Executive level PAs perform a comprehensive range of support services to support and enhance both the personal and professional lives of middle-top management executives. Department heads such as Sales Directors, Regional Managers and Chief Executives are the common employers of personal/executive assistants. Because of the close working relationship forged with the person holding the office, these types of PAs perform tasks relating to the personal lives of their bosses, in addition to professional and/or business support services.
- Preparation and review of official correspondences. Director’s PA would have access to the Director’s mails and email accounts, PDAs, faxes and all other sources and methods of communications. Often, the PA screens these correspondences, filters unwanted mails and prioritizes replies. Director’s PA also often drafts agreements, memos and circulars and other official communications issued by the director’s office. In some cases, the PA picks up or delegates phone calls to and from the director’s office.
- Calendar and Scheduling. The PA takes charge of the director’s daily planner, usually plotting and prioritizing engagements. Executive PAs also make travel arrangements for the executive, from flight schedules and bookings to hotel accommodations and rental cars.
- Documentation and technical assistance. The PA may prepare the director’s presentations; write analyses, summaries and reports for the office. The PA would also be in-charge of updating file systems and reporting consistent with head office requirements.
- Personal support services would vary depending on the needs of the director or executive the PA works for. Tasks may include choosing presents for family members, reminding the director of family engagements, scheduling doctor visits, doing some personal shopping for the boss, etc.
- Education – A Bachelor’s degree in a field specific to the executive office is a must. Most PAs at this level would either have at least a master’s degree to compensate for a relatively minimal experience or at least a three-year experience without the additional degree. Industry-specific training hours or credit units will also boost your chances to be hired for this position.
- Technical skills – Strong organizational skills and excellent written and oral communication skills is a given. Above average computer skills is normally required. That means being excellent with common MS Office applications, familiarity with special applications like CRMs, sales and forecasting tools, etc. Proficiency with online media and web-based applications is definitely a plus.
- Other Requirements – Flexibility is a basic requirement for PAs at this level. Management executives in Dubai often keep long hours and hectic days. When your boss is working or present, so should you. In many cases, these executive PA speak English and another major language (e.g. French, Italian, Spanish) or Arabic.
Department Chiefs, Directors, Chief Executives in Dubai are no different than their American or European counterparts; they lead hectic professional lives. They need to be able to do more with their 24-hour days. Because these professionals are decision-makers, their professional hours need to be focused on assessing, evaluating and implementing strategic plans to meet organizational objectives. Thus, they need technical and personal support for tasks that need to be done to help them with these processes.