Virtual, Personal and Executive Assistants – are they really all that different?
What are the differences & what do they do?
I’ve been asked these questions many times over in my professional life, and as someone who has worked all three
titles, I am happy to give the breakdown to anyone who is curious.
Let’s start with the Virtual title – so many more of us are working remotely these days – so this one is not such a mystery anymore. A Virtual Assistant, or VA, is someone who provides services for a business, or individual from a remote location (ie their home office). Administrative duties are the most common tasks for VAs, but they can also provide other services, depending on client’s needs. Personally, I love working Virtually – it allows so much flexibility!
Next let’s explore the other two titles. I think the main difference between a Personal Assistant (PA) and an Executive Assistant (EA) is an Executive Assistant is much more heavily involved with the business itself, whereas a Personal Assistant may be associated with any individual or household. Also, a PA tends to be more reactive, and an EA must be more Pro-active – it is essential that an EA be one step ahead and be able to problem solve, make decisions, and be quick on their feet in any given situation. While a PA more so makes sure everything is taken care of and responds to issues as they arise.
Both PAs and VAs may be Virtual or Remote positions – depending on individual or business needs.
I hope this helps provide a little clarity to anyone who was curious.