A Day in the Life of a Private PA

🕑 4 minutes read

I am often asked what the job of a PA involves or to describe a typical day but the best part of being a PA is that there is no typical working day.   Every day brings its own challenges and tasks and each day requires you to re-prioritise what needs to be covered off.

I have undertaken this role for 20 years and been lucky enough to work with HNW entrepreneurs for my whole career.  The level of understanding rubs off on you and you find that you work very entrepreneurially yourself.

Loyalty and discretion

Loyalty and discretion are always the top feature and are personal attributes which I offer all my clients on an unwavering level.   You become almost a second wife!!  Looking after the home, the family, staff and its entertainment or travel requests.  Looking after the social and work diaries and ensuring both work in tandem are now an effortless part of the positions I fill.

Understanding the client

Over time with your clients you build an ability to really understand them, understand their likes and dislikes and the manner in which they like to work or receive work/updates etc.    You have to have the ability to listen.  This, for me, is the most important part of the role.  Really listening to your client, their needs, ever changing priorities and the absolute ability to fit into a team, work autonomously or be the person in the background at home who ensures the wheels turn to make the car run smoothly.

Different roles of a Private PA

Often it can be working with just one person and spending all of your time with that person so personality fix is very important.   I have to ensure that sometimes with start up businesses or businesses where it is working from home or from the principles offices/apartment that perhaps I might be the only member of staff but to the outside world it must look like there is a whole back office set up supporting this business so being able to wear lots of different hats such as book-keeping, travel agent, nanny, housekeeper or finding a housekeeper and other members of domestic staff for the client’s residence, diary and gate keeper, receptionist and on occasion chauffeur are all part of the role. 

Over a short period of time you learn precisely how that person works and functions so that you are always one step ahead with a master plan for everything you are arranging together with the forethought of what to do if plans change last minute or need to be altered altogether.  This is an ability which clients thrive on having at their fingertips.

The best thing that had ever happened to me

No two roles are ever the same which is why being self-employed is such a joy.   Yes when I first set up on my own I had the worry of “have I made the right move” but within a month it was clear that this was absolutely the best thing that had ever happened to me.   I have been able to work for a plethora of different clients in different arenas of the business work which gives you a fantastic all round knowledge that you are able to bring through with everything you do.   It has been invaluable I would say to developing me as a person and as an employee.

Private PA clients

From investment banking and finance, legal, property, motor racing, boxing, angel philanthropists, IT entrepreneurs and trend setters I have worked for them all.   All bring something different to the table in terms of skill sets and being able to liaise comfortably within all these different genres of business is the role of a PA.

Private PA Donna Duffy

Private PA Donna Duffy

The ultimate role of a Private PA

Ultimately, I have always seen my role as PA as being that of being a confidant, being able to provide a  full office support and being that one person they can always rely on 24/7 to pick up the phone and help them out.  My role is to make their life easier and I achieve great personal satisfaction each day knowing that this is precisely what I have done.

Donna Duffy is available through Town and Country Staff for long or short term bookings.  If you are looking for a Private PA either on a full time or part time basis, in London, throughout the UK or Internationally please call Town and Country Staff on 020 3174 2446.