Skevi Constantinou is a long time EA and Founder of The PA Way in the UK. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with her and I know you will learn a lot from our conversation.

Skevi Constantinou PA Way Leader Assistant Episode 44

We talk about managing interruptions and distractions, what to look for in an assistant, making mistakes, managing email, bullying in the workplace, and more. Skevi also shares her vision for The PA Way.


Immortality is to live your life doing good things, and leaving your mark behind.

-Brandon Lee

Skevi Constantinou Leader Assistant Podcast
About Skevi Constantinou

Skevi is an established EA with a hospitality background. She created and launched The PA Way to create a platform that inspires, empowers and motivates assistants to be the best that they can be.

The PA Way is a lifestyle platform aimed at professionals within the PA/EA/VA and office administrative sector. We understand the power of an Assistant and we want to ensure that you are recognized as the VIP you are!


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Skevi Constantinou 0:00
Hi, I’m Skevi Constantinou. Today’s leadership quote comes from Brandon Lee. Immortality is to live your life doing good things and leaving your mark behind.

Podcast Intro 0:15
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident game changing leader assistants.

Speaker 3 0:24
It’s episode 40. Funny Ville it’s episode 44.

Jeremy Burrows 0:30
How do you leader assistants I hope you’re having a great day. Just wanted to remind you to join our online communities at and Facebook just crossed the 1000 mark. So I’m very excited to have that many amazing leader assistants join us on Facebook. And then I believe slack is up to about 620 or so. So yeah, just keep it coming. Keep joining keep sharing tips, tricks, keep asking for help sharing job postings encouraging each other. That’s the whole purpose of those online communities. So I hope you can join us. Today’s episode shownotes can be found at So let’s jump right in. Hey, everyone, thanks for tuning into The Leader Assistant Podcast. Today’s guest is Skevi Constantinou from the PA Way. Skevi thanks for joining.

Skevi Constantinou 1:29
Thank you for having me. It’s a real privilege to be on your show.

Jeremy Burrows 1:35
Great. Well, let’s talk about a little bit of your backstory. What was your very first job?

Skevi Constantinou 1:43
My very first job was working in my parents fish and chip shop in Wolverhampton. That was my very first job.

Jeremy Burrows 1:52
Was it the best fish and chips in town?

Skevi Constantinou 1:57
At the time, yes, I don’t know now. Maybe? Yeah, it was a good shop.

Jeremy Burrows 2:04
What did you learn from that job that you still use today?

Skevi Constantinou 2:08
How to engage with customers, you know how to deal with orders and multitasking? Because it was it was actually quite quite a good tool to learn at a young age.

Jeremy Burrows 2:24
When did you first realize that an assistant or a personal assistant or an executive assistant was a job that you could have?

Skevi Constantinou 2:35
Well, I kind of fell into it. By chance, and then I realized it would fit the skill set that I had at the time. And that’s why I started off training as an admin and then worked up worked up to PA and then EA. So yeah, that was a few few years ago.

Jeremy Burrows 2:56
How long have you been in assistant?

Skevi Constantinou 2:59
I think now from around 2012.

Jeremy Burrows 3:03
Okay. Yeah. And then what what do you love about the role of an assistant

Skevi Constantinou 3:10
I love being able to help people knowing that from the moment they you know, start their working day, that it’s all organized, because I’ve assisted with them. Knowing that I’ve coordinated all their paperwork and documents that travel all the necessary things so that they can get through the day really flawlessly. But I also love the industry in terms of the PA networks out there, and the community spirit that we all have.

Jeremy Burrows 3:43
Awesome. So, what’s, uh, can you describe a time when you saved the day as an assistant?

