I often get asked what it takes to be a celebrity personal assistant, but candidates often overlook another essential market segment: Working for high-net-worth families. This article will discuss the critical differences between working for celebrities and high-net-worth families.
Before we do that, it's essential to define "celebrity." It comes from the word celebrate. Yes, celebrities are celebrated for their skill in a given field. Technically speaking, if someone is well-known, they are a celebrity: TV and movie actors, famous book authors, professional athletes, etc. In contrast, a high-net-worth family has extraordinary financial means, often in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.
Fact vs. fiction: Working with celebrities
There is a bit of a myth that personal assistants who work with celebrities are always on private jets and walking on red carpets. To some extent, the job does entail that, but most of the time, you're sitting behind a desk and making phone calls to agents, managers, publicity reps, etc.
Working for celebrities is a hybrid role between an Executive Assistant and a Personal Assistant. On the EA side, you will book appointments, manage a schedule, and be engaged in data entry. On the PA side, you will be running errands, getting the dry cleaning, and walking pets.
A celebrity assistant job is the same as a regular PA job, except the pressure is usually much higher when working with celebrities. Also, the hours can be very long. Lastly, the pay is generally lower than expected because part of the trade is the "access to glamour," which means a lot to some assistants.
What's it like to be an assistant to a wealthy family?
Because I've been a personal assistant to celebrities and billionaires, I know there are distinctive differences between the two. Firstly, the hours are more normal when working in a private estate. It's not that you won't ever work long hours, but with celebrities, you're constantly at level 10.
Because high-net-worth families and billionaires have deeper pockets, they can hire more staff. So, there are usually PAs, Estate Managers, and a Chief of Staff for the ultra-rich families. Having a lot of support staff can help alleviate the pressure that assistants face on the job.
Last but certainly not least, working with affluent families is more stable than working with celebrities. By and large, celebrities burn through a lot more assistants because they are always working at break-neck speed. For longevity and job stability, working for billionaires offers more opportunities and a chance at a somewhat everyday life.
Domestic Staffing Blog
Written for assistants and estate managers working for celebrities, CEOs, UHNW families, billionaires and royalty.