In an earlier post, I talked about the transferable skills I could take from being a personal assistant to being a freelance writer.
Make sure you read part 1 of What Transferable Skills Can You Take to Your Next Role?
Here are more skills that will come in handy in my new role. Again see if any of them apply to you and if not think about what your unique transferable skills may be.
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As mentioned in my earlier post a lot of the data required in my PA role needed to come from someone else.
In my last position, it was usually one of the business analysts or their Managers. One of my favorite parts of the job was when I was given free rein to investigate and report back on a project for my Manager.
As a naturally curious person, I enjoy research.
I love digging around and finding interesting facts and bits of information. As a writer, this curiosity will come in handy.
The trick I am learning in regards to research is when to stop!
If you have all the information you need, but keep looking for more, you could be simply wasting time.
Related post – How to Be More Creative
If you are a Manager who relies heavily on a PA and you start your own business or change companies you might find you miss her input, particularly if the two of you worked well together.
You may be surprised at how many tasks your PA did for you that you now need to do yourself. Some of these will be mundane but essential tasks that will eat away at your time. Be prepared for the transition. Look at outsourcing options if this is financially feasible. Maybe a part-time assistant could help or you could work with a virtual assistant.
At first, I thought organizing myself would be a no-brainer. After all, I spent every day organizing my Manager. Telling him what meetings he needed to attend, what priorities he had, advising him of papers he needed to have written and the like.
Now I am doing that for myself.
Oddly enough at first, it felt a bit strange. Some effective forward planning, scheduling set times in my calendar for tasks, working to tighter deadlines and some wise words of advice from my coach helped immensely and put me at ease at being my own assistant.
Related post – How to Have More Self-Discipline
Some PA’s do a lot of administration work, some roles are more on the organizational side of things. In rare cases, a senior EA may actually have a PA reporting to her (someone to palm the filing off to – yes!).
In the realm where I work for a company, I do all the admin. Invoices, corporate card, minutes, filing (my least favorite) just to name a few. Many of the admin tasks in my former role will be required in my own business.
Keeping detailed records of data used in articles is important, so is keeping records for tax time, so I am going to have to start a love affair with filing.
Related post – 5 Reasons to Take Charge of the Clutter in Your Office
I pride myself on my ability to keep work confidences.
What I have heard some PA’s tell people about their bosses would curl their Managers hair (and definitely make them want to get a new assistant).
As a personal assistant, we are the keeper of secrets.
Whether we like and respect our Manager is quite frankly irrelevant. It’s part of our job to keep his or her confidence and not be spreading stories of his personal dramas or work issues around the office.
This at first glance seems at odds with being a writer as writers are tellers of stories, whether they are fictional or factual.
Despite this, there are still boundaries. Whilst writing is not about keeping secrets, knowing what not to write in my blog, manuscript or article could be just as important as knowing what to write.
Related post – Is Loyalty in the Workplace Dead?
Over to you
Look at your own situation.
What transferable skills could you take from your current role into a business or to a job in another field?
If you work in a numbers-based field such as accounting or finance, maybe you have a creative side of your personality that may help you in your next step up the ladder or a move to another company?
If you feel you need to upgrade your skills, CreativeLive have a great range of online business-related courses that can help.
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Update – Since I wrote this post (which was a few years ago now), I’ve given up freelance writing realizing it wasn’t my dream job after all. I went back to full-time PA work several times, got fired from a terrible job, had to cope with my contract ending from a job I loved and worked as a temp. I’m now back working for myself and focused on helping people with their personal growth and knowing their worth.
I think I can definitely add resilience to my list of skills because it’s been one hell of a bumpy career ride but I’m still here swinging!