Personal assistant (PA) assists and helps personnel in their tasks. He also represents his superior as and when required. P.A.s work for businessmen, industrialists, directors, producers, executives, politicians, celebrities, etc.
Personal assistants work under business executives or professionals to aid them in all of their tasks. They usually work with high work pressure from their boss. His jobs may be similar to that of a secretary, arranging meetings, sending reminders and necessary information, attending and responding to queries, organizing work and files, assist administrative work, etc. Personal assistants are usually hired by big shots or busy executives.
Apart from a keen interest and strong knowledge of the field, personal assistants must also possess:
- Computing skills:
To read and respond to emails, store data, research relevant information, etc computing skills are needed.
Recently personal assistants must be social media savvy too, since it is a growing medium of communication.
- Communicating skills:
personal assistants must have a strong verbal and written communication skills to interact with the important people on the boss’s behalf.
- Organizing skills:
Must plan daily schedules, meetings, make arrangements for the same, and maintain records of important information. Organizing skills are a must.
- Public relations:
Must be good with people and maintaining good relations with people and companies.
- Accounting skills:
Every PA isn’t expected to maintain accounts, however a few are trusted upon with accounting and filing bills and payments.
The job duties and responsibilities differ from the nature of the company and personnel. The general duties are listed below:
- Handle day to day tasks like attending phone calls, messages, and queries.
- Arranging and sending reminders for meetings. Noting the important pointed discussed at the meetings.
- Takes dictations from the boss, drafts letters and posts.
- Represents the boss as and when needed.
- Often handle unofficial work, especially if working for celebrities.
- Making arrangements like travelling, accommodation and dinning if on a business trip.
- Create monthly accounts and coordinate with the accountant, if any.
- Communicate information with clients and internal members when required.
- Make sure clients have no complaints or grudges.
The work conditions are dependent on the nature of work. An assistant of an executive will have a different work life than that of a model or actor. Generally personal assistants have to be with their bosses at all times, even while travelling for a business meet. Work timings may be the regular at offices, but with professionals like actors or directors, there could be no fixed time.
The advantage is that personal assistants enjoy various perks like private health insurance, company pension schemes, travelling to various places with comfortable accommodation, attending various parties, etc.
The education requirements aren’t rigid; it highly depends on the employer and the company. Generally a graduate with knowledge of the field and strong interpersonal skills are encouraged.
Tips for the Job
- Learn as much as possible about the field and your boss’s lifestyle.
- Communicate in detail, even the minute things.
- Take down notes, in case you may forget.
- Make daily to do lists, and follow it.
- Work for extra hours if needed.