Like all working moms, I have more to do than I can possibly get done in a day. One of my friends recently suggested I look into hiring a personal assistant to help me get more things done at home. Honestly, it sounds like a dream someone to pick up my dry cleaning and do the shopping or make sure birthday cards are ready to sign and send? But it also feels decadent. Beyond that I have no idea what to look for. And I am so used to doing everything myself I almost wouldnt know what to hand off. How do I know if I really need an assistant and if I do, how do I go about finding one?
Working women (and increasingly men too) have two demanding, full-time jobs: managing their professional career and managing the home. As work life spills more and more into personal space and time, a personal assistant is increasingly a necessity, not a luxury. The first step is to get rid of any guilt you might have; getting assistance is not a failure! The second step is to determine what kind of help you need, and how much of it you require. What is falling through the cracks is it errands or more important things like the finances? How constant is your dilemma are you burning the midnight oil constantly, or only around specific crunch times? Assistants come in all stripes, and knowing whether youll need someone with specific skills a few hours a week or a well-rounded person every day is critical. Here are a few tips on where to look and how to hire the right person for you.
Write an Ad. The discipline of writing an ad will not only help you get a better handle on what you actually need and want, but its a crucial tool for finding the right person. Include the following elements on a simple, email-friendly word document: a brief description of the position (i.e. why the are needed, full-time or part-time), a bullet point list of the specific tasks they will be responsible for, and a bullet point list of the experience and qualities the assistant must have. When youre done, email it to friends and post it on your local Craigslist.org. If youre considering hiring an agency that provides assistant services, like Consider It Done (www.consideritdone.com ), you can just email them the description of the job, which will save time and energy on all fronts.
Trust Your Gut and References. You have interacted with a lot of people over the years - professors, students, bosses, co-workers, teachers, clients, and kids - and you know when you feel a connection with someone. As you can imagine, it is much better in the long run to hire a personal assistant with the character and personal attributes that mesh with your own than to try to work with someone who has the perfect resume, but doesnt quite feel right. In addition, anyone applying should be able to provide either personal and professional references. Read between the lines. If it sounds as if the reference-giver is not thrilled to even talk about your candidate, it might be a tip-off that this is not the worlds greatest teammate. On the other hand, if the person on the phone says anything like, we sure miss her or say hello for me you have probably