Personal Assistants

The role of a Personal Assistant (often abbreviated PA) has evolved quite intensely over the past few years. Now, a personal assistant is someone who aids his/her superior in all matters, from business to personal issues. Personal assistants work in high-pressure environments and work in many different industries.

Duties and tasks

  • Handle day-to-day activities of his/her superior, including meetings, phone calls, e-mails, appointments, etc.
  • Handle small but important matters like handling stationary, taking dictations, managing accounts, etc.
  • Keep the superior updated on information acquired in letters, e-mails, etc.
  • Unofficial duties may include rather personal matters for celebrities, millionaires, etc.
  • When traveling, a personal assistant makes all arrangements and accompanies the superior if asked to do so

Skills required

  • Clarity of thought, alertness, and confidence are necessities
  • Completing a certification program in a related field could increase ones chance of being hired
  • Experience in an executive support role is preferable
  • No formal education or training is required
  • Patience, ability to stay calm in high-pressure situations

Working conditions

Personal Assistants may work in offices, but also travel on various occasions to attend meetings, conferences, etc. Personal assistants who work in offices usually work standard hours, but sometimes work evenings, weekends, long hours, or even work part-time. Personal assistants to celebrities work very irregular hours and often face tedious demands from their superiors.

Professional associations / Industry information

Australian Institute of Office Professionals
Australian Services Union

Related jobs and job titles

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Inventory and Supply Officer
  • Office Administrator
  • Office Professional
  • Project Support Officer
  • Receptionist
  • Secretary
  • Word Processing Operator