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Top Challenges PAs
Are Facing

Thinking about a career as a PA? It’s important to consider the downsides as well as the benefits before you embark on any career path. Like every role, there are challenges you will face as a PA that are unique to the sector. Being aware of these challenges before you get started is essential for success.

Speaking to PAs working in the industry at the moment, we have gathered some of the top challenges facing PAs at the moment. Not every PA will struggle with these issues, but they are considered to be industry-wide problems that are all too common at present.

Work/Life balance

Technology has made it easier than ever to stay connected, but this has meant that some PAs struggle with disconnecting. When the vast majority of your work can be completed on your phone or a tablet, you might struggle to draw the line between your work life and your personal life.

It’s not just down to employees to set their own boundaries, it’s also down to employers to set boundaries for their employees – and then they need to respect them. Employees may find it difficult to say no to requests outside of agreed working hours, so it’s important for employers to limit these requests to rare occasions and essential tasks only.

Managing work volume 

The best PAs often find themselves in the difficult situation of being able to do too much for their employer. They continually add to their skills so they can offer more, but this results in a growing workload that becomes impossible to handle.

It’s important that PAs are able to advocate for themselves and set limits on what they can realistically achieve. It’s tempting to want to be the superstar PA that can handle anything and everything, but it’s also important to be realistic. You’ll be far more effective in your role if you set and manage expectations, rather than allowing those setting the tasks to decide what is achievable. 

Negotiating their salary

Asking for your worth is always a difficult task. It can feel like there are so many PAs nipping at your heels ready to replace you, that you fail to ask for a pay rise when you know that you need and deserve it. The cost of living is on the rise, and with everything getting more expensive, you could be facing a pay cut in real terms if you don’t speak up.

Knowing how to start these conversations is never easy, but it all starts with knowing your worth. It’s also helpful to remember that your employer doesn’t want to start fresh with a new PA. There is value in your experience and inside knowledge of their company, so remember this when asking for a pay review.

Finding time to learn new skills

As a PA, you might find it easy to stay still and keep doing the same things you have always done. But this can lead your career to become stagnant and eventually you will get bored of the same old tasks. This is why finding the time to learn new skills and broaden your horizons is essential.

However, how can you do this with an ever-growing workload and increased demand for your time? The best way to make sure you are still pushing yourself forward is to make time in your schedule for learning and development and then protect this time as if it were any other work task. Work with your employer to identify the skills that would be most beneficial to pursue. 

The rise of AI

There are plenty of AI tools available that promise to make the role of the PA easier – and some even claim they can make your role obsolete. It can be difficult to know if you should implement these tools, if they are safe, and if they are effective. Implementing a tool that eventually fails could be disastrous for the organisation and for your reputation.

There is still so much we don’t know about AI and how it will unfold in the PA sector. This is why it’s smart to proceed with caution if you decide to implement AI in your role. Always be transparent about how you use it, and make sure you don’t automate tasks entirely so they aren’t lacking in human oversight.

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