Extreme Assistant and Your First Year

February 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

This is the toughest year for you and your employer. This is because if good files were not left for you, you are re-creating the wheel as far as getting to know the preferences of your new employer.  But no problem (right?) for the fearless extreme assistant that you are!

As with any new job, there is a lot to get to know. But for a personal assistant there are many foundational lists to be made: who do they give gifts to regularly; where do they like to eat; travel preferences; food preferences; medical issues and allergies, best friends, holiday gift lists, holiday card lists; habits and routines; etc.  There are other lists of vendors they prefer to use as well. If you are lucky enough to have those lists readily available and currently updated, lucky you. However, those I have followed enjoyed shredding those lists, no, torching them all the while dancing around the fire like they were at the Burning Man Festival.

What do you do? I have a small list of important forms I fill out on each category for every new client I get now. Sometimes they will happily fill it out, sometimes you have to sneak in questions and ask for five minutes a day for the first month or so, (as long as their patience holds out). More than likely you will learn from assimilation and observation. But it will really pay off in year two!

The other bit of good news is usually the first couple of months you’re really in the bonding year, the honeymoon period, if you will. You can make mistakes that are easily forgiven and your new employer and their existing team will do more to assist you! If you are honest with your need to understand and take notes so you don’t have to repeat the questions, soon you’ll know the routines and preferences like your own. Your Sylvia Brown mind-reading gene will kick in and, if the match is right, you’ll be on your way to a successful future together and live happily every after.

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