What’s a Personal Assistant or PA?
“This time, like all times, is a good one, if we but know what to do with it” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Do not wait; the time will never be ”just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. -Napoleon Hill
Personal Assistant’s don’t necessarily all come in human form as we know, yet to understand the depth of just how much value one can receive from a Personal Assistant, one has to be aware of what they actually do, and more importantly, what one can do for you and for your life.
Take a look at Siri.
It is one of the hottest technology Apps available for use with IOS. Part of the digital technology revolution where even Donna is pretty dang cute and witty! Donna for instance takes a direct aim at productivity and uses calendaring, mapping, weather, location, contacts and more to help its users. It takes the details and uses your location to inform you and others where you are and if you’re running late, how late. There are of course other technologies Apps that have like Google Now, but remember, a smartphone app can and often times gets “confused” by the users command requests. This results in not getting what is needed done and done now.
Although these digital tools are great to add to your busy and demanding life, a practical and successful business person knows that the personal assistant in today’s environment must be a do-whatever-it-takes project manager who can handle a multitude of complex, demanding, and sometimes unusual responsibilities ranging from sourcing hard-to-find-gifts, travel planning, scheduling appointments or rescheduling, coordinating events and drafting up correspondence with confidentiality in tow.
Another important skill of a personal assistant is that the serve as a gatekeeper to the world at large to the people who they are employed by. These skills require intuition in order to be trusted, valued and respected by their employers.
Personal Assistants that are exceptional in their career, have essential skills that include: communication building, problem solving, presentation, organization and research. More importantly, a personal assistant knows how to handle difficult situations on behalf of the employer with grace.
There are many elements to providing personal assistant support, the personal assistant today is one that has not only developed through their own professional experiences, but sought further training in the areas such as, entertaining, caring for guests, manners, etiquette, working in fine homes and more to ensure they can provide the finesse and flair to serve and care for their employers demands.
Basic organization, planning and safety are all critical skills a personal assistant needs. Whether you are employed in a home or business, these skills must be cross-functional in order to maintain the necessary and required results….surpassing what was asked of you to do.
Essentially, a seasoned personal assistant may have specific skills depending on their prior positions, but they have proven themselves to have accomplished the trust and confidence needed. They pay attention to the little details that exudes their confidence in knowing how to be superlative service professionals.
So, now you’re asking yourself, “Do I have what it takes to be a Personal Assistant?”
Here’s some things to ask if yourself if it fits your personality.
- If you have always been the one that plans your family or friends events?
- Do you love when no two days are the same?
- Do you like to research, organize things alphabetically and by titles
- Are you obsessed with details?
- Do you love to color-code and organize closets and small spaces for yourself, family and friends?
- Do you find coordinating and planning the details for multiple destination travel exciting and challenging?
- Do you plan your own schedule, have tools to aide you in staying on task, and use reminders and follow up with your tasks daily, weekly and monthly?
- Do you have a “get it done now” attitude?
If your answer “yes” to more than three of these questions, then you may possess the necessary skills already of a successful Personal Assistant.
A Personal Assistant is the liaison between their employers, all the contacts, and is charged with this responsibility. Whether you are a male or female personal assistant, you must be able to hit the ground running and maintain a calm and positive disposition.
The employer who sees the value in them being able to be as productive or more productive in less time, will find you indispensable. Essentially, allowing them to be in 2 places at one time.
The outcome is that you have helped bring balance into your employers’ life. Time is a commodity in which many just don’t get enough of for the more meaningful things in lie. The demands from work, family, career and overall life has created the highest stress levels in years. Therefore, health becomes a critical aspect for not only employees but employers to address. Prevention is critical…….Before an illness creeps into a person’s life is the goal, but often times maintenance occurs sometimes after an illness. Today more than ever we see this need being at the top of every corporation and businesses list to address. What is most important is that this service is affordable.
Today, the profession has come out of its past nemesis of being considered just for celebrities and top executives.
Yes, there are still many personal assistants to the stars, but in today’s role for many executives, business professionals, large families, physicians, and more, lifestyle management and balance between work and home, have created the need for many corporations and business owners to realize the benefit of adding a Personal Assistant. It’s better to have a happy and loyal employee whose mind is fresh and able to bring it, than to lose that employee because of exhaustion and displeasure with the demands of their job.
Your Technical Assistant may be accommodating on these types of devices, but they can’t work miracles and are not a true “Get it Done Now and Get it Done Right” Personal Assistant. The Virtual Assistant that is not locally based is also not always the best choice. Take a chance with one who is out of the country for instance and you may end up with a lot more than you bargained for and a lot less than you were hoping for to accomplish.
Daphne Sarcia is the owner of Gazelle Concierge, LLC. a personal assistant and concierge business located in Orlando, FL that provides support for clients in Home, Business, Lifestyle Management and Event Planning.