"I leave work just about every day feeling good about what I’ve accomplished: that due to my work, my employers are able to be more highly focused on the valuable work that they are doing," Dickinson says.
What do you do? I work for a Seattle-area family as their personal assistant. There’s a mix of business-related tasks, [corporate] board-related tasks and bookkeeping, as well as projects related to helping to maintain a large home and property. The line between personal and professional is more blurred in this role, and I’m often helping with more personal chores.
How did you get that job? I have quite a varied career background, so I’m well-suited to a position that has tasks that can fall anywhere from A-Z. This is a role that benefits from some age and maturity, which is a bit different from the usual corporate marketplace. I was also lucky — my previous position ended at the exact same time that this family was looking for someone. And I had a great agency to work with — Elizabeth Meyer at The Meyer Suite really connected all of us together.
What’s a typical day like? Like most people these days I start off with reading the overnight emails, updated calendars and tasks lists, since so much can happen overnight. There’s typically some routine things to take care of with bookkeeping or vendor connections, then maybe some research to do, perhaps some personal errands, maybe diagnose a problem with an ailing tree, or set up a tour of a local business. I definitely need to stay organized, efficient and flexible to take care of everything.
What surprises people about what you do? I think people are surprised that there is this kind of a job at all! Once I tell them a bit about what I do, the inevitable response is that this position is perfect for who I am and my unique background.
What’s the best part of the job? That most days are so pleasurable! I’m someone who gets a lot of satisfaction from helping other people and feeling like I’m making a difference in the world. With this role I leave work just about every day feeling good about what I’ve accomplished: that due to my work, my employers are able to be more highly focused on the valuable work that they are doing.
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