A private personal assistant, also commonly referred to as a personal assistant or personal aid, helps an individual in carrying out the affairs of daily living. She may help the client in home tasks, business interactions or both. A private personal assistant may work for a company that specializes in matching clients with personal aids, a government agency that provides assistance to the infirm or disabled or be a self-employed private contractor.
If an assistant is employed to specifically work in a home, her duties may be confined to the household and the individual needs of her client. The household duties commonly include light housework, food shopping, meal preparation and laundry. Personal support tasks performed by the assistant typically include scheduling doctor and professional appointments, accompanying the client to appointments and paying bills. If the client is physically challenged, she may be required to help in bathing, using the restroom and getting the client dressed and undressed.
A significant number of executives have private personal assistants to help them with their daily business and personal affairs as well. A person in this position generally helps her employer in a wide range of tasks that normally vary from day to day. Unlike an executive secretary or administrative assistant who may aid in office operations and conducting business affairs, a personal assistant customarily handles more intimate jobs such as buying gifts for friends and family members, scheduling private excursions and vacations and dropping off and picking up laundry and dry cleaning.
In some cases, a private personal assistant may work for a family, typically one with older children who have busy schedules. A person with this job is ordinarily responsible for managing the calendars of both the parents and the children in the household to effectively schedule sports practice sessions, private lessons and doctor and dentist appointments. She is often the person who takes the place of a nanny or au pair once the children in the household reach middle school age.
A personal assistant is generally required to have exemplary organizational and time management skills. She frequently has to reschedule appointments and events to accommodate changes in the personal lives of her clients, so a calm, composed demeanor is often considered an asset for persons in this profession. Excellent communication skills typically make her relationships with her clients stable and free of conflict.
There are no firm educational requirements for this position. Many employers prefer that candidates for the position have either an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree. Good managerial skills are usually considered an asset for applicants who aspire to the position of private personal assistant.