Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Time to Beat the Mid-Career Blues; Climbing the Job Ladder Requires Some Well Thought out Planning ES JOBS Professional Secretary

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Time to Beat the Mid-Career Blues; Climbing the Job Ladder Requires Some Well Thought out Planning ES JOBS Professional Secretary

Article excerpt

Byline: JACKY HYAMS

NO MATTER how busy your job and how pleasant your work environment, there are times when you stop and wonder if there is life beyond the PA role.

But if you're an established PA with a good track record, how do you find a different job that will offer more and take you further up the career ladder?

"The first step is to be clear about exactly what you do want," says executive coach and business trainer Jeremy Lazarus. "It might sound obvious but many people get stuck just dreaming of moving on.

They don't really know what they want and, as a result, they're just fumbling around in the dark without a direction."

The mistake many PAs make, says Lazarus, is that when they think about moving away from the PA role they can underestimate the value of what they've achieved.

They must focus on the experience they already have when working out what to do next.

"For a good PA, office management is one excellent option," he says. "Or a move into another role in the same working environment.

For instance, someone working in a sales environment could look at a sales-admin role or sales itself. A sideways move in the same field can work well because you already have the background and experience."

Once you've worked out where you'd like to be and what type of role might suit you, your next step is to research the market. "Talk to as many people as you can about these roles in your chosen field," says Lazarus. "And don't overlook the value of existing contacts. A lot of good jobs are filled simply because someone knows someone."

Motivational speaker Geoff Burch warns: "You should be focused on finding a new direction and enhancing your prospects. But it's equally important that you don't permit yourself to be daunted by the process of job-hunting."

In interviews, says Burch, help yourself by asking direct questions. "Once an interview is over, you don't get a second chance. So don't be too timid to ask big questions when you're convincing an employer you're worth hiring. …

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