Welcome to the busy, bizarre and unpredictable world of the PA to the Director of Marketing, Campaigns and Communications at Save the Children UK. I would love to tell you what a typical day in my job looks like but there isn’t really any such thing as a typical day so all I can say is that I very rarely end up doing what I planned to do!
Since I can’t tell you about a ‘day in the life of’ I will instead endeavour to give you a little snapshot of some of the things my job involves.
No. 1: “The Diary”
Firstly, the biggest part of my role is what job description and CV refer to as ‘diary management’…
In a curious but also rather infectious way, there is a tendency among PAs/EAs etc to refer to their Directors’ diaries as “The Diary”. This to me always seems to make it sound like some kind of living being…! Or at least makes it sound much more important than it probably should be.
My pride and joy is the clash-free, fully-booked and magnificently colour-coded diary of Jude. Sometimes I think my job title should be something along the lines of “diary bodyguard”; I battle daily against a barrage of last-minute meeting requests, clashes, over-running 1:1s, evening engagements, early-morning breakfast catch-ups and some very creative reschedules. These requests come at me from all angles — via email, face-to-face requests, landline phones, mobile phones, paper aeroplanes… My weapon of choice to fight these is the infinitely powerful, but equally baffling MS Outlook (cue dramatic music). Brilliant while it works but, as with most things, when it doesn’t disaster tends to follow!
I know when a battle has been won as I watch Jude seamlessly drifting from one meeting to the next. Then the battles commence again!!