by | Jan 19, 2022 | Blog, Personal Assistant

Personal assistants come in many forms. Some provide administrative support to working professionals. Others offer more personal, social, and household assistance. PAs can also have greatly varying roles in your life, depending on what you need from them. Some people choose to have a personal assistant who performs occasional low-level tasks, while others want someone who plays a significant and active role in their life.

Choosing the right type of PA is key to reaping the many benefits a great personal assistant can offer. This post explains four types of personal assistants and how to pick the right one for you.

The Role of a Personal Assistant

The role of a personal assistant is to handle the tasks that you don’t have time for. They can help you achieve a better work-life balance by ​​relieving the burden of day-to-day obligations and duties. These duties could be anything from answering your emails and calls and managing your calendar to looking after your pets and children.

A trained personal assistant can anticipate your needs and take the initiative to help make your life easier. They’ll help tick things off your to-do list and give you peace of mind.

Duties of a PA include:

  • Filtering and managing correspondence
  • Calendar management
  • Being someone to confide in and offering advice
  • Shopping for groceries, household items, gifts, etc.
  • Taking care of personal errands, e.g., picking up dry cleaning, going to the post office
  • Scheduling appointments and meeting service providers
  • Basic household tidying
  • Organization projects
  • Paying bills
  • Planning events and travel
  • Taking children or pets to appointments
  • Meal preparation and cooking
Two women talking in an office with mug and laptop on the table

4 Types of Personal Assistants

One of the main things to consider when choosing a personal assistant is the role you want them to play in your life. Are you looking for an obedient staff member or someone who feels more like a member of the family?

1. Staff PA

A staff PA is an assistant who plays a subservient role in your life. They take on simple tasks as and when you need them to.

Also known as a “gofer,” a staff PA will do what you say, as long as you provide detailed instructions. Tasks that you delegate to this type of personal assistant could be scanning and filing documents, picking up your morning coffee, or dropping off your dry cleaning. 

A staff PA will save you time by performing menial tasks. But, they require more direction and supervision than other types of personal assistants.

Out of the four types of personal assistants, the staff PA is the one you work least closely with. Your relationship is strictly that of a manager and staff member.

2. Professional PA

A professional PA is mainly involved in your work life rather than your personal life. This type of personal assistant overlaps with an executive assistant.

A professional assistant helps with managing business correspondence, scheduling meetings, and looking after your work calendar. They can work autonomously to help increase your productivity and meet your professional goals. A professional PA has a solid understanding of your work or business. They may even attend meetings or make decisions on your behalf.

Although you work closely with a personal assistant, your relationship is still primarily a professional one. They may know some information about your personal life and help run occasional errands, but their main focus is your business.

3. Paid Friend PA

A paid friend PA helps with everyday tasks but also provides companionship. This type of personal assistant focuses on the social, emotional, and practical aspects of your life.

A paid friend PA will still run errands and help save time in your day, but in a more relaxed and friendly manner than a staff or professional PA. They get to know you, take an interest in your life, and become a trusted aide for you to confide in. Friend PAs can offer sound personal advice and provide emotional support when needed.

You can choose how involved this relationship is. But for most, blurring the boundaries between “paid staff” and “friendship” is what they are looking for in a paid friend PA.

Celebrities, athletes, and other people in the public eye often have this type of PA to assist their lifestyles. Paid friend PAs are also common for those living with a disability.

4. Family PA

Finally, the family PA is the most involved type of personal assistant. In this case, your relationship with your personal assistant mirrors that with a family member.

Family PA relationships take a while to build. But with time, they foster genuine affection and a sense of family-like duty to another person’s well-being. Your assistant may spend time organizing and tidying your home, planning your family’s schedule, and picking up and looking after your children. 

Due to the close familial bond formed with a family PA, this working relationship usually lasts much longer than other personal assistants.

How to Choose the Best PA for You

Choosing the right assistant requires analyzing which aspects of your life need the most assistance. Do you need more help in your professional or personal life?

You also need to consider how close of a relationship you want to foster with your personal assistant. Do you want a “gofer” to take low-level tasks off your hands now and then? Or do you want someone you can trust to help take care of your home and family and act as a confidant?

Finding the right personal assistant can make your life significantly easier. But it’s vital to be as straightforward as possible about your needs and desires when writing job listings and interviewing potential candidates.

LifeSquire Direct specializes in hiring, training, and placing all types of personal assistants. Our comprehensive process will help match you with the ideal personal assistant for your specific needs. 

Contact us today to find out more.

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