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Personal Assistant

A Personal Assistant supports the activities of another individual, usually a business professional, such as a CEO, manager or president of a company. Personal Assistants may also be employed individually by politicians, entertainment personalities, families and a variety of other persons who find it difficult to manage their heavy schedules and tasks without assistance.

Job Duties:

If you have exceptional organisational and time management skills, are willing to work at odd hours, often even from home and can quickly anticipate a person's requirements, you might make a good Personal Assistant. This position can be found across industries.

The job usually calls for:

1) Managing the individual's calendar, scheduling appointments, interviews and meetings.
2) Interacting with a variety of people on behalf of the individual.
3) Making travel and hotel arrangements.
4) Taking dictation and typing correspondence and reports.
5) Screening phone calls, letters and emails.
6) Maintaining a filing system and keeping necessary documents readily accessible when required.
7) Running personal errands which could range from picking up dry cleaning to booking movie tickets and making coffee.
8) Anticipating what the ‘boss' will need and planning ahead for it.

Knowledge and Skills:

1) Good working knowledge of the Microsoft Office suite and exceptional typing skills.
2) The ability to remain discrete is an important Personal Assistant skill, as confidential material often passes through his/her hands.
3) Interpersonal skills are important, as interaction with a wide variety of people either in person, over the phone or via email, forms a part of daily activities.
4) A professional attitude and superior organisational and time management skills, with the ability to complete tasks within a deadline.
5) Excellent language and grammar skills.

Educational Qualifications and Experience:

1) While some companies require a Personal Assistant to have a Bachelor's degree, for most positions a diploma will suffice, especially if the candidate has adequate experience.
2) The minimum experience is 2 years but important positions will require advanced experience.

Salary and Benefits:

1) Annual salaries offered by companies usually range between $35,000 and $50,000 but could be higher if highly experienced and working for high profile individuals.
2) Benefits and perks received by a Personal Assistant will vary depending on the type of employer, but companies usually offer 401(k), medical, dental, paid vacation and sick leave and life and disability insurance coverage.