Happy Friday! It’s almost the weekend and so we’re kicking off the day with a little light reading and a chat with one of my best friends Emily, currently EA to the Executive team at our favourite noodle hot spot Wagamamas!
Emily and I met and started working together a few years ago and have been a support for each other when times have become pretty tough. I have seen her rise from an Admin Assistant to kick ass Executive Assistant working with c-level Directors within a matter of a couple of years. If you find that you’re struggling to transition into a PA role from a reception/admin assistant position, I hope that this inspires you to keep trying, good things come with hard work and it will definitely be worth it in the end.
J: Hi Emily, how are you? Sorry if I caught you in the middle of something!
E: Hi Jess, I’m good thanks, no need to apologise, there’s rarely a time when I’m not in the middle of something and it’s always nice to have a break especially with you!
J: Cool! So is that normally what it’s like at the Wagamamas HQ at this time of day?
E: Yea. It’s a bustling office at pretty much anytime of the day, as you can imagine lunch time is a pretty big deal here so that area is usually swamped with people delving into a Wagamama take away.
J: Let’s get down to business. What three words would you use to describe your position at Wagamamas?
E: Diverse, busy, fulfilling.
J: As a PA who has worked her way to the top pretty quickly, what piece of advice would you give to a newbie in this career?
E: Get stuck in, ask questions, use your initiative and be confident. You will question your decisions, but you will rarely be wrong!
J: And if you hadn’t of been a PA… what do you think you would you be doing right now?
‘…use your initiative and be confident. You will question your decisions, but you will rarely be wrong’
E: Laying on a beach with a cocktail in hand, oh no sorry that’s what I’d prefer to be doing. If I wasn’t a PA I would quite fancy myself as a secondary school teacher
J: If you could have any super power that existed only when you were in the 4 walls of your office, what would it be?
E: MIND READING, so I knew exactly what people want and mean. One thing I have learnt is that people will forget or change their requests without actually telling you. I think over time as a PA, and as you build relationships with your bosses, you do become a mind reader and do as they think rather than what they say, but to have that power from day one would save a lot of time and questions!
J: So what has been your favourite moment of the year so far?
E: I spent the first three weeks of it in Thailand, so it absolutely has to be that
J:You have an important meeting sprung on you last minute and have to rush out for an emergency wardrobe change, where do you go?
E: Luckily I’m based in Soho, but also not a millionaire, so either Beyond Retro, Urban Outfitters or good old Topshop. Can’t go wrong with the flagship, bound to be something in there!
J: What are your top 5 handbag essentials to always be carrying?
E: Vaseline lip balm, “they’re real” mascara by Benefit, bulldog clip for when my hair is out of control and needs bunging on my head, debit card obviously and earphones – god forbid a mute journey on the tube!
J: You have a last minute private dining event to organise, where is your first point of call?
E: Soho House is a clear first choice!
J: If you were to suggest one app that all PAs should have what would it be?
E: I’d create one that makes more time in the day. If we are going for current apps, Uber
J: You’ve had a long and difficult day at work, where is the first place that you go?
E: For a glass of prosecco, anywhere
J: Who is your role model in the industry?
E: I wouldn’t say I have a specific role model, I think any PA that works their arse off, puts up with crap, yet is still smiling at the end of the week deserve a medal 🙂