Any personal assistant worth their salt knows that working for celebrities, high net worth families, billionaires or royal families takes patience and a great deal of creativity when solving problems. Here is a list of idioms from our PA veterans that have been passed on for posterity:
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence: Some assistants who work for the rich and famous never think they make enough money, so they quit in protest only to find out that they can’t get another job with a high net worth family, or that the new job they get pays less (or the same) with more duties than before.
— Career advice from a Chief of Staff working for a billionaire philanthropist
Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched: Never be too confident when accomplishing your to-do list, especially when other staff members are involved in completing the assignment. Follow-through is essential. It’s not done until it’s done. On one occasion, for example, an assistant didn’t take Superbowl tickets directly to the Fed-Ex office and the driver arrived late, so the tickets didn’t go out on time. In short, the boss missed the game and had invested a million dollars in the vacation.
— Career advice from a Hollywood Assistant working for a movie studio chief
Sour grapes (Fox and the grapes from Aesop’s Fables): It’s so easy to despise what one cannot have. Don’t be angry that you didn’t get the celebrity PA job. Instead, learn from your mistakes and find out what you did wrong in the interview and, for gosh sake, don’t do it again.
— Career advice from an executive assistant working for a Fortune 500 CEO
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket: Personal assistant jobs come with a myriad of all tasks from A to Z. When executing orders, always make sure you have back up plans with contingencies built in. For example, if your boss is famous for being indecisive, make sure you make reservations at more than one restaurant in case he changes his mind. If you don’t leave yourself any wiggle room for the unexpected, then you set yourself up for failure.
— Career advice from a lifestyle manager who works for an ultra-high net worth individual