Unlike an administrator who tends to look after a team, a personal assistant (PA) typically carries out administrative work on behalf of one individual. This individual is usually a manager or executive in a commercial, not-for-profit or public sector organisation. The role of a PA is to free an executive’s time from organising and administrative tasks so that they can spend maximum time on strategic tasks. Responsibilities typically include:
It is also possible for a PA to work for a wealthy family or individual, instead of for a corporation. If this is the case, the work of the PA may also cover home or personal life maintenance tasks, such as ensuring MOTs are up to date or hiring cleaners.
The job title for this kind of role, and its seniority, will vary according to the employer. In some organisations, the job titles ‘personal assistant’ and ‘executive assistant’ are interchangeable. In others, an executive assistant is more senior than a personal assistant and will take on more responsibility, such as some corporate governance or team organisation work. In some organisations, a PA role is an entry-level job; in others, it requires a great deal of experience and is paid accordingly. Depending on the employer, too, a personal assistant role may be combined with that of an administrator or it may be a more senior position to which administrators can progress.