Do you have what it takes?

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

In the book, “Fame Junkies, the Hidden Truth Behind America’s Favorite Addiction,” author Tom Halper and other academics interviewed 650 teenagers from Rochester, NY about our celebrity culture.

He writes, “Forget being President of Harvard – Make me a Celebrity Personal Assistant…
Another question asked: “When you grow up, which of the following jobs would you most like to have?” There were five options to chose from and, among girls, the results were as follows: 9.5% chose “the chief of a major company like General Motors”; 9.8% chose “a Navy Seal”; 13.6% chose “a United States Senator”; 23.7% chose “the president of a great university like Harvard or Yale”; and 43.4% chose “the personal assistant to a very famous singer or movie star.” 

Well knock me over with a whisper. Clearly the job has been far over glamorized!  With jet-setting and enjoying all the benefits of this wonderful life, many forget the purpose for a personal assistant to be along on these “outings,” is to work behind the scenes.

Time for a reality check to see if you’ve got what it takes. Here are the my top 5 must-haves:

1) Thick Skin—And I mean space shuttle reinforced carbon fibrous refractory composite tile ceramics outer coating…If you get caught up in thinking if something was intended to be a mind game, it was. Move on.

2) Flexibility—Just know whatever the plan is, it’s going to change, more times than you can imagine.

3) Intelligence—If you think like Houdini, this job is for you.

4) Resourcefulness—Just know the answer is NEVER “No, that can’t be done.” Immediate fail.

5) Student Mentality—Make it your job to be confident but willing to learn. If you think you’ve mastered it, life will show you yet another way. Use it and commit it to your arsenal.

Now this is not to make you think it isn’t doable, it is just not for the aspiring actor or scriptwriter who thinks their boss is Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid willing to tutor you along your path to personal stardom. The real movers and shakers in this world expect you to be one too. In fact, the personal assistant that’s got what it takes enjoys a good challenge and isn’t scared of failure because they know how to re-group quickly. And they definitely do not have time for the limelight.

The top PA will always be professional, resourceful, intelligent, can think on their feet and doesn’t get dizzy because things are always moving, shaking and spinning.  It’s your job to keep them in a controlled spin.


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