OCCUPATION THESAURUS

PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO A CELEBRITY



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HELPFUL TIP:

How your character makes a living is an important decision. After all, there’s probably a good reason why they chose this career. Think about how they pull on certain talents and skills, have positive or negative traits, and adhere to a specific work ethic to excel. Sometimes characters choose an occupation because of how they were raised, something they experienced, or even an emotional wound, so consider how all of these things will show readers who they are deep down, and why they do what they do.
OVERVIEW:
A personal assistant is required to perform a variety of duties at the whim of their employer, many of which will be industry-specific to the type of work their employer is involved in. For this entry, we will look at an assistant to a celebrity, but personal assistants may also work for politicians, diplomats, CEOs, best-selling authors, entertainment industry executives, fashion designers, royalty, professional sport personalities, leaders and important members of any industry, or any person (and often their family members) who has a great deal of wealth, power, or influence (or all three).

An assistant for a celebrity will be required to be "on call" and to perform many types of tasks (scheduling appearances, organizing events, attending to social media, collecting work-related materials, planning travel, couriering more sensitive personal documents or important items, melding the celebrity's personal and professional calendar, and coordinating with other key personnel such as the nanny, personal trainers, hair stylists, makeup artists, fashion consultants, the celebrity's agent, etc.). Some tasks are mere errands, running from the mundane (walking the dog, shuttling the celebrity's children, picking up their dry cleaning) to the unusual or outrageous (securing a phone number of someone the celebrity is interested in, obtaining a candy or coffee from another country, convincing a restaurant owner to open after they've closed for a private dinner, being a personal shopper, buying and delivering gifts (to grease the wheels and keep the celebrity's brand strong), and even purchasing high-end items at the bequest of the celebrity (jewelry, art, vehicles, etc.).

Assistants must be fierce advocates of their employer, ensuring their every need is met whether they are at home, traveling, or getting ready to perform or be interviewed. Celebrities don't make requests--they make demands, and each, regardless of how easy or hard it is, must be done immediately. Having a personal life is difficult as the assistant's time is rarely their own; they run on the same professional schedule as their celebrity, attending the same events and traveling when they travel. They will carry several different phones (a primary and a backup) and be expected to respond immediately regardless of the time of day or night, and attend to every request.

Assistants can often become confidants and secret keepers, so they witness not only the high moments, but the low ones. Some may have to cover up or minimize the fallout of their celebrity's actions, be asked to procure things that are illegal, cross personal moral lines or do things that make them uncomfortable, and perhaps even pay people off to fix problems that crop up. For this reason, assistants usually are forced to sign non-disclosure agreements that forbid them from discussing their relationship with the celebrity. The strain of being constantly available and the high expectations of this job often lead to anxiety and burnout. There's a lot of turnover despite the perks of travel, clothing allowances, access to influential people and exclusive events, along with financial compensation.

NECESSARY TRAINING:
While no official degree is required to become a personal assistant, connections in the industry can help one procure a job. A character seeking this type of job should have a strong command of social media, know their celebrity's industry inside and out, have their finger on the pulse of trends and gossip within the celebrity's realm, and be very comfortable with organizing and multi-tasking. They must also be a creative problem-solver, as some of the things they will be asked to do will require ingenuity to complete, and not coming through on a demand will lead to a very short career. Having a strong network of people who are facilitators ("I know a guy") is key, and so the assistant must have strong connections in this area, or be willing to build a network of people quickly.

USEFUL SKILLS, TALENTS, OR ABILITIES:

HELPFUL POSITIVE TRAITS:
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EMOTIONAL WOUNDS THAT MAY HAVE FACTORED INTO THIS OCCUPATION CHOICE:
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SOURCES OF FRICTION:
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PEOPLE THEY MIGHT INTERACT WITH:
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HOW THIS OCCUPATION MIGHT IMPACT ONE'S BASIC NEEDS:
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TWISTING THE STEREOTYPE:
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REASONS THE CHARACTER MAY HAVE BEEN DRAWN TO THIS PROFESSION:
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