A personal assistant provides a wide variety of support services to a business leader to help him manage his personal and business schedules, and work responsibilities. Services often include arranging appointments or travel, maintaining a calendar and addressing client inquiries and correspondence. Besides possessing high energy and enthusiasm coupled with organization, multi-tasking and communication skills, a good persona assistant efficiently handles daily office administration to free up her employer’s time so that he can focus his attention on work responsibilities and goals.
Ask your boss to outline her expectations from the start so that you’re clear on the type of support she needs. Additionally, if you haven’t researched the company’s mission, goals, policies, products or services, do so as soon as you’re hired so that you can use the information to judge how to handle situations and provide the appropriate level of support. For example, you might use the research to answer, or locate the answers to, questions from customers about the company.
Maintain an electronic calendar of important meetings and events for your boss so that he doesn’t have to try to remember them on his own. Each morning, provide him with a breakdown of his schedule. Throughout the day well in advance of an appointment, remind him of it so that he has time to prepare or travel off-site. Additionally, maintain files on current or potential partners, clients and vendors for your boss to use as a reference to refresh his memory before an important meeting or phone call.
Create legible, detailed records so that your boss, or a temp working in your place if you’re out, can quickly access and find important information. For example, if you need to take meeting notes, record the meeting with a sound or video recorder so can refer back to it for details. When storing documentation in offline or electronic files, organize and title the filing system into logical groups with clear file labels.
Study to improve your job skills and knowledge whenever possible, so that you’re a continuous resource to your boss. For example, you might attend time management or technology classes that can help you streamline office processes. Additionally, consider studying the languages of foreign partners, clients and vendors so that you, and not your boss, can schedule important meetings, leave messages or make travel arrangements with administrative staff in other countries.
Present yourself in a respectful and professional manner both on and off the clock, as a good personal assistant recognizes that his language, dress and behavior can effect in a positive or adverse way his boss and company. Additionally, smile and show enthusiasm, as your boss will have many stresses and will look to provide a source of relief and motivation.
If your boss is open to your providing suggestions about problems she’s facing or company improvements, research the viability of your ideas and then present them to her formally in writing.
Never reveal any information your boss entrusts you to keep private such as upcoming business decisions or proprietary changes to coworkers and family or online. Besides breaking his trust and possibly losing your job as a result, you could cost your boss or the company a business contract, customers and future revenues.