London's Top PA: Francesca Briggs Reeve

This months London's Top PA is the gorgeous Francesca Briggs Reeve. 

Frankie has had a wonderful career so far as a senior PA in a private family office. Have a read of her experiences and advice for budding Personal Assistants... 

1. How did you get your career started as a PA? I started off at Quest Professional which taught me office responsibilities and give me guidance through interview practice.

2. What was your experience of finding your first PA role? I tried many different recruitment agencies across London, each were good in some way but some specialise more than others in the kind of roles I was interested in which helped to find the right job.

3. What has been your most challenging PA role to date and why? My days vary incredibly. One minute I will be booking flights and arranging meetings. The next I will be jumping in taxis to collect needed items. In-between these times I organize workstations for new starters, attend to household maintenance, sort out insurance, keep up to date on IT issues and attend meetings with our IT support team. I have to be extremely organized and able to juggle various different projects at one time – every day can be a challenge!

4. What has been the strangest request from a boss you have ever had? To put together a Mad Max Halloween Costume! That was a long morning in Angel…!

5. How does it differ from previous jobs? I am much more productive as there is always a lot going on. It’s so varied and no day is the same.

6. Who has been your most inspirational boss and why? My current bosses. They look after me and all their employees very well. I am always happy to do what they ask because I know they are grateful for everything I do.

7. Most memorable day in career history and why?  The Christmas party last year! 

8. Biggest achievement as a PA? So far it’s working for my current bosses, I feel valued and I truly enjoy my job which is a rarity. 

9. Biggest hurdle you have had to overcome as a PA? Being ridiculously organised, it is a skill you have to learn to do this job effectively.

10. Do you feel valued as a PA? Do you think PAs get enough recognition? Stereotypically I think PA’s are thought to be given jobs that no one wants to do. Fortunately for me I don’t have to spend hours printing and binding. The jobs offered to me have much more to them and they are often fun and challenging, I know I am appreciated and I get rewarded well. It’s important to remember that without support staff and office won’t function. Receptionists, office managers and PA’s are the foundation and glue to a company so a simple thank you can make all the difference.

11. What advice would you give to candidates finding their first job in a support role in London? Perfect your CV as there are many everyday traits you can bring to a role and of course bring your personality in interviews. 

12. What three attributes do you think make a good PA? Organization, professionalism, can-do attitude.

13. What makes your day easier/what or who couldn’t you live without? Pen and Paper. I write everything down and if I have time I type it up later on word. Forgetting to do one thing can have a knock-on effect. Oh and our receptionist, she’s great! She is always happy to help. It’s so important to work in an environment with likeminded people. It’s nice to see when people all get stuck in together and no one thinks they are too good for the job – No company can work if people have an attitude like that.

14. What are you most proud of? I achieve something each and every day, whether is a big project or something smaller, the fact that I have been able to help my bosses in some way makes me proud.

15. What advice would you give to a young PA starting their career? Learn to be good at prioritizing, organization is the key and base to the job. Don’t ever be afraid to ask if you are unsure as its better to be sure than to mishandle a situation.