Personal assistant — the title brings to mind silver-screen-worthy nightmares for most people. In reality, the position presents numerous opportunities. Some even consider the personal assistant role to be among the so-called "power jobs," as these professionals control access to the best and brightest leaders across multiple sectors. This might be the reason why around 3 million stateside residents hold the position, per research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Holding the keys to the kingdom sounds great, but what do personal assistants actually do? Here are some duties you can expect to perform should you pursue the role:
Powerful people typically maintain massive calendars packed with appointments. Personal assistants are responsible for managing these agendas, ensuring their bosses can make key meetings, complete essential desk work and eat the occasional meal. Digital fluency is crucial here. The vast majority of modern professionals use sophisticated email applications with robust scheduling features. You will need some technology skills to navigate these online assets. Logistical awareness is also necessary to calendar management success. In addition to putting dates on the calendar, you will have to consider and address various strategic variables. Is there bad weather on the horizon that might negatively affect travel? Are their multiple remote callers in need of conference line access?
The average person receives around 120 email messages per day, according to research from The Radicati Group. Most industry hotshots likely receive even higher volumes of email as a consequence of their high-profile work and influence. Of course, the vast majority of these magnates do not have the bandwidth to catalog and respond to the countless correspondence that hits their inboxes. This is where personal assistants enter the picture, taking the reigns of their bosses' accounts and addressing all email that comes through the door. This responsibility not only requires digital literacy and some writing skills but also necessitates discretion, as you will inevitably come across sensitive messages — business contracts and personal messages, for example — whose contents cannot get out.
While important professional tasks typically take precedence, most personal assistants do find themselves running personal errands on their bosses' behalf. From ordering and picking up lunch to dropping off dry cleaning, these sundry assignment vary. In some situations, individuals in this position even perform household management duties, which can encompass overseeing family activities and childcare. The competencies you will need to successfully manage this component of the position are relatively few — maybe strong decision-making skills and some patience.
The personal assistant role comes with immense potential and a pretty good paycheck, with the median salary hovering near $40,000, per the BLS. If you are willing to perform the duties above, you may find yourself rubbing shoulders with powerful people in the personal assistant position. Of course, the question then becomes, "Where can I find open positions in this profession?" The Colonial Domestic Agency is the answer. Our seasoned recruitment team can connect you with potential employers across various industries.
Connect with us today to learn more about our recruitment and placement services.