The duties of a personal vary widely, depending on the boss. In a corporate setting, a personal assistant may answer phones, manage calendars and read e-mail, among other duties. By contrast, a personal assistant working for an entertainment celebrity might be asked to take the celebrity's dog to the vet or make a quick run to the dry cleaner. Regardless of the duties, all personal assistants share one key performance indicator: the ability to make their boss happy.
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Organization and Judgment
Virtually all personal assistants are judged by their organizational skills. Corporate executives and others generally employ personal assistants to help them manage meetings, phone calls, e-mail, personal requests and other administrative functions.
The personal assistant is expected to act as a gatekeeper by handling as much of the administrative load as possible without having to interrupt the boss continually. That calls for superior organizational skills and good judgment as the assistant makes decisions about access, scheduling and other issues.
Personal assistants are expected to make difficult things happen with relative ease. That could mean finding a seamstress in a faraway city who can immediately repair a rip in the boss' suit, or a luxury hotel offering nanny services on a day's notice. The personal assistant's ability to problem-solve is one of the top performance indicators.
Loyalty and Confidentiality
Virtually all employers demand complete loyalty and confidentiality in their personal assistants. That means not sharing sensitive information with others and always protecting the best interests of the boss. Personal assistants who are disloyal or gossipy may soon find themselves out of a job.
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