LEARN ABOUT DREAM CAREERS
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:
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 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.
by Tag and Catherine Goulet:
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.