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I have worked for Lucy Brazier (CEO, Marcham Publishing) for 4 and half years. Prior to becoming Lucy’s PA, we worked together in the local Chamber of Commerce for a year organising events. During that time working together we formed a close bond which helped build the trust and confidence that was crucial when we started working together at the magazine.

Lucy’s energy and drive really stand out for me: it’s what keeps me going no matter what. She has a high work ethic which keeps her mind focused and determined no matter what else may be going on in her life.

By the time Lucy and I started working together at the magazine, we had gotten to know each other well, thus we knew what tone worked best for both of us. We have managed to maintain this tone throughout our time of working together and endeavour to up our game at every chance we can.

In the beginning I asked a lot of questions about the smallest things, and as time has gone on I have observed how Lucy answers and deals with different situations. This makes my job a lot easier when dealing with certain tasks and also helps to free up Lucy’s time.

After our first Executive Secretary LIVE (back in March 2013) we bonded even more as a team as this was the first big project we worked on since the magazine launched. We still use many of the skills developed from this experience in our everyday working life and at all the conferences we organise.

The company is still small - although it is progressively getting bigger. When Lucy isn’t travelling it gives us both more time together in the office to focus on discussing daily tasks face to face. When Lucy is travelling (which can be regularly) we keep in contact either via text or by using Skype.

When Lucy and I attend meetings together, we ensure we are on the same page and always do our upmost to portray the professionalism and brand of our company. This is something I have developed an understanding of, so if Lucy can’t attend a meeting she knows she can rely on me to represent her in the best way possible.

Lucy has given me the opportunity to attend many conferences around the world and listen to many amazing and inspiring speakers. This has given me the opportunity to develop and grow in my role so that I am able to help Lucy grow herself and the company too.

If you are ever unsure or doubt whether your performance is on track or if you feel your executive has lost confidence in you, I would suggest you find out what the issue(s) are and talk through a way to sort them out between the two of you. Most of the time if you just sit down and chat with your executive you will find out what the problem is and find a solution that suits both parties. Remember to remain calm, you are there to support your executive no matter what. If your executive is in a bad place wait for the right time to approach them and/or try and find a solution on your own in the interim.

I have had the privilege of meeting many assistants who have been affected by gossiping either directly or indirectly. Gossiping can easily escalate from something innocent to something that could affect a person’s career or even worse their mental and physical health. Be careful what you say in the office and who you say it to, you never know who it may end up with!

For anyone looking at becoming a top personal assistant I would recommend always keeping on top of your game and remember to always be the best you can be. There is no assistant who knows everything so don’t pretend to. If there is something you don’t know make sure to ask a colleague or if you’re the only assistant in the office, join a forum or a group or a network on social media – they may have the answer to your questions and if not, they can help you try and come up with a solution. Networking and social media are great ways to meet other assistants. These assistants will always make great contacts who could even help you advance your job role and career.

One of my top tips to any assistant would be to always keep up to date with the latest technology trends and any other pieces of information that may help you and your executive to move forward. As I mentioned above never pretend to know everything. If you do it may look good for a while but eventually it will catch up with you and will probably not end well.

Matthew Want (Executive Secretary Magazine:

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