Man and woman sat at a cafe table reading a book about gardening.

Career journey

Liz started her career in social care after taking time out of work to raise her children. Her first step was completing voluntary work for family support charity, Home Start. Liz used the experience and skills that she gained through this work experience, as well as her previous experience of working in childcare and carrying out caring duties in her personal life, to secure herself a support worker role at a day service for adults with learning disabilities. In 2014, Liz decided to become a personal assistant after learning about the role through conversations with friends. Liz now works as a personal assistant for Enrych, a personal assistant service in Leicestershire.

Day in the life of a personal assistant

Liz works Monday to Friday and does a total of 34 hours throughout the week. Unlike private personal assistants, Liz is employed by a PA provider. This means that Liz works with her managers to find clients and build a schedule of support sessions. It is vital that Liz is able to build a rapport with the clients that she works with. Before taking on a new client, Liz has an introductory meeting with the individual, the client's family and her managers. The purpose of this meeting is to find out what type of support the client needs and to give Liz and the client an opportunity to get to know one another.

At the moment, Liz works with 5 clients. The length of each support session differs depending on the needs of each individual. Like all personal assistants, Liz has to be flexible and open to adjust her working hours if the needs of her clients change.

Here is an example of one day in Liz's schedule;

9am - 3pm; support session

3pm - 6pm; break

6pm - 9pm; support session- Liz supports a client to attend a karate class

Liz begins each support session by talking to the client and their family to find out any important information and to decide what the session will involve.

I start every session by asking "what do you want to do today?" Being a PA is about putting the person you support first.

Liz

The types of activities that Liz supports clients to do include cooking and baking, gardening, shopping and volunteering. Liz also supports her clients to complete practical tasks such as organising household bills, budgeting and attending appointments. This support not only enables people to live independently, but also reduces the pressures that are often experienced by unpaid carers.

The job satisfaction is enormous. There isn't a day goes by where I don't feel like I have enriched the lives of the people that I support.

Liz
Career timeline

2014- present

Personal assistant - employed by a PA provider

2012- 2014

Support worker - day service for adults with learning disabilities

2010- 2012

Volunteer support worker - Home Start charity (working with families and children facing challenges)

1992- 2010

Left work to raise children

1991-1992

Childcare assistant - creche

1983-1991

Private nanny

1983

Graduated from college with qualifications in childcare

If you have the right values, you can be a personal assistant. It is not about qualifications.

Liz

Want to find out about becoming a personal assistant?

Use our employer map to find personal assistant services in your area.

You can also visit Leicestershire County Council's website to find out about registering as a personal assistant.