Skevi Constantinou 3:53
Oh, that’s a good question. I think when you’re an assistant, you kind of save the day, every day, because that’s your that’s your goal from the moment you get in. But I’ve saved the day, so to speak. You know, I used to work for one company that, you know, it took me months to organize a conference, and everything can then like with all the agendas and everything, and then the boss calls me in at around five o’clock and said, close the door. We’re going to make everyone redundant, including yourself. And I’m going to announce it at the conference. So I was like, okay, so I kind of had to save the day in that respect, because, you know, it was going to be a very different tone to the conference. People who are obviously going to be very upset. So I had to coordinate everything that I’d spent months doing to to make sure that it would go ahead at nine o’clock in the morning. So he did say to me, he goes you executed it really well. Because I had to put my personal feelings aside about the fact that I was going to lose my job because I had to put everybody else first so But it was kind of saving the day in that respect.

Jeremy Burrows 5:02
Wow. That’s pretty. Yeah, that’s a pretty rough pivot in that event. Yeah. So what’s the biggest mistake you made as an assistant? And what did you learn from the experience?

Skevi Constantinou 5:17
I think when I think about making a mistake, obviously, you make the general mistakes, you know, with your admin tasks. But I think more on a deeper level to that question. I think the biggest mistake I made as an assistant is not self learning from the start. So I’m very like all about self learning now and learning about my industry, but more, but I think if I had learned started learning more in say, 2012, then I would have a much deeper understanding. So I think my only regret in that respect is not, you know, getting my head down and getting more into the industry from a very early stage.

Jeremy Burrows 5:58
What’s the number one struggle you have related to being an assistant?

Skevi Constantinou 6:04
I would say, as an assistant, from you know, previous experience, I would say the struggle is perhaps not being recognized or feeling that you have a sense of presence in the office, and sometimes being disregarded from previous companies that I’ve worked for. So it’s just, it’s just that really have been beat about knowing your worth. In the office,

Jeremy Burrows 6:34
who’s the most influential person in your life?

Skevi Constantinou 6:39
Wow, that’s a really good question. I would say two things, two parts to that question. One, my biggest influence in in that has been for the reason where I got to where I am, surprisingly, is actually, Michel Roux Jr, who’s, you know, very well known chef and his family. Because my original background is hospitality. He’s always been my biggest influence in terms of like celebrity status. But in terms of influence, in general, I would say, Well, the short stories that we exchange as an assistant industry, people that I meet on a daily basis, I learned I get inspired by life on a daily basis is what I’m trying to say.

Jeremy Burrows 7:24
So let’s talk about a couple practical things. Do you have experience managing your executives, email inbox? And what’s a tip that you would share with others trying to do the same?

Skevi Constantinou 7:37
Yeah, so for, you know, everyone works very differently. Some people like to be very self sufficient and look after their own. But previous people that I’ve worked for, they’ve always just made sure that I’ve always deleted all the chain mail and you know, categorize everything as important in progress or completed. And just staying on top of it, really, so that they’re not overloaded with information.

Jeremy Burrows 8:02
What’s something that you would tell an executive to look for in an assistant if they’re trying to find one?

Skevi Constantinou 8:11
I think you would need to find someone who was a flexible and adaptable person, someone that can work well in a team, but at the same time, be self sufficient. And, you know, perhaps have that social element of being a people’s person. I’m not saying you have to be like super bubbly and extroverted. But you know, being able to go over to certain departments and build those relationships is always, I think, a really handy thing to do in an office environment.

Jeremy Burrows 8:48
That’s a great tip. So what about managing constant interruptions? How do you handle the distractions? And what would you encourage other assistants to do to manage these interruptions?

Skevi Constantinou 9:03
I think it’s having those conversations if you’re dealing with multiple stakeholders, and they all want you at once and they’re all coming at you at once is just having a very calm demeanor of saying I understand what your what your requests are and listening. Can we sit down and so I can structure what I want to do is just being able to say you know, it’s a kind of politely pushed back otherwise the assistant is going to be overwhelmed with too much information and not know who to prioritize. Alternatively, if you’re able to take your laptop to a much quieter space, and work perhaps, and then you you don’t get people coming over to your desk every fall.

