Top tips in mastering the PA’s role

Vanessa Pearce reviews – The Future Role of PAs

From: Helen Vandevelde

Format: An NHS staff development event for Pas and secretaries working in
the West of England

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If the future is about good teamwork, Carol Jones and Helen Vandevelde gave
a masterclass on how it’s done in their presentations on the future role of

They delivered a rollercoaster ride through the theory and practice of
becoming a top flight PA/secretary, against the background of globalisation and
technological change.

"Exhausting, but bags of fun if you put your heart into it,"
Vandevelde assures her audience.

And participants took her at her word, engaging wholeheartedly in
interactive explorations into managing global networking, styles of
communication and managing remote relationships.

And having been challenged in their thinking and practice, delegates
returned the compliment by asking some challenging questions of their own – How
do you deal with issues of confidentiality within a network? Who owns the
network? And can you take your networks away with you if you leave the company?

Carol Jones blended some colourful illustrations into her keynote address,
drawing on her experience as a global PA. For example, when she was PA to the
minister for mines and energy for the Northern Territory in Australia, Jones
took on the role of managing his speaking engagements and he developed complete
trust in her judgement.

The work involved Jones using classic PA traits, such as networking, seizing
opportunities, knowledge working, communication and entrepreneurialism.

Between them, Jones and Vandevelde live and breathe the global workstyle of
the future. And on the evidence of their presentations, they’re right. It is
going to be bags of fun with plenty of opportunities.

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