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A personal assistant
or personal aide
(PA) is someone who assists in daily business or personal tasks. It is common in design to have a PDA
, or personal design assistant
For example, a businessman or businesswoman may have a personal assistant to help with time and daily management, scheduling of meetings, correspondence, and note taking. There are also personal assistants who work specifically for disabled people, and whose salaries may be paid by an individual or by social services on an individual's behalf. The role of a personal assistant can be varied, such as answering phone calls, taking notes, scheduling meetings, etc.
Personal Assistants in Business-Related Phenomena
People who cannot afford to hire their own personal assistants to run errands or answer phone calls full-time can hire a personal concierge or a part-time assistant. Most companies offer secretarial personal assistance as well as basic assistant services like research, scheduling, travel arrangements, and more. Costs of a part-time employee can end up exceeding the amount it would have cost to hire a full-time employee. Other companies charge a flat monthly fee for personal assistant services based upon the number of requests expected to be placed each month. In addition to the personal assistant services that are provided with the membership, other incentives such as local discounts, concierge services, dining recommendations, and overall knowledge and expertise may even outperform the skills of a regular personal assistant staff member.
Smaller companies, especially start-up and real estate development companies, may desire the services of a personal assistant to "manage" an individual executive or to assist in the office as the new company goes about setting up their new business. These personal assistants may develop great skills at the "birth" of a new company and have opportunities for advancement. Other personal assistants will have garnered valuable knowledge and experience if they choose to move into other positions.
Personal assistants in the business field can be offered positions elsewhere in the company. Some are asked to consider full-time positions elsewhere in the company, depending on the level of ambition and education required/desired. Some employers will not see the potential for a personal assistant immediately and thus the personal assistant will remain in that position until other positions become vacant.
In more recent years, the Celebrity Personal Assistant
has been thrust into the spotlight. Many celebrity assistants have used the celebrity's exposure to create their own companies, like Madonna
Madonna is an American singer-songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983...
's former assistant.
- Au pair
An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, au pairs take on a share of the family's responsibility for childcare as well as some housework, and receive a small monetary allowance for personal use...
- Body man
A body man is, in U.S. political jargon, a personal assistant to a politician or political candidate. A body man accompanies the politician or candidate virtually everywhere, often arranging lodging, transportation or meals, and providing companionship, snacks, a cell phone, and any other...
, U.S. political jargon for a personal assistant to a politician or political candidate