Personal Assistant
Bovis Lend Lease

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Anne F

00:00:02 Hi, my name’s Anne F and I’m a PA. I work for the Head of BLL UK North, that’s Bovis Lend Lease, and on a day to day basis I arrange his diary, arrange meetings, get papers ready for meetings, take lots of phone calls. Just generally helping him to organise his time.

00:00:23 When I was at school I didn’t particularly have one job in mind that I wanted to do. I left school with A-Levels, didn’t have the opportunity to go to University. I took a job in an office, but decided that if I wanted to progress within the office, I would need certain skills that I didn’t have. And the best way I thought to get around that was to work full time, but also to do an evening course. I am very determined because I think, you know, once you decide that you need to get on within the industry that you’re in, there’s certain things that you have to do to achieve that. If you decide that you do want the qualifications it is hard work, but I think in the end it’s worth it.

00:02:30 After going to college I got a Private and Executive Secretary’s diploma, which meant that I could then apply for PA roles, and that’s exactly what I did. I worked for Save the Children Fund, and I worked for Scope, which are two charitable organisations. Those jobs I found particularly rewarding. When I worked for Scope I had the opportunity to go to some of the Centres that they had, meet people with disabilities. I think when you’re working for a charity I think you do get involved with the people more, on a one to one basis. Simply because in the job I was in it was a case of, you know, you would mentor somebody with a disability, and of course you build up relationships. After working with the charitable organisations, I worked for Cadbury’s for a number of years, and then unfortunately the factory where I worked completely closed, so everybody had to move on, and that’s when I joined construction. It took me a good few months to get used to the culture of the construction industry. It is more male-dominated from any of the industries I’ve been in previously. I think I was fairly positive after the factory closed that I would get another job, because I thought I had the right skill set to move into something else. Yes, I think generally I’m a confident person, yeah. I do think that does come with age, don’t think necessarily when you’re young you’ve got the confidence, but certainly as you experience more in life, your confidence builds.

00:02:41 I think the high point in my life has definitely been having kids. When I had children I was lucky enough to have great support from my family, which gave me the opportunity to go back to work. I don’t think I’m the sort of person that would have been happy staying at home for years on end, it just wasn’t something that suited me. So I was very keen to get back to work. If I could have done anything differently, I would have gone to University. I think it would have given me more idea of the opportunities that were available, and I think having that – a few years longer in education, I would have matured a bit, and had a bit more insight into what was available.


Anne F is a PA at Bovis. She left school after A levels and continued her education at night classes to get her Private and Executive Secretary’s diploma. She has been a PA in charities, the food industry and now in construction.

More information about Personal assistants and other secretaries

average salary

The UK average salary is ÂŁ29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

6%  male 
94%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Personal assistants and other secretaries provide administrative and secretarial support to individuals, departmental or management teams within organisations.
There are no minimum academic requirements, although entry to professional secretarial courses typically requires GCSEs/S grades. NVQs/SVQs are available in Administration at Levels 2, 3 and 4.
  • Acts as a first point of contact for a manager or team with colleagues and people from outside organisations, fields telephone enquiries, takes and passes on messages;
  • Arranges appointments, keeps business diary, organises travel arrangements, makes reservations and organises a variety of functions;
  • Opens, sorts, distributes and files correspondence (in hard copy and electronic) and deals directly with routine correspondence;
  • Uses appropriate software to produce correspondence, memoranda, reports, presentations and other documents from drafts, handwritten copy or by transcribing dictation;
  • Arranges and attends meetings, takes minutes and prepares records of proceedings;
  • Translates documents and liaises with overseas clients and suppliers.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Head offices, etc 12005
Food & beverage services 8400
Wholesale trade 7307
Architectural & related 7162
Specialised construction 7097
Services to buildings 7009
Real estate 6806
Advertising, etc 6102
Auxiliary  services 5664
Membership organisations 5571
Employment status

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