Luxury Hospitality Blog

A Personal Assistant – Why You Need One & What It Takes to Be One.

Private Personal Assistant Working At Desk

The role of a private personal assistant is often misunderstood. You’re not a secretary, you’re not a personal shopper and you’re not a lady’s maid, but what you are is indispensable.

Also sometimes called a personal secretary (despite not strictly being a secretarial role), a personal assistant or a VIP personal assistant centres around an individual, while a private personal assistant can also be responsible for a family or household with their daily business and/or personal tasks.

It’s largely an administrative role, requiring fantastic organisational skills, a cheerful demeanour and absolute discretion.

Generally required by managers and executives, though also by individuals and families, personal assistants fall into three categories – Corporate PA (also called Executive PAs or Executive Assistants (EAs)), Private PA and Family PA (sometimes also called a Household PA or Children’s PA). 

Corporate personal assistants have a very different role to fulfil, so here we’ll be focussing on private and family personal assistants.

“So, Why Do I Need A Private Personal Assistant?”


Small, straightforward tasks are not a problem, but whether you’re running a business or a household, there is never just one task, there are plenty. Then before you know it you’ve wasted a significant chunk of your day on small matters and not actually got on with doing what you do best. That’s where a personal assistant is invaluable.

A private personal assistant is there to lighten your load, make your day-to-day life significantly easier and act as a point of contact for all your friends and/or colleagues, a PA means you’re effectively never unavailable especially in the cases of ​​a live-in personal assistant. Ever wish you could be in two places at once? Now you can.

A talented private personal assistant for personal individuals knows your preferences without asking and allows you to regain a work/life balance, so you can be twice as productive.

Irrespective of your level of seniority, delegating some of your tasks to a personal assistant can be life-changing. Having a PA by your side will maximise your productivity.

What Is The Role Of A Private Personal Assistant & Their Day To Day Duties?


Typical tasks can include any of the following:

  • Project management
  • Running errands
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Event organisation – a corporate event or a family celebration
  • Scheduling a diary – organising appointments, meetings, travel itineraries
  • Handling budgeting and managing personal finances
  • Attending business meetings
  • Office management
  • Dealing with invoices and handling bill payments

It is also possible to hire a Nanny PA, Virtual PA, a VIP personal assistant or even a Live in Personal Assistant – the first of which also cares for your children, while the latter manages your affairs remotely.

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Family Private Assistant?


Operating as part of your household, a family PA provides domestic support – this can be to an individual, a couple or a family. Some private PAs also perform family personal assistant tasks – as with so many domestic staffing roles, every position is unique.

Family personal assistant duties typically involve the following tasks:

  • Pet care
  • Grocery shopping
  • Laundry
  • Filing, emailing, bookkeeping
  • Running errands
  • Light housekeeping and various projects
  • Maintaining calendar
  • Running personal errands
  • Household and organisational projects
  • Occasional meal preparation
  • Scheduling household maintenance

What Skills Are Required To Be A Successful Private PA? 


The following list is by no means exhaustive but gives you an idea as to whether a private personal assistant role might be for you:

  • Immaculate presentation
  • Honest, with a good sense of humour
  • First-class organisational skills
  • Proficient with most IT packages
  • Friendly, a ‘people-person’
  • At least two years of experience working in a busy office or administrative environment
  • Ability to multi-task and stay calm under pressure
  • Positive and flexible ‘can-do’ attitude

If you would like to take on a private personal assistant, please contact Melissa Offer Private Staffing on +44(0) 207 101 3173. The same number applies if you are considering a career as a private, family or executive personal assistant. We look forward to hearing from you.


Private Personal Assistant Working At Desk