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How Can I Become a Personal Assistant?

A personal assistant working.
Article Details
  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 13 April 2014
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In the past, a personal assistant (PA) worked only with celebrities and millionaires, but that's no longer the case. Today, anybody can become a personal assistant and work with executives, attorneys, politicians, or even ministers. When you become a PA, you are in charge of organizing a great part of your employer's life, so initiative and a facility for leadership are vital. The ability to work under stress and to multitask is also invaluable.

While there are no minimum qualifications required to become a personal assistant, there are some important skills to develop. To begin with, a personal assistant should be Internet-savvy and comfortable using modern technology. This includes everything from sending e-invites to managing data download. Event planning, time management, and etiquette knowledge are also essential, since a lot of professionals host social events on a regular basis. If you plan to work for a family, it may be useful to take some household management or accounting courses.

To become a personal assistant, you should also have "people skills," the ability to communicate professionally, remain calm under pressure, be tactful, and, above all, obtain results. Knowledge of a second language can also be valuable. You may be expected to travel along with your employer. While this may sound glamorous at first, it sometimes means being away from home for long periods of time and working longer days.

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The best way to learn how to be a PA is by doing it. Start by looking for a job opening locally, even if you have to volunteer your services at first. If your ultimate goal is to work for a celebrity, for example, you can't expect to start in that capacity. Join professional organizations, network, and hone your skills so you have something to offer besides enthusiasm. Once qualified, a personal assistant is usually trained in-house so he or she can be molded to fit the employer's requirements.

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Discuss this Article

glamour
Post 4

I'm about to start a masters degree in order to become a personal assistant but I'd like to know what should I study (marketing, public relations or business management) and which is the best advised university in uk? do you think shorthand is necessary?

anon83868
Post 2

me and my friend would love to become personal assistants in the near future and we would like to find more information about this career. thank you.

osmosis
Post 1

Advertising yourself is key - don't look for job openings as much as announce what you want to do. Craigslist is perfect for this, or you can go low-tech and put up flyers. Explain exactly what you're willing to do and add that you are flexible and willing to do other tasks also. Make sure you have recommendations and play up any experience you may have that makes you look responsible and experienced. Don't be shy.

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