How to Become a Private Personal Assistant
As personal assistants, private personal assistants perform administrative, diary management, and planning tasks for individuals and managers. Private personal assistants often correspond with clients, provide them with information on non-business events and entertainment, and oversee their workload. They may also assist in planning social activities, shopping, organising travel plans, or other personal endeavours. They are primarily responsible for overseeing the work of administrative assistants and other subordinate staff members.
Most senior leadership teams in business depend on the services of personal assistants. They schedule appointments, organise meetings, and perform other planning and logistical tasks for individuals or members of a small team so as to facilitate a smooth and efficient workday. You can have a varied and interesting career as a PA, thanks to the transferrable skills you need to succeed.
Generally, there are no fixed qualifications for PA roles. However, it is essential to prepare as early as you can for the job that you’re gonna have to do once you’ve become a PA. Start it by taking relevant and valuable subjects in secondary school, which will mainly revolve around finance, English, and communications. It is also recommended to aim for a higher grade for these subjects.
If you plan to work as PA in a specific field or industry, you may also want to get background information on that specific industry.
If you hold a degree in a business-related study, such as economics or business, you can really stand out from the crowd. If you change your mind later or decide to shift into another field, this can be an excellent way to future-proof your career. It may be beneficial for you to have a degree if you are employed by a company that offers specialized services, such as engineering or manufacturing.
Your experiences do not necessarily have to be a work experience—it can also be from the extracurricular activities that may enhance your skills. A personal assistant must possess many skills that cannot be demonstrated simply by academic qualifications. When working with a good personal assistant, you will find that they are dependable, trustworthy, highly organized and easily adaptable to new situations. Having a friendly and personable demeanour with various people is also very important.
You can practice and demonstrate some of these things through extracurricular activities. Your hobbies and roles may include performing volunteer work, participating in sports or theatre groups, or participating in activities that require you to be organized and time-efficient. Make sure you have some excellent examples of how you demonstrate these skills in case you are asked in an interview about these kinds of skills.
Personal assistants are responsible for assisting people with their work-related activities. They can work long or short hours, depending on their employer and their business. Personal assistants are usually expected to work evenings and weekends. Alternatively, you can find a position that requires regular hours from Monday to Friday, as well as flexible working hours. But what do personal assistants usually do?
- Responding to calls, taking messages and relaying important messages as soon as possible.
- You will be responsible for reading emails and managing your employer’s email inbox, making sure they are aware of the most important items. Emails or other media, like letters, may be forwarded to you on their behalf.
- Making and attending appointments, accepting or rescheduling diary invitations, and handling multiple demands on their employer’s time.
- In addition to writing reports and briefings, you may also assist in overseeing the systems to file and record documents received by your employer, depending on the nature of the business.
You may be asked to do research, create reports, handle budgets, coordinate with other administrative staff, as well as manage other administrative staff members as you gain experience and responsibility.
Personal assistants come in many forms, depending on the type of company or individual they work for. Personal assistant positions are sometimes advertised by smaller companies as entry-level roles, meaning anyone can get started without any PA experience or training. Personal assistants in large companies, however, are often required to demonstrate many skills and be highly experienced.
The qualifications for personal assistants vary depending on the nature of the business you would like to be involved in.