As people’s lives become busier, multi-faceted, and more often working and living in two different locations balancing one’s professional career and personal life can be extremely challenging. As a company Founder or CEO, you may be looking for an executive assistant to schedule meetings, organize business trips, as well as manage many aspects of your personal life. High profile business leaders, individuals and professional couples with multiple homes who serve on various boards and are involved with philanthropic causes often require a personal assistant to manage their private lives. What if you need someone to do both? The demand for highly-skilled, tech-savvy, multitasking administrative professionals who perform business and personal tasks has become so great that a new position is trending—the Executive Personal Assistant (EA/PA). This role is gaining in popularity.
Top business leaders and high-profile celebrities are now accustomed to working from different locations (and sometimes remotely), so they require assistance with coordinating their business and private lives in multiple locales. If this describes your situation, you might benefit from this blended executive/personal assistant approach.
What is an Executive Personal Assistant?
An executive personal assistant is experienced at running an executive’s entire life—both business and personal. They schedule both business and personal appointments, maintain the calendar, and are responsible for a full range of administrative and personal duties—from managing correspondence and making appointments to booking speaking engagements and event planning.
For couples who travel frequently between homes and businesses and have busy lifestyles, this could mean coordinating professional and private schedules across different time zones and in different regions around the world.
What Are their Responsibilities?
An executive/personal assistant has responsibilities that are as unique as the person they work for. They are involved in every aspect of the person’s life and business, managing every detail.
An EA/PA’s tasks may include the following:
- Schedule appointments and coordinate calendars (business and personal)
- Set up meetings and attend them and take notes
- Manage email correspondence and phone messages
- Book business travel and family vacations
- Organize speaking engagements
- Create expense reports
- Make restaurant reservations
- Do shopping and errands
- Hire and supervise household staff
- Buy gifts, send holiday cards
- Plan large events
- Research, hire, and supervise vendors and contractors for home projects, as needed
- Ensure the routine maintenance of homes and vehicles
- Keep the principal updated on progress of projects
- Manage philanthropic interests
This is only a partial list and will depend upon the individual and their requirements.
How is this Blended Role Different from a Personal Assistant and an Executive Assistant?
An executive assistant works in the office, and they are singularly focused on the business end. A personal assistant mostly takes care of personal affairs, and they often work from an office in their client’s home.
An executive personal assistant combines the two roles into someone who can adeptly handle both professional and personal tasks.
Why is this new hybrid executive assistant role more popular now? In addition to a more mobile society, with people working from different locations, technology has become more sophisticated, and the responsibilities between business and personal have become even more blurred.
EAs at the highest level have always bridged the overlap to provide both business and personal support to their CEOs. However, with the COVID pandemic presenting more options for working from home and remotely, this role has become even more critical to a business leader’s success.
Another reason is that an EA/PA often supports a married or committed couple who have separate careers outside of the home. In the past, one person often dedicated themselves exclusively to the efficient maintenance of their home and personal lives allowing the other to fully dedicate themselves to their business role. This has changed so that a PA is now often required to manage the home and an EA/PA is often an even better solution. This combined position allows for a great degree of flexibility. It can be fully or partially remote or can be divided between the office and the executive’s home.
What Are the Advantages of Hiring an Executive Personal Assistant?
One of the greatest advantages of hiring an executive/personal assistant (to CEO, business owner or individual) is that it is a more holistic approach. You don’t have to worry about their chores falling outside of their job description (for example, asking an executive assistant to shop for your spouse’s anniversary gift, or pick up their dry cleaning). An EA/PA manages the executive’s entire life. Because of this, they can more strategically and efficiently manage your schedule.
What Type of Assistant Should I Hire?
The best executive personal assistant for your needs will not just depend on the types of tasks you need them to perform, but also your business environment.
There are practical financial considerations. Private individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners can often combine the roles of EA and PA most easily, since there is no question as to who pays for which portion of the responsibilities. In public corporations, the executive assistant is on the company payroll, and most often, the personal assistant is on a personal payroll. In this case, these will be two separate people. At the highest levels of larger companies, a Chief of Staff may be the one who supervises both the EA and the PA.
SOURCE: C Suite Assistants