We are thrilled that our Top PA this month is our very own Bryony Milton! Bryony has worked as office manager and PA to our directors Emily & Claire for almost a year now and we honestly do not know what we would do without her. She's kind-hearted, outgoing and incredibly conscientious which makes her a highly effective PA.
Have a read of her interview below where she talks about her past experiences, her achievements and what it's like to work at Bain and Gray as a PA.
How did you get your career started as a PA?
I sort of fell into it…! I went to have a gap year after graduating from University and was working for an Olympic rider. Over time my role grew and developed to include a wide range of things and I gained a lot of experience as a result.
What was your experience of finding your first PA role?
When I moved on from this role I initially came to Bain and Gray to look for my first PA role in the big city! I met with Lizzy to discuss my previous experience and options. I had never used a recruitment agency before, and despite having lots of experience I was anxious as a lot of it wasn’t particularly obvious or office based! I had a great meeting and Lizzy explained various options to me including the role available at Bain and Gray at the time and the rest is history!
How does it differ from previous jobs?
It is a much more professional environment and far less hectic but I have no doubt my previous experience put me in great stead for dealing with lots of multi-tasking! I am also working within a slightly bigger team meaning my role is much more refined.
Who has been your most inspirational boss and why?
I’m very lucky all of my bosses so far have been hugely inspirational! My first boss had already successfully competed at two Olympic Games by the time she was my age and has set up a business alongside being a professional athlete which took a huge amount of hard graft.
More recently I’ve learned more about Emily and Claire’s journey from setting up Bain and Gray ten years ago to where it is today! As the company has grown they’ve maintained the original ethos and aims that they started out with which is really inspirational and has created a really lovely culture within the office today.
Biggest achievement as a PA?
I think it is hugely satisfying knowing that you’ve had a positive impact on someone’s personal and business life. And I also really enjoy developing and maintaining relationships with both your bosses and other colleagues/contacts along the way - I know there are tonnes of people I could call upon for help that I met through my previous role!
Biggest hurdle you have had to overcome as a PA?
Sometimes the work/life balance can be tricky but I think having an open conversation with your boss when taking the job on about your priorities and commitments can help hugely – and maintaining an open dialogue as your role develops is vital too.
Do you feel valued as a PA? Do you think PAs get enough recognition?
Yes, totally! I think good bosses will always recognise hard work and I’ve been very fortunate so far! I think you can also get a lot of personal satisfaction from knowing you’ve made their lives much easier – you shouldn’t be doing something to seek out praise.
What advice would you give to candidates finding their first job in a support role in London?
Be very open to a variety of roles and have a very keen can-do attitude to everything! Get in touch with a recruitment agency that you feel values and listens to you and be 100% honest with them. If you don’t like the sound of a role then let them know – the more information you can give them the greater the chance you’ll find a role which is the right fit for you.
What three attributes do you think make a good PA?
Organisation/attention to detail
The ability to multi-task whilst keeping your cool
Having the emotional intelligence to really get to know your boss inside out – then you can second guess their thoughts about something!
What makes your day easier and what or who couldn’t you live without?
Making to-do lists! It helps organisation so much and I think you are more productive because of it. Also, using your phone when out and about to make notes/take photos etc
What are you most proud of?
I think knowing you’ve made someone’s personal and/or business life much easier is very satisfying.
What advice would you give to a young PA starting their career?
Communication is key. Never be afraid to ask questions or ask those around you for help. You can learn a lot from others!
Don’t be fussy where you start out or who you work for as you can gain loads of invaluable experience.
Having a muck-in, no job is too small attitude, and put 110% into everything you do.
When you’re not being one of London’s top PAs, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m really enjoying living in London so I’m trying to make the most of being so close to loads of friends! I’ve also joined a local hockey club after having not played for a few years and I’m loving it! I also like to escape the bit city every now and again for a weekend in the countryside catching up with friends from my old job and riding!