to be?
- Yes. Even now each role brings new challenges and
experiences. There are always opportunities to learn new skills and enhance
- 8.What is your favourite part of your job?
- Devising strategies to solve
seemingly impossible problems is one of my favourite parts of the job. The
sense of achievement afterwards is very rewarding.
- 9.What is the most challenging part of your
- Making the impossible possible.
- 10.What advice would you offer to others
considering becoming a PA?
- Don’t think it’s glamorous – it’s
not. Be prepared to put your life second
to someone else’s.
- 11.What is your career highlight to date?
- I have been lucky enough to have
some incredible experiences during my career.
My highlight to date was going to the United Nations.
- 12.How important is the relationship between a
PA and their boss?
- A good
relationship is vital – I cannot stress that enough.
- 13.What is the key to being the best PA?
- Always be prepared to go the
- 14.What is the most bizarre request you have
had to deal with?
- Getting a pair of shoes from
London to a principle in the USA – then identifying the right pair of shoes out
of a few hundred in the London residence.
- 15.How do you separate work- life and personal
- This can be difficult. I have always tried to protect my Friday evenings. Apart from that, I have always been willing
to work as necessary – very often late at night or at the weekends.
- 16.What are your future aspirations?
- I’m still working this out! I have identified
that I enjoy roles that provide me with an intellectual challenge and I enjoy
working for people that inspire me. At some point, it would be nice to have my
own amazing PA!