Being a private PA is a unique type of PA job in London. It’s a rewarding and interesting career choice, bringing with it unique experiences and opportunities for development. We asked Sarah, a private PA to a busy female business owner, to keep a record of one of her working days for us. Here’s the result:
7 am: I’m up, dressed, and going through Louise’s (my boss) calendar as I wolf down a bowl of muesli. I’m also supervising my own kids so it’s a little hectic! I dash off a quick reminder that it’s Louise’s sister’s birthday and ask if she needs me to arrange a gift (she does). I also log in to a travel app and discover that her flight back from Zurich later this morning has been delayed.
8.15 am: I’ve dropped my children at before-school club and I’m now heading over to Louise’s house. My main purpose is to collect the mail. Whilst I’m here, I take the opportunity to touch base with all of the housekeeping staff who are on site and leave instructions for those who aren’t. I make sure that the private chef is aware of Louise’s adult children arriving back from university on Friday and what their favourite meals are! I also make sure the housekeeper remembers that Louise needs her packing completed for a 24-hour New York trip happening tomorrow.
10 am: I’m on my way to the airport with Dave, Louise’s driver. We often find that the only time we can have a face-to-face catch up is on these journeys!
11 am: Travelling back into central London, having collected Louise from her Zurich flight, we go through her schedule for the next two weeks and make some changes as it was looking untenable. She also goes through some outcomes from Zurich and what she needs completed as a result. She talks to me about her ideas for a charity fundraiser she’s hoping to host in October so we go through what’s needed for that. I’ll keep her in the loop once I’ve started sourcing venues and suppliers.
1 pm: Louise is in the office now so I’ve taken the opportunity to nip out for some lunch. On my way back I pick up the gifts for Louise’s sister. At the shop, I arrange for gift wrapping and a courier to take the gift directly to her. I also pop into the chemist. I noticed Louise was struggling with her hay fever, so I’m picking up some antihistamine to help her out.
2.45 pm: I’m back at the family home whilst Louise is still at work. I check that the housekeeper has packed everything needed for the New York trip. There have been painters and decorators in and I’m concerned they’re behind schedule. With the family arriving at the weekend, we need them finished and off site within the next few days. They agree to work later tonight to complete the work. I organise for the car valet service to come out whilst Louise is in New York. I also organise a mobile shredding company to come as I’ve been completing a paperwork audit on the home and there’s a lot of confidential waste to dispose of. The rest of my afternoon is spent looking into venues and suppliers for the charity fundraiser.
5.45 pm: Louise calls to say she won’t be home for dinner. I suggest that the housekeeper prepares some fruit salad as I know Louise often fancies this after a long day of travel. I also instruct her to do the turn-down service in Louise’s room and tell her which outfit to lay out for the morning’s trip to New York. I quickly check in for the New York flight, then leave for the day.
6.45 pm: Back at home and enjoying dinner with my children. I dispatch them off to bed with a story and a chat about their day.
8.45 pm: I notice a text message on my phone about something Louise has forgotten for the New York trip. I quickly make a call to the hotel in New York and it’s dealt with. Fortunately, Louise is very good at only contacting me outside of hours in an emergency!
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