If you know how to organize your life, you might be good at helping someone else do the same. A personal assistant is the go-to person who knows every password, sleeps with her cell phone and is ready to jump at a moment's notice for her boss. Not everyone can survive as a personal assistant, but if you have the drive to succeed, stellar organizational skills and patience of steel, you may just be the woman for the job.
As a personal assistant, or PA, you tend to your boss's needs, including but not limited to organizing her day planner, scheduling her meetings, picking up her children from school and whipping something up for dinner. Additional tasks may include: taking dictation, writing reports, updating websites, preparing papers and handling correspondence. You will also be in charge of errands, such as picking up dry cleaning, returning presents and going on coffee runs. If your boss is a power player with her own family, be prepared to work long, hard hours.
What It Takes
If you're sloppy, unorganized or hate to be told what to do, this is not the right job for you. A personal assistant needs to be on point at all times. While human error does occur, most bosses expect their personal assistant to be their right hand woman who can't afford to mess up. Depending on your employer, education requirements may vary. Some bosses want their personal assistants to have college degrees, while others are happy with someone eager and willing to learn.
If your boss travels for business or pleasure, you may be required to not only schedule the trip but to go with her. You must coordinate your schedule to mirror hers or adjust your personal life or school hours to accommodate her traveling. If travel is an issue, it should be discussed during the interview process. As a personal assistant, you should have a clean driver's license and passport.
While a personal assistant and a manager may play two different roles, a personal assistant must have managerial skills. If asked, you should be able to manage your boss's schedule and budget. Also, if your boss has a second assistant, you must be able to manage that employee. Being a good communicator and manager plays an essential role in executing your responsibilities as a personal assistant.
Cooper Veeris holds a bachelor's degree in English from Fordham University and lives in New York City. In addition to contributing regularly to various websites as a writer, she has experience teaching different populations and age groups including early childhood, junior high and high school students, and adults living with mental illnesses.