Jeremy Burrows 9:51
Yeah, I like going in a dark closet and locking myself in.

Skevi Constantinou 9:57
Listen, I’m an introvert. I know if he was professional. I’d sit there with my headphones on. And I’d say now, but apparently that’s not as good as his practice. So yeah.

Jeremy Burrows 10:09
So tell us about the PA way, when and why did you start it.

Skevi Constantinou 10:13
So the PA way is a fun lifestyle platform for assistant admin and office managers to help inspire, empower, and motivate them to be the very best assistance that they can be with learning and development in there as well. But it’s also I created it last year, because I got to the point where I just thought, you know what, we’re all going, we’re all creating all these invitations for amazing events and dinners, but when does the assistant ever get to go, they never get an invite, they just have to coordinate them. So I kind of with the PA way have Spin, spin it in a different way, in that I want the assistant to feel like a bus. So I take them on events, I take them on fan trips, we do learning and development, to get them to level up to be the best assistance that they can be. But at the same time, their boss wins because he or she has a very resourceful assistant from the social networking side of things. And they’re learning and development. That’s awesome. Thank you.

Jeremy Burrows 11:23
So what, what’s an example of me, I’ve got a lot of assistants, reach out to me and say, you know, my boss doesn’t respect me, or, you know, my boss will yell at me, or bully me, what’s an example of the type of bullying you’ve seen happen to assistants.

Skevi Constantinou 11:45
Um, so I’ve had, and it’s a shame really, that I say this, but I’ve had a lot of assistants say that they’ve feel that they’re being victimized or bullied at work. And I would say to them, you know, to kind of stay strong, and try and keep self motivated, because you are awesome. And without you, you know, offices wouldn’t be able to function. But at the same time, you know, in terms of being practical, take those appropriate measures, speak to your manager, who will then be able to help you well being advice or speak to your HR department, and follow those procedures that are in your company.

Jeremy Burrows 12:28
So, kind of along those lines, how would you encourage an assistant in making their voice heard, because a lot of times, if they’re specially if they’re being bullied, disrespected, then they’re really struggling to feel like people are listening to them or that their voices heard

Skevi Constantinou 12:48
it? Yeah. And, you know, that’s, that’s a really valid question. I think, you know, if people are in the unfortunate situation where they are being bullied at work, and it’s getting too much, and they’ve tried to bring this forward to the manager’s attention, and perhaps nothing’s been done, then the but in my opinion, the best solution is to perhaps explore other working, come, you know, get a different job. Because you don’t deserve to be in that toxic environment, when, because I’m so passionate about the assistance, especially the ones that are, you know, that come to my events and things as well, because I get to meet them in person, you know, I wouldn’t want them to come to any harm, or for them to feel that they’re alone. And it’s kind of I’m trying to create like this one squad, because the POA communities called the squad, and so that they can all share like stories and whatnot. So it’s basically just getting them to realize that their voice is first and foremost, to be heard. And not to let anybody put out their their light. Because we’re all in this together as my good friend Diana Brando would say.

Jeremy Burrows 14:07
So if you could snap your fingers and instantly give all assistance, more of something, what would it be?

Skevi Constantinou 14:16
I would think empowerment, I would just want them to feel so empowered, that they that when they walk into the meeting to take the minutes, they know they don’t even have to question that they deserve to be sitting at that table as an executive business partner to the to the to the people that they support. You know, they deserve to be in that room, and that they’re not just a PA. So I would want to give them the gift of empowerment for that.

Jeremy Burrows 14:48
What’s something that you wish assistants would do differently?

Skevi Constantinou 14:55
In what respect is it just, you know, in the role?

Jeremy Burrows 14:59
Yeah, just Yeah, as as they see themselves as assistants, what’s something? You’ve talked about being empowered and confident? Yeah, maybe what’s something that you’ve seen assistants do that you’re like, you know, I wish that they wouldn’t do that.

