Executive Assistant vs Personal Assistant
A personal assistant, sometimes referred to as a secretary, is a skilled individual who helps make their boss’s life easier by organizing their schedule, managing appointments, and handling files. On the other hand, an executive assistant is a term that is more commonly used today and has a more professional connotation. Although there is some overlap between the two job profiles, there are key differences between an executive assistant and a personal assistant. This article will explore these differences to help someone choose between the two career options.
- Executive assistants (EAs) are more professional and possess managerial and operational skills that are far ahead of personal assistants.
- EAs typically work for high-level executives such as CEOs or MDs and have no fixed duty hours, while personal assistants often have a more fixed schedule.
- Executive assistants usually have a higher level of education, such as a BBA or MBA degree, and better IT and problem-solving skills than personal assistants.
Executive assistants are more professional and possess managerial and operational skills that are far ahead of personal assistants. They typically work for high-level executives such as managing directors or CEOs and are expected to have strong problem-solving skills and decision-making abilities. EAs are hired to help the executive achieve their goals and may even handle projects on their own or have a personal assistant for themselves. In the course of time, executive assistants have become a very important part of the organization and powerful in the company’s social hierarchy. These assistants have no fixed duty hours and can be seen at the office at odd hours.
An executive assistant has the ability to run the show in the absence of the boss for some time. Although their main responsibility is to organize the professional (and often personal) life of their boss, they also have to look after business affairs and needs, possess high levels of IT literacy, and have top-class problem-solving and troubleshooting skills. Some top-level EAs in the industry today hold MBA degrees, while most have a BBA degree.
Personal assistants, on the other hand, are more focused on organizing their boss’s timetable and managing files. They schedule appointments to ensure a smooth day for the executive, who doesn’t waste time looking for files or managing appointments. Personal assistants may also be employed by celebrities, authors, or athletes to handle queries and questions from the press and fans. This includes screening incoming calls, handling press releases, talking to media, managing travel arrangements, and more.
In summary, the main differences between executive assistants and personal assistants are the level of responsibility, education, and skills required for each role. Executive assistants generally work for top-level executives, have a higher level of education, and possess better IT and problem-solving skills than personal assistants.