What does a Personal Assistant do?

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Modern life can often make for a hectic experience. Juggling endless household chores with the demands of your business or career can put you under a significant amount of stress, reducing your quality of life and the time and care you have to pour into the things that truly matter.

A personal assistant gives you the breathing space you need to get the most out of life. Relocate Antigua lifts the lid on personal assistant duties, drawing on our years of professional experience in providing our customers with high-end personal assistance services.

Contact Relocate Antigua to request access to our little black book of local trusted, qualified personal assistance professionals with years of experience working for busy individuals, companies and families.

For now, it’s time to focus in on a deceptively simple question. What is a personal assistant?

Read on to find out…

Who do Personal Assistants work for?

Senior management, executive and teams

A Personal Assistant, or PA, works closely with a specific individual in senior management or executive positions within corporations or other business entities. Occasionally, project or department teams may have a team Personal Assistant.

The PA role is principally concerned with supporting executives to make the best use of their time and skills in pursuit of their roles and responsibilities with a company.  The personal assistant works either for a CEO or a Board director, usually in an administrative, organizational, and secretarial capacity.

Private individuals and families

A private Personal Assistant fulfils the same function within private family offices or as an adjunct or aid within the family home of wealthy individuals, particularly where their employer requires support in managing business and private social commitments.

Their duties may encompass assisting with projects, organizing personal and work diaries, keeping notes and arranging meetings, setting up conferences, and managing business travel.

Because Relocate Antigua is well versed in handling organizational duties and responsibilities on our private and professional clients’ behalf, we’ve decided to share our insider knowledge of hiring your very own Personal Assistant in a dedicated article.

Job description and duties 

So what do Personal Assistants do?

Personal assistant services are as varied as the people involved, but a typical personal assistant description on a jobs’ board might look a little like this:

Job description

  • Dealing with day to day correspondence and phone calls.
  • Arranging travel, transport and accommodation.
  • Reminding their employer about important tasks and deadlines.
  • Preparing reports and presentations.
  • Liaising with staff, suppliers and clients.
  • Collating and filing expenses.
  • Managing personal commitments including travel or childcare.

Within private or family offices this role may be expanded to include managing household staff and residences.

Wealthy individuals with multiple homes, large estates, or who run their business from home, need support staff who excel at administrative functions and managing household staff. These are unique positions which include duties which are somewhat similar to professional private housekeepers.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Household Functions
  • Errands           
  • Scheduling and overseeing contractors
  • Transportation to appointments      
  • Paying bills
  • Party planning and management
  • Shopping (gifts, household goods, clothes, etc.)

Core skills and profile

The ideal Personal Assistant:

  • Is a skilled multi-tasker
  • Excels at time management
  • Boasts flawless organizational skills
  • Is a through-and-through people person with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Has empathy
  • Is well versed in standard technology, desktop tools and IT processes

Benefits of a Personal Assistant

To many, a Personal Assistant is an absolute must. Running a business and/or a busy family life can mean that there are insufficient hours in the day to meet obligations to the highest of standards.

  • Time management is a huge component of everyday life and a Personal Assistant can make a positive contribution and improve productivity.
  • Hectic work schedules that require phone calls, face to face meetings, and Zoom calls, mean that a personal assistant can provide invaluable support to the busy executive helping them to plan their day and ensure that critical tasks have not been forgotten. 
  • Delegating tedious but important tasks can also help executives to carve out time for important business responsibilities, so offloading dry cleaning, confirming taxi and hotel bookings, and printing boarding cards are examples of small tasks that can become significant time wasters. 
  • A dedicated Personal Assistant who becomes a long-term work partner will understand exactly how you think and how you work, know your preferences, and be aware of your priorities. Over time a good Personal Assistant can be trusted to respond to memos, emails, and other key correspondence without having to refer to you.

Personal Business Assitant

Go digital with a virtual assistant

Another option is virtual or remote Personal Assistance through specialist companies which can offer a range of benefits without the need to worry about employment contracts and tax and legal obligations. These include:

  • Time saving by outsourcing non-core business tasks to enable employers to focus on core business.
  • Working with talented individuals who are linked to the requirements of the business.  
  • Combining AI technology with human assistants to increase efficiency.
  • Saving money on recruitment, staff management, office space, employment benefits, holidays, sick leave, etc.

