London's Top PA: Kath Clarke

Amateur chef and self-confessed Pinterest addict Kath is this month's Top PA.

How did you get your career started as a PA? 

While still at university I interned at a company that specialises in competency-based assessment and disabled recruitment, as a PA, it was a great way to develop my admin skills and experience the world of work.

What was your experience of finding your first PA role? 

My PA role in London was found with the help of Bain and Gray… they helped me shape my transferable skills on my CV acted as a personal guide, polished my resume and connected me with prospective employers in my desired field.

How does it differ from previous jobs? 

My role is varied and includes a lot of problem solving. A level head and ability to prioritise, harnessing my inner “Marie Kondo”. I get a buzz from the energy of the teams around me, always with an ear to the ground and oversight of schedules, and the bigger picture.

Who has been your most inspirational boss and why? 

My first ever boss, Lesa, was a true inspiration, an entrepreneur, mother, business professional and battling stereotypes from a wheelchair. Her ability to turn a weakness into a strength and challenge the perceptions of organisations was inspirational to watch. 

Biggest achievement as a PA?

Setting up 50 interviews with 22 interviewers in 6 regions 9 time zones 2 daylight saving changes within 36 days!

Biggest hurdle you have had to overcome as a PA? 

Setting up 50 interviews with 22 interviewers across 9 time zones – but oh what a feeling when it was successfully completed! I have even managed to block out those terrifying moments when things were on the cusp of falling apart!  I have the support of my fellow PA’s, MS Outlook, Excel and the empowerment of my boss to thank for the success! 

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

I have always been lucky to work with amazing bosses where I have been valued and recognised for the support I have given and been a true partner to the executives I work with.

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

Have confidence in your ability, ask questions and if in doubt google! 

What three attributes do you think make a good PA? 

Flexibility

Empathy

Sense of humour

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

Google! My friends and my note book

What are you most proud of? 

As cliched as it may sound, I’m most proud of moving from another country, making England my home and adjusting to the cultural differences.

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

Listen, take notes, don’t be afraid to show initiative and find the fun!

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

I am an amateur chef and self-confessed Pinterest addict, yogi and reader of trashy novels. When I’m not solving problems in the work place, you can usually find me hanging out with friends, at the cinema or undertaking a pub quiz (got to use that random general knowledge somewhere).