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Helpful tips for workplace PAs

Workplace PAs often work one-to-one with their employer so expect a close working relationship. This can take time to develop

  • Make sure you develop a good understanding of your employer’s work role and how your own role fits within it.
  • Try not to make assumptions about what to do - always check.
  • Keep asking for guidance, for example when new situations arise or whenever you are unsure of or struggling with an aspect of your role.

You need to have confidence and people skills to provide the best support

  • There may be times when you need to arrange access to a venue for your manager, or take messages from colleagues. You will need to communicate clearly and confidently.

Professionalism: be aware that you are representing someone in their workplace

  • Recognise that your competence and behaviour can influence colleagues’ perceptions of the person you support.
  • Keep your personal views private unless they are invited.
  • Maintain confidentiality.

Respect and maintain role boundaries

  • It is not your role to do your employer’s job - try not to overstep.
  • Your role is to support your employer. Be guided by them about doing any tasks for their colleagues.

Keep alert and be prepared to be available to your employer when needed

  • Always listen and stay alert to what is going on and look for cues from your employer (for example in meetings) in case you are needed.
  • Be prepared for times when you will not be needed to provide support, and discuss with your employer what is acceptable for you to do at these times. For instance is it appropriate for you to read a book or look at your phone?

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This article is from the free online course:

The Role of Personal Assistants in Disability Support

UEA (University of East Anglia)