Tim Fitzgerald has been a Private Assistant for more than two decades; he started out in the hotel industry with an Executive Assistant role and then turned to the private sector. During his career, he’s played many parts within the PA role, from running errands to advising his clients. He’s built up a reputation as someone who knows what they’re doing and how to get just about anything done. 

In episode 18 of the Life in Private Staffing podcast, host Philippa Smith has an in-depth conversation with Tim while he enjoys a glass of wine after a long day at work. Tim was more than happy to talk about the different aspects of his job. Of course, he didn’t tell us anything about his employers; he is a professional after all. 

For Tim, the best part of the job is the variety. He never knows how his day is going to go and that keeps him excited about it. “If you tell me what I’m going to be doing every day, my spark dies,” he says. He goes on to explain that you’re working within someone’s life, which is why no day is ever predictable. It’s not like a corporate job where you know exactly what’s in your scope of work. 

You’ve likely heard both the terms “Personal Assistant” and “Private Assistant” describing the same position. Tim prefers the title of Private Assistant as a lot of what he has to do needs to be discreet. In fact, he takes his online anonymity very seriously. He doesn’t have any social media, except for LinkedIn, which doesn’t reference anything to do with his life. He’s also had his addresses removed from sites online in order to protect both himself and his employers.   

As you’ll hear throughout the podcast episode, Tim has loads of helpful advice for PAs who are just starting out or Executive Assistants wanting to pivot to the private sector. After receiving many requests for help from fellow PAs and other people in his life, he went on to LinkedIn and offered a masterclass for PAs. 

At first, he didn’t think there would be so much demand, but his masterclass sold out within 48 to 72 hours. It was then that he decided he was going to help PAs and employers with his experience in the industry. Since then, he’s held many masterclasses and even does one-on-one sessions to help those who need a little more attention. 

One of the main attractions to Tim’s masterclass and tutoring sessions is that he gives away his little black book of contacts as well. This book contains helpful contacts for everything a PA in the London area could need. Some people even come to him just for the book alone. 

Of course, this episode of Life in Private Staffing is filled with advice for PAs that Tim is happy to give away for free. For starters, he advises that you keep remembering that “It’s not about you, it’s about the boss.” This means that when you have to cancel an event or ask for a favour, it’s not you asking, it’s your boss, which takes away some of the awkwardness you may feel. 

Another piece of advice he has to offer is to use the phrase “I’m flexible” in every interview. He claims that potential employers often don’t know what they actually want, so it’s essential that you highlight that you’re flexible when it comes to the details of the day-to-day job. According to Tim, this will improve your chances of landing your dream role. 

When it comes to his own dream role, Tim would love to work for a client who wants to move around town as discreetly as possible. He loves working with private security and believes employers who value privacy and discretion are the best to work for, because that adds an exciting layer to the job. 

All-in-all, Tim was a fascinating guest to have on the podcast. Listen to episode 18 of Life in Private Staffing for more insights into life as a PA. 

Watch the full episode 

All-in-all, Tim was a fascinating guest to have on the podcast. Listen to episode 18 of Life in Private Staffing for more insights into life as a PA. 

For more information about what Silver Swan Recruitment can do for you and your private staffing needs, contact us today.

Listen to the full episode on Spotify or Apple podcasts.

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