I joined VMA Group in January 2013, taking a seat behind the reception desk in our offices at Bedford Square. Working as a receptionist in the London office and Team Assistant for the Europe office, I began to learn the ways the teams worked, and what was important for a small team. As I found my feet meeting and greeting candidates and colleagues alike, I progressed to the first floor to become the Team Assistant to the IC team. From looking after the smallest team in the company, I found myself supporting the largest team in the company. When assisting any team, large or small, in demand or self sufficient, the main thing to remember is that everyone is different and a particular procedure will change from one consultant to another.
The team assistant job is a varied one, but the key to doing the role well is to acknowledge that your support will be needed in different ways. Pressure points for certain consultants will become pressure points for you, and it is how you prioritise and juggle the needs of your team that is the difference between doing your job well and just doing your job. From arranging meetings, to posting job ads and setting up events it is for you to decide what it the most important and to effectively communicate to the team how your time will be filled, the time it will take and what your priority is. You begin to understand how your team works, what level of support will make a difference to their work load and how much time you spend working with one consultant compared to another. When identifying the numerous ways the team work you have to take into consideration the various personalities of the group and how this will affect the tasks you do and in what way. Preferences vary from consultant to consultant but you have to establish the way they work and adjust accordingly.
Whilst figuring out how you can best support your consultants with their different needs you also are a member of the support team, who will at times, rely on you for support. You need to understand each of your second teams needs and where they may require assistance in how they work, from the way that their team works. Each practice is different therefore tasks will differ and you need to adjust to the change whilst completing your own work load.
I am now moving into VMA Executive working alongside the consultants as a researcher, where my role will change as will my team. I will need to adapt to the role and the way the new team works to help this area of the business branch out. I think it’s fair to say with any role, you need to adjust to suit who you are working with. Although from a support point of view, it’s not just the personalities you adjust to; it is how your team completes their work that has a ripple effect of how you will complete yours, bearing in mind everyone is different.
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