This repeat business client applied for the role of Personal Assistant (PA) in local government in Tasmania, breezed through the job interview stage, was offered and accepted the role. This was a big application requiring the addressing of 10 selection criteria; all were addressed in four pages. Following are excerpts from two of the selection criteria.

Demonstrated ability to exercise initiative, judgement and discretion and to work under pressure.

One of my key strengths and skills is in managing multiple demands and tasks and in ensuring all deadlines – hourly, weekly and monthly – are met. This is undertaken working in a highly autonomous and unsupervised environment. During my tenure at TTT Pty Ltd, the process of preparing monthly reports involved managing priorities in order to meet set stringent deadlines. My involvement in this process was to ensure the receipt of reports from three different operational streams (construction, services and mining) by a set deadline – 15th of each month. I followed up with each operational manager to remind them of this deadline and the importance of receiving the reports via email prior to the deadline. The next step involved the review process to allow for changes and amendments; a two week window was provided. During this time frame, I organised and disseminated the reports to the Managing Director, and to other internal divisions (such as the finance department), and organised meetings with key personnel to discuss changes. I then collated and forwarded the reports to the parent company by the 28th of each month. Throughout the entire process, I was vigilant and persistent in following up with internal stakeholders to ensure information and the reports were sent back to me within the allowable time frames.

Capable of working in an environment that requires confidentiality.

A recent example which demonstrates my tact and discretion in an environment that required confidentiality was when I participated in a transition program involving hundreds of staff were to being made redundant as the company downsized. Many of the staff scheduled for redundancy were close colleagues of mine over many years. This was a period where I was made privy of the redundancy process and the staff/colleagues that were slated to leave; at no time did I reveal or discuss this information with them or with unauthorised personnel. Naturally, many staff, colleagues and peers approached me over that time subtly enquiring if I could pass on any information to them about what was going on. It was a most stressful period as I dealt with these individual enquiries and concerns from staff on a daily basis; many of them all had mortgages and families to support. First and foremost, my priority and commitment was in adhering to the company’s Code of Conduct and the responsibilities of my role regardless of my personal feelings. At all times throughout the redundancy process from start to finish I maintained strict confidentiality and discretion by never revealing any information to colleagues and other staff.

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Annie Cerone