Pippa’s advice on How to Achieve Better Recognition in the Workplace

At school I used to quite look forward to receiving my end of term report. Or at least I did until I was in year nine at which point there was a phase during which I dreaded it. This phase coincided with being best friends with Cassie Robinson and also being at my most hormonal. Not a great mixture. I remember trying to ‘infiltrate’ our faintly alarmed postman one morning, hoping I could get to my report before my parents did. Mum was onto me though. She was deeply suspicious of my early morning appearance so was essentially spying on me from her bedroom window. And so it was that I had to suffer her ‘I’m very disappointed face’ when she discovered that Cassie and I had been, shall we say, a bit disruptive that term. Still, other than that particular time, I was a pretty diligent student on the whole, so usually a report meant proud looks all round and maybe even a few quid to spend. Continue reading…


Pippa’s Advice on How Executives should handle their Assistants

I’ve been a PA for years now. I love it and, as my experience and pay packet grow so does my sense of fulfilment. I realise how lucky I am to have a job I enjoy, so maybe the best piece of advice I can ever give is this. Find a job you’re good at. The rest will follow. Continue reading…

Getting the Best from Meetings

Getting the Best from Meetings

What makes a good meeting, apart from fresh croissants, coffee and fruit (breakfast) or platters of sarnies from Pret or M&S (lunch) of course? I only ask because the culture of meetings can vary widely from one company to the next. Some adopt a ‘less is more attitude,’ and hold them sparingly, whereas others view them as the only way to decide anything and will gather people in a boardroom at the drop of a hat. Continue reading…


Pippa’s Guide to Weekly Reviews and When to Have Them

What’s your favourite day of the week? I’d imagine a large percentage of the British population would cite a Saturday or a Sunday but for me it’s Friday. I genuinely love going into work on a Friday. The week is nearly done, people are usually more relaxed and the promise of the weekend inevitably seems to put most people into a good frame of mind. My boss certainly takes longer lunches on a Friday and, depending on how much wine is drunk, has even been known to let me finish early. Continue reading…


It’s all in the mindset

“Sometimes the only person holding you back is yourself.”

It might be a cliché but it’s true; you can be your own worst enemy when it comes to self-motivation and actualising goals. Summoning the courage to go for your dream job is difficult as it requires a lot of patience, confidence and energy, a lot more than you initially might think, and if you’re not wholly committed to pursuing your chosen ambition then it’s all too easy to fall at the first hurdle. Continue reading…

Year of You

Pippa’s Guide to January 2017 – The Year of You

Hi everyone, Pippa here with my first column of 2017.

Did you have a lovely break over Christmas? I certainly did. It’s unbelievable how exhausting the build- up is though isn’t it? By the time I’d made the long train journey home, up North, with bags so heavy and stuffed with presents they nearly snapped my spine and fingers, I felt utterly broken. Nothing to do with the serious hangover I had from my work Christmas party the night before of course…..

Anyway, Dad picked me up from the station, like a wonderful mirage, a true Christmas angel of the North, promptly relieved me of my bags and bundled me into his nice warm car at which point I feel asleep and dribbled onto his upholstery.

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Pippa’s Guide to Team Bonding

Hello, Pippa here. How are you all? Have your thoughts turned to Christmas yet?

Yes… I know I said the ‘C’ word and yes… I slightly hate myself for it. Every year I myself berate my mother for ringing in October to ask what present I want and what time she can expect me home on the 24th. My stock reply is always ‘the best present you could give me is not asking me to think of one in October and if you want me home on the 24th you need to calm down.’

The trouble is, she always thinks I’m joking so it’s become a tradition almost. Instead of changing her ways and realising she’s totally OTT she just laughs at me. If anything my plain speaking encourages her dubious pester tactics further and the volume of calls increase. So please now forgive me for my own premature Christmas chat.

In fact, maybe I should rephrase that opening gambit? Okay, I’ll ask this instead. Have your thoughts turned to ‘getting ready for the run up to Christmas’ yet? Mine have because two things have taken place, which signal that the run up is indeed upon us (mother’s phone call not included.)
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Pippa’s advice on… Questions to ask a New Boss

Hello my fellow PA’s. I hope this finds you well and enjoying life. I think it’s fair to say we’ve definitely had the last dregs of what has been a fairly prolonged Indian summer. In fact, as the leaves fall from the trees, the temperature drops and we head towards winter, this time of year often feels more like New Year than New Year itself!

Certainly my thoughts have turned to clearing out my cupboards, choosing soup over salad, buying a new winter coat and perhaps acquiring some smart boots or shoes to go with it. Though maybe I’m feeling particularly inspired to get shipshape because I’m about to start a new job (hence justifiable clothes buying….).

Of course, a new job means a new boss and along with a streamlined wardrobe comes a strong sense of determination to do really well in my latest role.

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micro manager

Pippa’s Advice on Working for a Micro Manager

I’ve been working as a freelance PA for many years now, often on short contracts. With every new contract comes a new boss and over the years I have noticed that most bosses tend to fall into one of four different categories.

There are the ‘power’ bosses. This type of manager or boss is quite common. They’re the sort who quite enjoys throwing their corporate weight around; making sure no one is under any illusion as to who is in charge. It follows that people who have risen to the top are likely to be assertive, go getting and driven and power bosses are certainly all of these things. Power bosses are usually good at their job and can be both manageable, interesting and inspiring, on the proviso that you are doing your job effectively. Power bosses struggle to like anyone whose work ethic and output they don’t respect. So, if you are good at what you do, fairly tough and prepared to pander to their ego occasionally, you’ll be fine working for a power boss. Otherwise you’re stuffed. In short, they’re not for the faint hearted.

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Pippa’s Guide to Working for an Introvert

Have you ever taken the Myers- Briggs test? It’s very popular in the business sector and is a test designed to indicate what an individual’s psychological preferences are. If you take it, (there are lots of free versions online) depending on what you answer to a string of questions, you will be assigned one of sixteen different personality types. It’s quite interesting to do and far more enlightening, revealing and useful than doing one of those cheesy multiple choice personality tests in a magazine or on Facebook, which I’ll admit to being partial to doing from time to time. As a result I leapt at the chance to give the Myers-Briggs test a go. The description of the personality I was allotted is me in a nutshell and the difference between silly magazine quizzes and this is that the former certainly wouldn’t be taken seriously by an employer whereas this would.

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