5 Mins With A PA

Thu, 19 Dec 2013
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5 Mins with a Top PA, this month it’s Erica MacKay, EA to the CEO and CFO at Geometry

What do you love most about your job?

I have the opportunity to really get stuck in and make the job my own because I’ve only been here for a month. I love the fact that no two days are the same and I really enjoy working in such a lively, creative environment – I feel incredibly lucky that I get to work with such a great group of people.

What are the three things you couldn’t do your job without?

Confidence, a pen and my daybook.

What do you think makes a good PA? 

In my opinion, as a PA, you need to be calm and positive and be the one that holds it together in stressful situations! Be flexible, practical, philosophical and have a good sense of humour. If you make a mistake or something doesn’t go to plan, just take a deep breath and fix it. Always remember that there’s no problem that can’t be solved.

What’s in your handbag right now?

I’d love to say something exciting but at the moment it’s all fairly boring – keys, work phone, personal phone, security pass, iPad, diary and pen, lip balm, Oyster card, headphones, umbrella (I spent 8 years living in Manchester so it’s a handbag staple for me!), chewing gum and my purse.

What’s your lunch time routine?

I don’t have a lunchtime routine yet as I’m so new. It really depends on what my bosses are doing and what’s happening in the agency – sometimes I’ll grab a sandwich at my desk, sometimes I’ll have lunch with the other PA’s and sometimes I’ll go out for a walk.

Who has been your greatest influence?

Betsey Johnson – I think she’s amazing!

What do you do after a stressful day?

Go home and have a massive mug of tea!

What are your tips for being a top PA?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions; have faith in your decisions but learn from your mistakes; have the confidence to challenge behaviour, decisions or ideas that you don’t agree with; always stay calm and don’t ever let anyone undermine you or speak to you like you don’t matter – you absolutely do; be nice to everyone; stay firm but fair and work hard to build relationships with your colleagues – it’s a huge mistake to isolate yourself, as when you need help you’ll really struggle and above all enjoy what you do and see every day as an adventure!