London’s Best Receptionist 2016

During the month of September, we invited Line Managers to nominate their Receptionist in order to be in with a chance of winning this prestigious Tate award and be recognised for their valued work. Three finalists were chosen and invited along with their Line Manager to join us in a celebratory lunch where the overall winner was announced.

The Winner was Su Gregory and the Runners up were Tina Sadler and Joanna Dryden.

A huge congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone involved. What a great day!
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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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What to do if your employee asks for a payrise

If your employee has requested a pay rise, the way in which you respond could have a significant impact on them; a good experience may result in a reinvigorated interest in the role, increased job satisfaction and improved working relationships. A bad experience may result in resentment, tension and even a resignation letter.

In many ways your reaction is even more important than the issue of money. Often your employee is seeking validation for their work and some form of development in their role.

To help keep all parties happy, here are some things to consider should you be asked for a pay rise.

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Knowing when it’s time for change

Feeling unhappy at work is often due to the need for change. Making significant adjustments to your career may be a daunting prospect, but by pushing yourself to overcome issues at work you will be able to create a more successful and fulfilling career.

Here are three common situations that could indicate the need for change and the best way to go about it.

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Interviewing your interviewer: 5 questions to ask

A conversation is defined as ‘a talk between two or more people in which ideas are exchanged’. Job interviews essentially follow the same definition; although they may feel one-sided, interviews are an equal opportunity for both you and your prospective employer to discuss expectations for the role.

In light of this, it’s important to prepare some questions for your interviewer to figure out whether the job is right for you while simultaneously indicating what you’re looking for. Below are five examples of questions you should consider asking during your interview.

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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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How to stand out in a crowded job market

Job hunting can sometimes make you feel invisible. Getting yourself noticed is half the battle during the job application process, but the good news is you don’t have to do anything crazy or deceitful to stand out from the crowd. After all, you don’t want to get noticed for the wrong reasons…

The aim, no matter what role you apply for, is to confidently communicate your value to a prospective employer. To do this, you will need to address 5 key areas.


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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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first day

How to give your new starter a great first day!

We all know how nerve-racking it is to start a new job. It can take weeks to learn everyone’s names, get your head around the new computer system and establish which mugs have already been claimed in the kitchen.

It can be nerve-racking for the employer too. An induction can heavily disrupt the working day and take a lot longer than necessary if not properly organised. However, by working to make the new starter’s transition into your company as smooth as possible, not only will they feel more confident in their new role but daily routines will also be quickly re-established.

Whether you’re looking for a new employee at the moment or have someone starting soon, here are 8 tips on how to give a new starter a great first day.

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