How much does a Personal Assistant cost?

The cost of recruiting a Personal Assistant is entirely dependent upon the extent of the role and function required within the company, or private family office.

  • A part-time Personal Assistant may be engaged for specific hours or days of the week or perhaps on a temporary basis for six months.  In these cases, the employer may decide to utilize a specialist agency, and costs such as tax, pension contribution, medical insurance and other deductions will be met by the agency. 
  • A full-time position will require the employer to meet deductions relevant to the specific geolocation and jurisdiction of the company.

Personal Assistant salary ranges are context dependent, as they are geography and task related. An efficient method of identifying salary scales for your location is to use Salary Explorer which uses self-reported data from employers and employees to create a salary comparison, or PayScale. 

For example, a Personal Assistant in Antigua and Barbuda typically earns around 2,360 XCD ($873 as of 08/2020) per month, with a salary range of 1,090 XCD ($403 as of 08/2020) to 3,760 XCD ($1391 as of 08/2020). 

Personal Assistant salaries vary significantly based on experience, skills, and qualifications.  The 2019 salary survey from Bain and Gray indicates that London salaries for general PAs range from £25,000 to £33,294, and for Business and Private Personal Assistants between £45,000 and £52,000, depending on experience. 

Hourly or daily rates for virtual Personal Assistants are task dependent, with employment costs being met by the provider.

Where to find a Personal Assistant

There is no one single route to snapping up the services of a talented Personal Assistant, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Using word of mouth to communicate your intention to hire within your social network can be very productive, as many jobs are filled without ever going through formal recruitment channels.

People whom you respect and trust will usually recommend potential candidates that know by experience have honesty and integrity. This is critical because your personal assistant will have access to your personal information including aspects of your family life.

  • Current employees or service providers are also another source for recommendations as they may be aware of talented people who would be a good fit for the position.
  • Commercial networking platforms such as LinkedIn are an ideal combination of personal recommendation and professional profiling.

They are an efficient method of inspecting CVs and exploring skills and experience and noting professional connections which can tell you a great deal about personal standards. LinkedIn Recruiter provides direct access to potential employees and boasts an employee hiring every 10 seconds. 

  • Specialist recruitment agencies are also useful avenues for sourcing personnel – and of course you can also reach out to Relocate Antigua to identify the right match for your business or family requirements.

How to become a Personal Assistant

If you’re considering becoming a Personal Assistant yourself, you’ve made a smart career move. The Personal Assistant plays a significant role in any business organization or private family office: it is a fulfilling career that has the potential to evolve into a senior position commanding global travel and six-figure salaries.

Work your way up

Many PAs begin as administrative or executive assistants, where talent, hard work and an eye for opportunities lead on to promotion and career progression. 

There are a number of avenues for accessing Personal Assistant positions, depending upon the type of Personal Assistant role and a broad range is available from commercial and specialist recruitment websites or via networking communities such as LinkedIn Job Search. 

Make social media work for you

Maintaining an up to date LinkedIn profile is essential, as companies often invite expressions of interest through private messaging for unadvertised positions.  

Get qualified

There are many professional courses available to build and enhance Personal Assistant skills and qualifications, including distance courses such as the Professional Executive PA Diploma from Pitman Training.

Join the community

It is also a good idea to join a professional body, such as the Institute of Administrative Management or the Executive and Personal Assistants Association.

Professional bodies support their members with advice, continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities and training to enhance your career.

Final thoughts: simplifying life with a Personal Assistant

Hiring a Personal Assistant to help with your private or professional life could be the best thing you ever do for yourself. Whether you choose to work with an in-person, remote or virtual PA, turning to a Personal Assistant for day-to-day support lets you:

  • Focus on the important stuff
  • Save time
  • Ensure you’re on top of all your duties and chores
  • Stay organized

Offering turnkey solutions in everything you need for slick and seamless island living, Relocate Antigua remains at your service to get you matched up with your perfect PA. Let us know exactly what you’re looking for, and we’ll take it from there.

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