Skevi Constantinou 15:14
I think it aids again, going back to the empowerment, the confidence, I wish, I wish I could get some assistance to realize, you know, you’re gonna get the assistance that just want to come and do their job and go home. And that’s fine. You know, that works for some people. But I wish I could get assistance to realize that when they start networking, it opens up a whole different realm to our industry. And you know, you get to meet such influential people and learn things. So it’s all about I wish that some assistants would realize that they’re not just a PA go in and do your job, but that you are actually so resourceful, you have all these things that you can go and learn from, like executive secretary, and practically perfect PA and all these amazing platforms. So just to level up, so I wish they could see their potential is what I’m trying to say.

Jeremy Burrows 16:08
No, that’s great. That’s kind of why I started is one of the big reasons was, I realized that for my first six, seven years as an assistant, I was kind of working under a rock. And I was not networking, and I didn’t even know but maybe one or two other assistants. And so I just was like, man, there’s, I gotta get myself out there. And as I started to and started meeting, assistance all over the world, then I just realized that Wow, there’s so much I can learn from them. There’s so much I can be encouraged and supported by them and for them. And yeah, it’s just a huge, huge win for assistants to put themselves out there be a little bit vulnerable, and connect with other assistants.

Skevi Constantinou 16:53
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s, that’s cool to hear. Yeah.

Jeremy Burrows 16:58
So what’s a productivity hack that you like to use that you just could not live without?

Skevi Constantinou 17:05
Do you know what those people that know me on a really personal level will tell you I’m so not down with the kids like with apps and technology. I’m quite an old soul. So I’m gonna take you back to that and just say, my productivity hack, if you want to call it that is literally my to do list. Because that to do list is why I am productive and get to do my day job. So I’m quite a, you know, literally just get some really nice stationery and just work off a to do list. I’m not going to start saying I have every app on my phone, because the only apps that I have is YouTube. The priorities? Yeah, yeah, I would just literally say my to do list is my productivity hack.

Jeremy Burrows 17:49
I love that. Because I actually think that, that sounds very, like if a very simple system. And sometimes sometimes the simplest of systems is the most productive systems, because you’re not going to get distracted. But you’re also not having to make these decisions on which app am I going to use for this? In which, you know, which tool am I going to use for this? It’s just No, I’m just going to my to do list and getting stuff done. So yeah,

Skevi Constantinou 18:15
no, and it’s so true. What you’re what you’re saying, I just think, you know, I’m all for advancements and getting things if something can work better, then you can you can do it. But at the same time, like, you know, why fix it? If it ain’t broke? sort of thing?

Jeremy Burrows 18:31
Yeah, yeah. I always say, if it’s gonna take me, you know, just as long to organize the task into some system, then I might as well just get the task done. Yes. How have you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone over the years?

Skevi Constantinou 18:50
That’s a really good question. I would, okay, so we’re going to fall. So I would say, pushing myself out of my comfort zone happened when I was 17. So I had like a bit of a life changing situation. And I think it’s kind of where you get that emotional state of freedom, where you see things in a very different light. And so my mindset is now you can only try, and you have to go out there and get the opportunities yourself. They don’t just fall in your lap. So what’s the what’s so wrong about pushing yourself to try something new, at least you gave it a go. And, you know, if you fail, so to speak, then that’s fine, because you can just get back up again, and learn through those, you know, through that experience, and you’re going to be able to use that experience to level up to do it better the second time, or the third time. And so I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone by creating the PA way. I didn’t know anything about websites or anything like that. And I’ve you know, with my web sight guy launched two versions of the POA or within less than a year. Yeah, so that’s me trying to get down with the kids with technology. That’s my thing. I need to like, you know, really embrace 2019 and start thinking I was born in the 50s. So, yeah.

Jeremy Burrows 20:22
So what’s one topic that you wish you knew more about?

