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Dream Career: Personal Assistant
by Tag and Catherine Goulet

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Dream Career: Personal Assistant
Published with permission from FabJob.

Would you like to assist busy, wealthy, or famous people with the things they need to get done? Personal assistants are the behind-the-scenes lifesavers who know how to get things done in a pinch, quickly making themselves indispensable to their employers.

What They Do

Personal assistants function as organizers, coordinators, shoppers, errand-runners, and just about anything else you can imagine. Many personal assistants work for only one person, and may even be available to them 24 hours a day.

While there is some overlap between the work of a personal assistant and an executive assistant, the main difference is that personal assistant work is… well, personal. In addition to or instead of typing business correspondence and sending packages, you may help your employer choose a color of dress to wear to an important event, for example.

Assistants are usually hired by people whose jobs are particularly demanding of their energy or time, such as movie stars, professional athletes, big-name speakers, famous authors, popular musicians, business executives, and politicians. In fact, anyone who is sufficiently wealthy may hire personal assistants.

What will you be doing as a personal assistant? Although this will differ from employer to employer (and even from day to day), your daily duties may include:

  • Screening incoming phone calls
  • Booking appointments and meetings
  • Solving mini-emergencies with resourcefulness
  • Shopping and buying gifts
  • Planning parties or other events
  • Responding to snail mail and email
  • Managing household staff
  • Minding kids and pets in a pinch
  • Making travel arrangements
  • House-sitting

Who is Likely to Succeed

As a personal assistant you have to be a good communicator, a "get things done" kind of person, and cool under pressure. Ask yourself how you handle challenges and crises in your own life. Do you fly off the handle, or do you normally take a step back and think before you react?

The best personal assistants have an ability to move comfortably in the world of wealth and fame. Your appearance, etiquette skills and even your fashion sense may factor in here. You should be persuasive, a good negotiator, and your listening skills should be above average. You should also be extremely organized, a skilled problem-solver, and understand instinctively what types of information need to be kept in confidence.

How to Learn the Job

You can start today learning the skills of a personal assistant and building knowledge that will help you do this job. You should read up on or take courses in skills that will make you more attractive to a wealthy or famous employer, such as event planning, etiquette or international protocol, household management, and child care or pet care.

Make sure you are familiar with communication technology. From electronic organizers to cell phones to MP3 players, your employer will expect you to be able to make it work. Check online at the products' websites to view free tech-tutorials, or get some hands-on training from the helpful sales associates down at the electronics store.

You might also increase your comfort level by reading publications about or geared towards the famous or wealthy, such as Town & Country and Robb Report.

You can get paid to train as a personal assistant if you find temporary work as an executive assistant, nanny/butler, or concierge. As an added bonus, doing this type of work will put you into contact with the types of people who hire personal assistants, and you might just land your first gig just by doing an exceptional job for someone.

Click here to learn more about the FabJob Guide to Become a Celebrity Personal Assistant.

Related Articles:
Celebrity Personal Assistant
Working with a Celebrity
Personal Trainer
Sports Agent
How to Find an Agent
Personal Assistant

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Can you keep a secret? If so, working with celebrities may be your thing. The FabJob Guide to Become a Celebrity Personal Assistant by John Havens has great information for anyone looking to land a personal assistant job, and specifically for those who are keen on working for a celebrity. It explains how to contact celebrities about working for them, and what to say (or not to say) in the interview to land the job.
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Tag and Catherine Goulet (known as the Dream Career Experts) are founders of FabJob.com. This article is an excerpt from the book Dream Careers: How to Quickly Break Into a Fab Job! Visit www.FabJob.com to discover how to break into the career of your dreams. FabJob.com is featured in Woman's World Magazine ("Land Your Dream Job" article, April 2007).

by Tag and Catherine Goulet:
Sisters Tag and Catherine Goulet are the Dream Career Experts. In 1999 they founded FabJob.com, a publisher of guides on how to break into a dream career, which has been visited by 50 million people. They have been featured giving career advice in media from ABC to Oprah.com and Woman's Day to the Wall Street Journal online, and their career advice appears frequently on the career pages at MSN.com and AOL.com. They are authors of the book Dream Careers Visit FabJob.com to discover how to break into a dream career.

FabJob.com is featured in Woman's World Magazine ("Land Your Dream Job" article, April 2007).

FabJob Guides have been featured in stories at The Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine sites.


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