How can a personal assistant support me?

It could be suggested that one of the first mistakes people who employ their own personal assistants make is that they spend a few weeks focusing on recruiting their staff, and then when their personal assistants start working, they have very little idea of what they would want them to do. While it is easy to ask personal assistants to clean and tidy your home as if it was their own, or simply use their common sense, trusting they know what to do, it does not work like that.


No one will see your home, property and priorities with the same importance than yourself, however great a personal assistant is, and so it is important to take on the responsibility of what you want done, and how you wish it to be done. If you do not take on this responsibility, a personal assistant will either end up doing his or her own thing, or sitting down not doing much. It is important to understand you are paying for the often limited time with your staff, and you have an opportunity and responsibility to make the most of it.


Therefore as soon as you know how many hours funding you have to spend, the first job is to write down what you wish your staff to do on a daily and weekly basis. This will be what hours you wish them to work, and what you wish them to achieve on an average day within those hours. It is important to be realistic about how long things may take, and that things make take longer in the beginning as people are getting used to the job.


While what you want them to do will be a part of their job description, the job description is often more general, to include all the things you may ever need your staff to do, including in emergencies and for example, if you are in hospital. Initially you are simply preparing a plan of what you want done. This may be quite structured in terms of a list of tasks to be done in a specific order, such as all the activities you want doing when you get up, or go to bed. It could be a more general list of what you may want doing depending on how you feel each day.


It may be useful to write down specific ways you like certain tasks to be done, and this list is likely to grow as you have more experience of employing staff. While we would love to believe our staff can read our minds, this is not possible and the only way personal assistants will know how you like specific things done is by you telling them. And if they do not get it right first time, which is often the case, it is good to praise them for what they have done right, and then calmly explain how you would like it done next time. It is always important to remember if a personal assistant does not get something right, it may be because you have not told them how you would like it done.


Once you have prepared your initial plan of what you want done, you can start to formally plan your support package as the next step to recruiting your own staff.




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