London's Top PA: Amy Broughton

Amy shares her experiences of becoming a PA, her greatest work achievements and advice for those who are just starting their PA career.

How did you get your career started as a PA? 

After completing my ILEX Diploma I worked as a Legal Secretary in Magic Circle law firms for the first 7 years of my career…

What was your experience of finding your first PA role?

My first PA role was working for Sir Richard Branson. Richard tweeted and I applied; the rest is history! Not your average PA job advert.

How does it differ from previous jobs? 

You deal with their entire day. Work does not begin at 9am and stop at 6pm. It encompasses everything from the moment they wake, to the moment they rest. You know 99.9% of their day/life activity, where they are, what they’re doing and what they need to do.

Who has been your most inspirational boss and why? 

Richard was obviously an inspiration everyday. Fortunately every boss who I have worked for has been incredible at their role and inspirational in their own right. I love working for someone who is the best in their field, I think it instills respect from the off.

Biggest achievement as a PA?

I think being consistent; turning up each day, being reliable and doing a great job.

How do people react when they find out you’re a PA? 

With lots of questions!

Biggest hurdle you have had to overcome as a PA? 

Admitting when a role wasn’t right for me. I took what I thought was a dream job and it unfortunately didn’t turn out that way. Admitting that to myself & having an honest, yet difficult chat was hard. It all worked out for the best though!

Do you feel valued as a PA? Do you think PAs get enough recognition? 

I don’t always search for or require a ‘thank you’. You can never be too busy to say thank you and Richard was a wonderful example of that but there have been times when nothing been said and there is a silent knowing between you both that a good job has been carried out and you have exceeded expectations. Pre-empting their thoughts is the best thank you.

What advice would you give to candidates finding their first job in a support role in London? 

Other than register with Bain & Gray!? Find an agency & a recruiter that understands you; that you have a good relationship with and you can be honest with. Together you can work towards finding a great role.

What three attributes do you think make a good PA? I

Attention to detail, honesty & a calm confidence. Things can sometimes get pretty hectic, so to maintain your cool at all times goes a long way!

What makes your day easier and what or who couldn’t you live without?

My notepad and when I’m on the go, Siri (the PA’s PA)!

What are you most proud of? 

My relationship with my bosses. I feel like I could (& do) still speak to each of my previous bosses. 

What advice would you give to a young PA starting their career? 

Always ask your team if they need a helping hand if you are able to give one. Learn from your peers and bring your character to the role.

When you’re not being one of London’s top PAs, what do you enjoy doing? 

I just did my yoga teacher training in Bali so I will practice everyday. I love reading, learning, cooking, travelling & of course, socialising!