Need a job? Try being a personal assistant!
Ever seen the movie, The Devil Wears Prada? What about Ironman? These movies have nothing to do with one another. But they both give a Hollywood-style glimpse into the life of a personal assistant and the things that come with a personal assistant job description.
Becoming a personal assistant isn’t something a lot of people think about. But it’s a great job for students. Also for graduates, who are ready to put their degrees to use.
One thing I didn’t know until recently:
A personal assistant’s salary is nothing to turn up your nose at!
There are executive personal assistants out there making six figures. That’s right - six figures!
Of course, they have years of experience. But most jobs pay more with experience. If you decide that becoming a personal assistant is something you’re up for, you could end up in the same position.
I’ll tell you more about a personal assistant’s duties. That might help you figure out if it’s something you want to pursue… at least until your dream job comes around.
Personal Assistant Duties
In the simplest definition I can give, a personal assistant is a personal manager.
Just like managers in a store or department managers within a company. Managers keep things running smoothly, so the business keeps making money.
A personal assistant’s duty is to do the same for an individual. Most of the time, you’re helping a business owner organize his life and/or office.
Specific examples of personal assistant duties include:
- scheduling meetings
- accepting & directing phone calls
- personal tasks (laundry, dishes, car maintenance, etc.)
- packing and shipping supplies/products
- monitoring email
- social media management
- and pretty much anything your boss won’t have time to do!
More Responsibility = More Freedom
As you can see, personal assistants work with a high level of responsibility. But don’t let that scare you off. Jobs that call for more responsibility are also the jobs where managers won’t breathe down your neck every five minutes.
I SWEAR that was one of my biggest pet peeves before I started freelancing. I absolutely hated having those micro-managing supervisors who nitpick about the way you do everything.
Most personal assistant duties are performed away from your boss. As long as you’re getting the job done right, you’ll most likely enjoy a nice amount of space to do your own thing.
Especially virtual assistants.
Virtual assistants are personal assistants – just online. VAs complete all work using the Internet. Some never come face-to-face with their bosses. That’s the beauty of living in the Information Age.
Speaking of… you can find plenty personal assistant jobs online. We’ll get into that later. For now, let’s talk about a personal assistant’s salary.
Personal Assistant Salary
When you start out, naturally you won’t make as much as someone who’s been a personal assistant for years. But there’s still plenty money to be made as a PA.
Students may need to start on a part-time basis. So your job won’t interfere with classes.
But whether it be part-time or full-time, I think you’ll be pleased with the pay. And if you aren’t, don’t accept the job. It’s that simple.
While you’re searching you’ll come across some personal assistant job descriptions that include a salary or compensation. Here are a few examples:
(Click each personal assistant job description to be taken to the website to apply.)
As you can see, a personal assistant salary ranges widely. It’s mostly dependent on experience.
Students with Office Experience
Back in high school, some of my classmates worked in business offices. Some were receptionists. Some handled the tasks no one else wanted to do – like making coffee, post office runs and copy machine duty.
I even knew a girl who was an office manager in high school.
All of them were in a great position to become personal assistants after high school. A few of them had almost three years of experience in an office environment. I’m sure they could’ve gotten a decent-paying, PA job.
So if you have some office experience already, this is a great opportunity for you to get paid for it.
You just have to find a personal assistant job description that matches your skills!
How to Locate Personal Assistant Job Listings Online
It’s not hard to find personal assistant jobs. Go to any job search engine and type in “personal assistant.” Type it with the quotation marks. That brings back results with those exact words, in that exact order.
That means a better chance of finding the right personal assistant job.
Once you have a list of job ads in front of you, just go through and read each personal assistant job description. Like I said earlier, PAs do a lot of things. So each description will be different.
They’re like snowflakes. None are the same.
Use the Personal Assistant Job Description to Get the Job
So here’s the fun part. Once you’ve decided to become a personal assistant, you’ll have to apply for jobs. I’m giving you my #1 tip for getting ANY job:
Read the job description. Then tell the employer what (s)he wants to hear.
That means you need to read the personal assistant job description thoroughly. Make sure you understand everything they’re asking for. If you don’t, you may not need to apply for that specific job.
But if you’re confident that you can deliver, here’s what you do.
Update your resume to reflect the same skills and strengths that the personal assistant job description asks for.
For example, let’s say a potential employer was hiring for a personal assistant to schedule business meetings. If I were applying for the job, I’d include my experience in scheduling appointments for photography sessions when I used to work at Sears Portrait Studio.
If the employer wanted a personal assistant to make sure her children got to all recitals, lessons, meetings and games on time – I’d include in my cover letter how I keep all my writing assignment deadlines and business appointments organized using calendar apps. And that I could do the same to keep the kids’ schedules organized.
Just tell them what they want to hear.
(Note: It helps if what you’re telling them is true, by the way.)
So there you have it. Becoming a personal assistant, in the simplest way I can explain.
It’s a great opportunity for young adults to build experience, make money and enjoy a job with a lot of personal freedom.
If you make good money and enhance your resume with a great recommendation from the professional you’re assisting, that’s good enough. Isn’t it?
Much better than a low-paying campus job. And definitely better than not having a job at all.
Especially when you consider the ability to make six figures with enough experience!
Some jobs require a degree and still don’t top out at six figures. Becoming a personal assistant doesn’t even require a degree.
Start Your Own Personal Assistant Business
If you’ve read through this and find that you want to learn more, you may be a good candidate to start your own business.
Click here for a website created to help you master the skills needed to be a personal assistant!
You could start an agency where clients come when they need to outsource duties to a personal assistant.
Just some ideas to get you thinking about how far you can go in life after high school.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Does a personal assistant’s job description sound appealing to you?
Is the salary potential enough to get you to consider it?
Share with me!
Nikki Robinson is passionate about helping young adults become successful in life after high school. Through career coaching, she helps young adults land their dream job.