Sliding Doors: What Life’s Like With A PA By Your Side
What is it like to have a Private PA? If you’re someone that is constantly busy, juggles multiple different tasks on a daily basis, and has a never-ending list of admin jobs in the back of your mind, then hiring a Private PA could hugely improve your quality of life. Almost Essential’s private PA finder, Diana, has been matching exacting individuals with their perfect Private PA for 27 years. Her and her team know that this is not a one size fits all kind of job, your Private PA needs to intuitively understand your lifestyle and personality, they need to be able to take the initiative and deal with any situation thrown their way, without needing micromanaging or too many instructions. You should be able to trust them entirely and know that their confidentiality can always be counted on. Luckily, Diana knows a lot of skilled Private PAs that have those attributes and thrive in just those kind of situations.
So, what does a typical day look like with a Private PA by your side? Diana and her team have spoken to one of their long-standing Private Clients and asked her to outline how her day flows with a PA, Samantha, by her side.
‘The first thing to state is that there is no ‘typical’ day because no two days are ever the same in my life, I have a busy social calendar and will often change my plans at the last minute, the beauty of having a Private PA is knowing that all the admin that comes with that is completely taken care of. Another thing to note is that my PA is rarely ‘by my side’, I trust her completely and I get on with my life in complete certainty that she is not just actioning everything I have asked her to do but also taking the initiative to problem solve when needed and forward plan to ensure that everything always runs smoothly. She often has things sorted out before I’ve even asked her to do them!
My PA, Samantha, will normally arrive at around 9am, I might have emailed her first thing in the morning if there is something I’d like her to do on her way in, or action immediately, and she’ll usually get back to me about this before she arrives. If I’m here when she arrives, we’ll have a catch up and go through any pending matters; she’ll remind me about tasks or events that are coming up and briefly explain how she has them under control, or if she needs my assistance with anything. I’ll fill her in on new events in my calendar; I have a friend’s birthday coming up, am hosting a dinner party or am travelling somewhere I’ll brief her so she can sort out all the logistics. I’ll also give her any instruction for that day, such as dry cleaning that needs to be sorted, deliveries or reservations that need actioning. If I’m out for the day I trust her to get on with her work and let me know if she has any questions.
I also leave her to liase with other members of household staff, making sure everything runs smoothly. She’ll chat with the housekeeper, giving her relevant instructions for the day and enquire about possible issues around the house that need attention which she can then sort out.
If I have family or guests staying, she’ll take care of all the entertainment and tailor it accordingly. Making all restaurant reservations, booking museum visits and day trips. She’ll also organise drivers and tour guides and make sure that any dietary requirements are catered for.
Some days are busy and some are not and I’ll often let her go early if there isn’t much going on, safe in the knowledge that she is always happy to put in extra hours if needed. Although she works principally for me, she incredibly flexible and my husband will often ask her to research family travel, plan itineraries and get relevant costs.
Having a Private PA feels like a privilege that allows me to live my life exactly how I want to and enjoy getting on with the things that are important to me without sweating the small stuff – because I know all of that is taken care of. I have total trust in Samantha and I also have an enormous amount of respect for her. Her attention to detail and organisational skills far surpass my own and by delegating tasks to her I’m able to concentrate on the things I care about most; dedicating time for myself, my family and friends and any business or charity projects I’m working on.
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If you would like to talk to someone about finding a personal assistant, please contact Diana, whose company specialises in sourcing staff for busy individuals and families and whose contribution to this article we are very appreciative.