August 3, 2021

Personal Assistant vs. Executive Assistant and which one is right for busy CEOs


Finding a capable assistant can enhance a CEO’s work and home life immensely. Many Executives will openly admit they couldn’t get through one day without theirs. With two main types of assistants, personal and executive, how do you decide which one is right for you? We’re giving you the scoop on each so you can start delegating more of what you don’t like while spending time doing what you love.

What is a Personal Assistant?

In a nutshell, a Personal Assistant is someone who helps you with your day-to-day tasks at home or outside of work. Typically, they aren’t creating spreadsheets or handling your work email. Instead, they are responsible for are tasks such as:


  • Managing lawn care, cleaning personnel, chef, babysitters, etc.
  • Doing and folding laundry
  • Pet sitting/dog walking/house sitting


  • Buying gifts
  • Planning meals and grocery shopping/delivery
  • Running errands
  • Managing wardrobes


  • Managing personal email
  • Managing family/household calendar
  • Scheduling appointments (doctors, meals, personal care, etc.)


  • Booking family travel
  • Arranging events (dinner parties, family birthday parties, etc.)

Should I hire a Personal Assistant?

Running your personal life can take just as much time as your professional one (especially if you have a family). Leaders of companies will often hire Personal Assistants if they’re feeling overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done outside of work. If you’ve started neglecting chores at home or find yourself spending too much time on household duties throughout the weekends, it may be time to hire a Personal Assistant.

Another clear sign that you should consider getting help at home is if you’re consistently lacking time for your family and friends. A good rule of thumb is if you keep asking yourself, “Should I hire a Personal Assistant?” the answer is likely, Yes!

Should I hire a remote Personal Assistant or work with someone in person?

Because there are various terms used to describe the same role, you may wonder if you need a Virtual Assistant vs. Personal Assistant. But don’t stress yourself out with the verbiage; a Virtual Assistant can also be a Personal Assistant that works remotely.

Deciding whether you can hire a remote Personal Assistant or this person needs to be local depends on the kind of help you need. If you are looking for someone to completely manage your household, run errands, pick up groceries, do your laundry, and occasionally babysit your kids then you’ll obviously want someone close to home.

However, oftentimes Personal Assistants can do their work successfully from afar. Booking travel, researching cleaning services, and scheduling appointments don’t require a physical presence in your home (or work). Using the phone, email, and even video conferencing can keep the two of you in close contact and on the same page. Remote Personal Assistants will work just fine for many Executives.

What is an Executive Assistant?

An Executive Assistant typically serves as your go-to for administrative (and more) responsibilities at work. Traditionally these types of assistants worked side by side with an Executive in an office setting, but in the last decade, “virtual” or “remote” assistants have become the norm. Because technology allows for incredible communication via platforms like Zoom and FaceTime—plus the tools necessary to do the job efficiently from anywhere—in-office Executive Assistants are becoming a thing of the past.

What types of tasks are done by Executive Assistants?

Executive Assistants typically find themselves doing the following:

  • Calendar management and scheduling
  • Email management and inbox clean-up
  • General administrative work like filing and organizing
  • Data entry
  • Finance and insurance-related tasks
  • Research
  • Phone calls
  • Travel management
  • Contact management
  • Social media management
  • Meeting and event planning and follow-up

While Personal Assistants typically manage responsibilities outside of their client’s workplace and Executive Assistants are ingrained in the daily work activities within a company, there can definitely be integration between the two sets of tasks. Sometimes one person can serve as a CEO’s assistant at work and home.

If there are a few personal tasks you could use help with, your Executive Assistant at work can likely step in and take care of them. For example, many of our Double Assistants take on personal responsibilities for their Executives such as family travel arrangements or gift buying. And it makes sense considering your Executive Assistant knows your preferences.

Any kind of assistant is meant to make life easier for you. If managing everything outside of work feels hard, hiring a Personal Assistant may be the answer. Your world can dramatically change (for the better) when you bring someone in to take care of those tasks you despise (like finding a plumber to fix a leaky faucet).

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