Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Here comes a big word, a wonderful idea apparently on the part of the United States ! In the field we are discussing, as Personal Assistant, assertiveness presents itself under a whole other definition: the art of diplomacy. This art, as it is one, is characterized by two essential principles: the respect of others and the respect of thy self. Is assertiveness something you can learn? Can you learn respect? Some essential techniques, such as being able to say no without causing frustration to the person you are speaking to, or to not diminish thy self in a delicate situation are techniques calling for a thorough work on thy self. For example: you feel guilty when you need to say refuse a task (such as lending your car to your buddy). The ability of saying no while clearly arguing and focusing on impossibility rather than the refusal in itself will allow you to come through as being diplomatic about your decision.
To express myself more clearly: your friend asks for your car and you answer : it is not that I don’t want to, but I really can’t ! If he insists and asks why, you can answer: because I need it! And if he insists still and calls you on as being a poor friend, you can simply answer: yes, I will admit that I can sometimes be. You will then keep your self-respect and the respect of others. The act of acknowledging that you can be does not mean you are, but it will allow you to cut short to the argument. In fact, you just had the last word.
This being said, it is not always easy to refuse as guilt can sometimes take over. However, I can affirm this from experience; the ability to say NO will not only bring you a better image of yourself but also a higher respect from everybody else.
As a personal assistant, this principle will allow you to keep your notoriety with all people you will be asked to work with.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Trainings for ‘Personal Assistant’

Trainings for ‘Personal Assistant’ are focused on the specific task we are supposed to do. It is obvious that a first formation on commercial secretary of administrative secretary is essential. On top of it, a knowledge of computers and tools such as Excel, Access and others is necessary. Having a good knowledge of English is also necessary.
In order to complete your Personal Assistant training, it might be interesting to take over a specific training focused on luxury. These are trainings allowing you to develop manners and know how to use them to score employment with renowned individuals. 
Here are establishments offering the best trainings (click on title to see the link)
1* The International Butler Academy : An internationally renowned school that can provide you with a training allowing you to not only work in the private sector but also amongst societies and cruises.
The Academy will also give you English classes. You will find all the necessary information on their website.
2° SISENIOR in Belgium : Even though it is not a school per se, Sisenior places butlers in many working positions and will give you tips and advice on how to succeed in your position and in privileged families.
3° L'academie des Majordomes et Gouvernantes de Paris : This school of very high level gives a training allowing candidates to easily find their path.
4° Welkom Expertize : This training takes place in the south of France, for butlers as well as drivers or other positions in the field.
If you do know other trainings taking place in Europe, except for Great-Britain, do not hesitate to contact me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Three essential elements

To become a Personal Assistant defines itself in three essential elements:
Versatility: To be able to tackle all problems or to be able to delegate quickly to someone of higher knowledge, if needed. This calls for a heavy address book. For example: not knowing anything about plumbing but being able to call on the services of someone else quickly.
Flexibility: As opposed to the employees of private or public administrations, the dynamic of this job will certainly include a different schedule with long hours. Also, this flexibility might be asked from you not only because of your tasks but also because of location. Travels might be needed where you need to go in far away destinations and will then call on your necessary flexibility.
Discretion: don’t be surprised if it is asked from you to sign on non-disclosure forms and contracts! It happens too often that house employees ends up revealing confidential information, especially if you are working in the public eye but also when taking in charge the private life of someone.

It is then obvious that the work expected from you will not only need a maximum of competencies (computers, administration…) but also specific competencies obtained through trainings (this will be discussed in another chapter). This includes, amongst others, presentation, movement and the art of speaking.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Let’s start with this question: what is outsourcing? It is simply the principle of delegating tasks usually done in-house to someone who is not a part of the enterprise directly.
Problem: does outsourcing promote the termination of employees? Yes and no. Yes if we are facing an amount of problems leading to cutting the costs drastically in order to pursue business. No if you are using this technique right from the start, offering a variety of knowledge and competencies while maintaining your original structure.
After the years, there have been many changes in the availability of personal assistants. We are currently assisting to an evolution in this type of work. Enterprises are taking into consideration the numerous advantages related to the hiring of independent
workers. To have a PA physically present in your office is certainly a perk in many ways, but with our current economy and the overall competition, virtual assistants may be the way to go.

What becomes of the personal assistant in all this?
In the world in which we are living, it is not everything to simply be an assistant who ‘assists’. The assistant nowadays must not only have a wide knowledge of many things but also needs to be able to find information or competencies that are not in his power. Then, outsourcing services will allow a personal assistant to find this knowledge amongst external individuals in order to fulfill the tasks more efficiently. Dans le monde où nous vivons, il n'est plus compatible de n'être qu'un assistant qui "assiste".
The assistant can also be servicing a larger number of ‘bosses’ and use his knowledge locally and internationally.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Being a driver for vip

I often had to sift through resumes of individuals looking for work as drivers and ask me if there is any possibility to find a job in this field. First, you must know that being a private chauffeur is certainly not like being a taxi driver, as opposed to what many people think. The taxi driver has a schedule, a salary and a workman status.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to find domestic staff

To find house staff is not very easy ! Finding the good employee might take up to 3 or 6 months. As an employer, if you are planning on hiring yourself, do not forget that all your efforts will leave traces, especially emails. On top of this, you will face an impressive pile of resumes and most of them do not even relate to what you are looking for. Many non-qualified job hunters apply to those positions hoping to score a bigger job at some point. It is then important to plan your search carefully.  No phone numbers or addresses can be visible on a site! Keep your anonymity.

- If you ask for references, you will eliminate a part of the non-qualified applications.
- Ask clearly: if you are looking for an internal or external employee, a couple, etc. The clearer your demand,  the better the answers.
- No appointments without a resume: always ask for a resume first! Do not waste your time or the job hunter’s.
-No waste of time: if after a few minutes you realize that this not going to work out, do not expand on the position, conditions, etc.  
- During initial meeting, you need to listen and hear your candidate. It is his responsibility to explain his background and defend his skills.
If you would prefer to use recruitment agencies, you can certainly go to Staff-at-one.com, they can post your ad for free and maintain your anonymity. If you prefer to be guaranteed of success, there are agencies in London (MarshallHarber…) who can cater to your needs.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Personal Assistant & Business Intelligence

As the personal assistant to a renowned businessman, I am often found confronted by the business world and even of the usage of what is referred to as Business Intelligence. This working world is so sophisticated that the most immediate decisions are made following equations and ratios argued via analysis softwares (the Business Intelligence).