Worklife #14 Having a Personal Assistant isn’t Merely Reserved for the Rich and Famous.

By watching typical Hollywood movies or reality TV shows, we are taken by this idea that all of these figures have personal assistants managing their entire life: their calendar, travels, meetings, family life, documentation and more. Given the current speed of life where there is an abundance of information, hiring a personal assistant doesn’t appear so exclusive anymore. 

“Personal assistant services enable people to buy themselves the most precious currency, more time. It is the kind of time that is often missing to be able to spend with family, friends, on hobbies and catch up on sleepless nights. A personal assistant can be an ongoing employee working daily for a client, or one that helps out now and then, once a week, when the client needs it the most. The key difference between a secretary and a personal assistant is that I also manage the personal affairs of my clients. Everything within the range of legality and ration of course,” says personal assistant Erika Sõstra. 

If required, Erika is equipped to arrange any necessary travel considering her experience as a professional travel manager. She also seeks out school and kindergarten options for children, offers to pick up the pet from the vet, or even finds a suitable dog sitter for the time that the family is on holiday. She manages and pays any bills, prepares documents for the accountant, accompanies a client on their trip abroad and handles any other upcoming errands that come along with such management. Erika also offers to book hair appointments for her clients and welcome foreign visitors. Along with this, Erika can organise a christmas party for the whole family or a company, arrange an anniversary or wedding. She offers to be an on-site coordinator on the day of the event, giving the client the freedom to sit back and enjoy the party.

“ I am the confidant and representative for the client, I am available wherever and whenever I may be needed. One could say that the work of a personal assistant is a lifestyle and not just a job. You must always be ready and on the go, both day and night. As this occupation takes a lot while giving back a lot more,  the connection between the client and myself has to be good and a sense of mutual trust has to be established,” says Sõstra.

There are many people in the World with enough money to allow themselves the comfort of having a personal assistant. Currently, Erika has around half a dozen clients, of whom some require daily assistance and some who need her services once or twice a week. All of Erika’s clients have reached out to her after hearing only positive reviews from her previous clients. 

“ The main advantage behind hiring a personal assistant is always having someone to turn to with whatever kind of matter or wish You may have. Although it’s good to have a friend to call for help, it is often a limited resource. You can always call your assistant and things can be arranged swiftly without You feeling embarrassed to ask or as if you’re bothering them,” explains Sõstra.

Host and journalist Martin Hanson was joined in the studio by personal assistant and luxury travel manager Erika Sõstra to talk about the nature of being a personal assistant and the daily lifestyle it brings.