Having placed personal assistants to Hollywood A-listers, millionaires, billionaires, and even royalty we frequently find aspiring personal assistants seeking guidance on entering this dynamic field. The key consideration, in our experience, is determining if such an unconventional arena aligns with your personality.
Unlike a typical corporate setting, the role of a personal assistant for UHNWs is marked by unpredictability. While office jobs offer a sense of routine with set hours and a consistent support staff, working as a PA to the wealthy can be isolating, spontaneous and all consuming.
High-net-worths have the luxury to often indulge in impromptu decisions; a last minute lunch in Paris followed by a meeting in New York to then join their family skiing in Gstaad. Consequently, having the flexibility to travel at a moment's notice becomes not just a possibility but a distinguishing feature of the job. If this lifestyle resonates with you, with the requisite administrative skills typically possessed by a Personal Assistant or Executive Assistant, you may already be well-suited for the role.
However, individuals with family commitments, such as marriage or children, may find the high-flying, spontaneous nature of certain personal assistant positions impractical. Living out of a suitcase, even in luxurious five-star hotels, requires resilience.
Demands can include 12 to 16 hour days, seven days a week, for extended periods, managing multiple households, private jets, and various support staff. The reality is a far cry from the glamorous portrayal seen in movies.
Also contrary to popular belief, not all personal assistants working for executives, high-net-worth families, actors, or sports figures earn substantial incomes. Compensation depends on factors such as experience, workload, responsibility level, and to some extent luck. Salaries can range from £10 per hour to £300,000 per year.
In the entertainment industry, where celebrities receive thousands of job applications annually, salaries do tend to be lower as celebrities leverage their name. High-net-worth families out of the public eye can offer more lucrative and stable incentives.
Dispelling the Hollywood myth of tyrannical employers, wealthy entrepreneurs and business moguls understand the value of a reliable assistant. Mistreating an assistant increases the likelihood of turnover, necessitating the recruitment and training of replacements. Consequently, the pressure on assistants is more workload centred than that of abuse or ill treatment.
The most crucial advice for securing a high-end personal assistant position is to broaden your job search beyond publicly posted positions, competing with hundreds or if not thousands of applicants. To stand out, build a relationship with a few select agencies to significantly increases your chances of being noticed directly by decision-makers, providing a distinct advantage over the competition.