Chasing the Dream: Do you need an assistant?
The pressures of success can be huge — especially when you are a parent. And there's just so much to do. How can you know when it's time to buckle down and hire some help so that you can raise your kids, be a success and literally do it all.
A personal assistant or virtual assistant can be a big help for making your mom life more manageable. Is it time for you to get one?
Christine Tsien Silvers, M.D., Ph.D. wanted to spend more time with her kids. “I think I knew I needed [a personal assistant] when we would miss getting the garbage and recycling out for a couple weeks in a row,” she says. So a few years ago Silvers hired a part-time assistant.
Looking for help
Silvers started her search for an assistant by writing down the many things that were preventing her from having more time with her children when she wasn’t working. “The list was crazy, from standard things like laundry and grocery shopping to other things like sorting recycling, getting garbage bins to the curbside, pulling weeds, sanitizing the bath toys and potty seats, and picking up dog poop in the yard. I was seeking someone who was able and willing to do any of the innumerable things that I, myself, did so that I would have more time to spend with my children,” says Silvers.
“The greatest benefit to me to having an assistant has been the ability to squeeze in more than 24 hours worth of stuff into each day. This means that I can do my work as chief medical officer of a small mobile health monitoring company, AFrame Digital, Inc., which I do part-time, from home, yet still have time to take my three young kids to the zoos, beaches, museums, playground, and so on,” says Silvers.
What should working moms look for in an assistant?
So, you know you need help with your busy life that virtual assistants and personal assistants can help with. Now, you need to find an assistant who is right for you… but how?
Gayle Bu, a personal assistant and mom of two, says to look for someone who is flexible. “I think it’s always good [to choose] someone who gets it. Someone who understands what it’s like to be a mom,” says Bu. “My job here is to support her so if it means running across the street to get a latte so be it.”
Finding the right assistant
Ultimately though, assistants and the moms that use them agree: one of the most important things is that you find an assistant who is just right for your unique situation and needs.
“If you put great care into the process of hiring the right assistant (someone who is not only experienced enough to get the job done and can proactively identify areas where you need help, but also has the understanding of what it’s like to juggle work and motherhood), your assistant will be your best ally to helping you get to where you want to be,” says Bu.
What can an assistant help with?
Are you asking yourself "Do I need an assistant?" yet? If so, you should know that an assistant — either virtual or in person — can help with so many tasks. Here are a few examples:
- replying to emails
- sending invoices
- making appointments
- keeping the calendar
- mailing things
- social media outreach
- booking travel
- screening applicants
Do you have an assistant? Do you need one? Would you get a personal or virtual assistant?