Skevi Constantinou 20:29
And, on a personal note, it’s going to be astronomy, because I’m absolutely obsessed with planets, and stars and constellations, everything. And so I started, again, going back to the comfort zone and thinking, Okay, I’m not a very scientific minded person. But you know, we can all read about physics and all this and that, so I started to like, book workshops, where you can go, like, look through the telescopes and that sort of thing. And that’s, that’s now on the backburner. So I need to resurrect that.

Jeremy Burrows 21:06
So what’s, uh, do you have other hobbies? or kind of a hobby that you need to get going again?

Skevi Constantinou 21:13
Um, yeah. So behind me is I don’t have time for hobbies as such, because I’m working my day job. And then any time that I have left, even, like, half an hour goes into the PA way. And so I’m kind of working two full time jobs. If I do decide to have to wind down. I’m always in the cinema, I would say going to the cinema and going to concerts and gigs is my hobby.

Jeremy Burrows 21:39
And do you see the PA way, as a hobby in one sense, because I kind of see my, you know, my podcast for examples, a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun. And I liked it in the audio editing, and, you know, just kind of the production of it. Yeah. Do you find that? Or do you see the PA way more as No, this is just another job.

Skevi Constantinou 22:01
No, not in the slightest. Because you know, that phrase, when they say when you find something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, that that is the PA way for me. And when I launched version two of the PA way, on the 14th of February, that literally was a labor of love, I cannot tell you how many hours how much my diet went out the window, everything to get that website up, but I wanted it because the assistant industry means so much to me. And I’m very blessed that my website guy who is also my friend, you know, was so supportive about it. So it’s not really a hobby as, as such, it’s more like what you said, it’s really fun, and you get addicted to it. So yeah,

Jeremy Burrows 22:47
so what’s one book or resource that you would recommend to all assistants,

Skevi Constantinou 22:52
it’s actually not in a system book, but it’s the book called You Are a badass, by Jen, I can’t pronounce her surnames, it’s Sincero. That book changed my mindset. You know, it’s basically understanding your the self love and the self worth in a really what I would call pa way language. So and it’s all about realizing you do have a right to be here, I knew you are worthy of all these amazing things that you know, the universe has given you so to speak. So that’s actually a really good book, because it’s one of those books that you want to read and then have like your own background music to it, you know, kind of like what you see in the films. So yeah, that it would be it would be that

Jeremy Burrows 23:38
what makes someone a leader,

Skevi Constantinou 23:41
I think a good listener is someone who is a leader, I think someone who is patient is a good leader. I think these are two traits that you need for leadership. Because if you’re going to be leading by example, you need to be listening to the people and have the patience to know that not everybody is up to scratch. You know, everyone has different techniques and styles. So I think they’re two very important traits to have for leadership.

Jeremy Burrows 24:12
Yeah, that’s great. I totally agree. Thank well scabby, thanks so much for taking time out of your day. And obviously, you’ve got a busy, busy schedule. So appreciate you joining the show. And everybody listening is very blessed to have you contribute to the conversation. And where could we support you and where can we find you online?

Skevi Constantinou 24:36
So first of all, the privilege is mine. Honestly, seriously, thank you so much for having me on your podcast, and the support of the assistants. You know, they are the lifeblood of the PA Way and I always always do it for them first and foremost. Where you can find me so it’s You can find It’s on LinkedIn, and myself. And then on Twitter, it’s the PA way. And on Instagram, it’s the PA way UK.

Jeremy Burrows 25:09
Great. Well, I’ll share all those links in the show notes so that everybody can get to them easily. And yeah, thanks again for joining and we’ll talk to you soon.

Skevi Constantinou 25:18
Thank you so much, Jeremy. Thank you.

Jeremy Burrows 25:19
Thank you scabby for a great conversation. Really appreciated your insight, check out the show notes at And we will see you next week.

Speaker 3 25:45
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