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Yvette Pearson

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Look after your future self

Look After My Future Self has been my motto in life for as long as I can remember. From when I used to fold up a spare fiver and stash it in the back of my purse so I’d “find” it a few weeks later (often just before payday – hurrah!), I’ve always tried to think of my Future Self as another person, and tried to help them out as much as I can. This afternoon I found a chocolate orange in the bottom of my drawer that I’d left there last week in the hope of surprising myself at some point in the future (thankfully the surprise wasn’t that it had gone mouldy!) I know what you’re thinking. Perhaps I just have a terrible memory. Not really the case. I have a strange ability to push something out of my memory when I know it’s been taken care of. Thus magnifying…

How productive is your commute?

Sitting on the train, I see people doing all kinds of things. Watching movies (some trains I get home travel all the way down to the south coast of England), reading books, listening to music, etc. Looking at all these people, it made me think. How productive is my commute? A few years ago I attempted to learn French on the train. I downloaded Learn French in Your Car  and put it all onto my iPod. It was working pretty well until I moved house and my commute was much shorter (and busier!). Even so, I wish I’d carried on with it – my last visit to Paris was proof that some of it had actually sunk in. Nowadays I work on my own businesses on my commute. I’m on the train sourcing products, writing blogs, updating my social media. The internet connection isn’t brilliant so sometimes I’m writing blog posts (like…

What Employers REALLY Want to See from a Summer Intern

I’m writing this blog post as someone who has sat on the trading floor while Heads of Desks discuss with their teams who they should hire as their summer intern. I know that what they say they want is often very different to the person who actually ends up being interviewed and ultimately offered a position. Your universities and recruitment consultants will have a load of criteria for you. They will give you advice on how to write your covering letter. How to lay out your CV. How to present yourself on the day of the interview. Whilst this is all valuable information and I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to it, what they can’t tell you is what the guys on the ground REALLY look for when they are hiring their summer intern. 1. Don’t be the Same The Head of the Desk is normally given a couple…

Career Advice for my 18 Year Old Self

I started my working life at the age of 17, with a job at my local estate agent (that’s me, on the left, at 18). It was initially meant to be work experience over the summer between my first and second years at college. However, when they asked me to stay full time, I accepted, and never started my second college year. Looking back, it was a really stupid or really risky thing to do (depending on how you look at it). That job went pear shaped after about 9 months and I was seriously wondering if I’d made the biggest mistake of my life. The estate agent and I eventually parted company and I drove home in tears, scared of what to do. I hadn’t been earning much at all, and my mother was expecting me to pay rent. So when I got home I started to look for…

PA: The Hardest Job in the Office

Yes, I know I’m probably a bit biased, but I truly believe that being a PA or Administrator is the most difficult job in an office environment. Master of All Trades We must know how to take 2 phone calls, set up an excel spreadsheet, book a conference call and send several emails – all at the same time. Simultaneously, we must be able to review 2 inboxes, update 3 calendars, book dinner for 7 with parking, location map and 2 vegetarian options, knock up a PowerPoint presentation, courier a package to China and book three hotel rooms and three flights. We must know how to speak all languages and have visited all the countries in the world: and therefore know every restaurant and every hotel. We must have a complete understanding all local customs and visa and vaccination requirements for all nationalities and countries. We can personally affect the food on the flight, traffic lights…

CEOs – How about a PA on your Board?

A little controversial, yes. But there are some PAs out there with 20 or even 30 years of experience who would make excellent members of Boards. Heck, some of them would make better Board members than the Board you already have! In my various administrative roles, I’ve attended many a Board meeting and I can tell you – even though I’m “only” there to take the minutes, I contribute to every single one of them. I’ve been a valued employee everywhere I’ve worked, and my opinion on certain subjects is just as valid as everyone else’s. Plus, I have a unique perspective that comes only from being a CEO/COO’s right hand person. Couple this with being the PA to the analysts on the team and you have probably your most well rounded employee. In our positions, we speak to pretty much everyone, often in confidence, so we get a unique understanding of…

The Printer’s Prayer

Our printer, which art in thy corner, Xerox be thy Name. In thy office installed. Thy printing will be done, In black and white and in colour. Give us this day our double sided. And forgive it for Paper jams As we forgive those that don’t refill it. And lead us not to forget to order toner, And deliver us from black fingers caused by the waste toner box. For thine is the cyan, The yellow and magenta, For ever and ever. Amen.

8 Things Your Assistant Is Better At Doing Than You

Keeping your Schedule. Lets face it, you’ve all missed meetings because you entered them into your diary on the wrong day, wrong time zone, or simply forgot to enter them at all!Your assistant is the master of your diary. Your assistant knows who you’re meeting, when you’re meeting them, where you’re meeting them, and how long it’s going to take you to get there. She knows which meetings to interrupt if you’re going to be late for the next one, and she has the presentations printed and ready for you to take. She’ll also re-arrange that conference call with New York that you’ve put in your diary for 9am London time. Thinking of the small details. Most of the time these are things that will never ever even cross your mind. You dont notice when she’s done them, but you’d notice if she didn’t. She reserves an area in a bar…

Does a PA need a Degree?

Generally speaking, to do a PA or office administrator role, you do not need a degree. There are so many things that you pick up on the job that a degree simply couldn’t teach you. I have personally found that experience by far outweighs any administration-related qualification. On top of that, a great deal of the job really comes down to having a bit of common sense. A degree wouldn’t teach you that a taxi to take your boss across London to Heathrow airport at rush hour will take twice as long as normal. A degree wouldn’t teach you how to politely get rid of an annoying salesperson who keeps calling for your boss and all he says to tell them is to “**** off!”. A degree wouldn’t teach you that if you shake the printer toner, you can get another 10 pages out of it. Then why is it…

Objective Setting for a PA

As a mentor, I get asked time and time again about objective setting for a PA. Do objectives even matter for a PA? They most certainly do matter. Whatever you put down gets recorded for your whole career. I’ve known objectives set by a PA when she had just start with a firm come back to bite her in the behind when she was applying for a promotion several years later. In my opinion, objectives need to show that you care about the firm you work for. They need to show that you really want the firm to succeed. SMART A company I once worked for held Department Presentations every 6 or so weeks. These were 45-minute sessions where departments showcased their areas and explained how they fit into the rest of the firm. Not only were they a good way to understand what the departments did, but knowing their…