Being hired as an assistant is about conveying strength and sensitivity

James Routledge
2 min readOct 15, 2020


I just received this request on LinkedIn:

Hi James, Thanks for connecting, Just reaching out as the world starts to normalise though the current climate remains uncertain as you might need some administrative support. I have taken the plunge and set up my own Executive/personal Assistant company!

It’s a lovely outbound but doesn’t feel very personalised for someone who is asking to be there in every intimate professional moment. I’ve had many of these requests and I’m sure several will be outstanding people, so I wanted to offer a little insight into how a recipient might be more receptive:

Can we make this more compelling?

My suggestion would be to ask not for work or offer a bland service but to instead notate the stories of their efforts, the relatable jobs to be done.

  1. When 200 emails come in a day I can handle about 170 of these, draft 20 replies for the others for review and be sure that the top 10 on each day are with you the moment they arrive :)
  2. If you’re stressed on little things that take up too much of your time I’d love to work through which of these we could try delegating to a trusted person. I believe strongly that whilst I’m not going to give you back any more time, I can give back to you the precious headspace needed to focus on the two or three things that matter most
  3. I know people are the problem and the solution, I can excel at making sure you other people are mindful of your time and effort, I’ll guard against poorly defined meetings and can be proactive at seeking where you can be to maximise time each day. I believe we can treat people as a currency and work together to only allow the highest value moments to take place

Professional services are a pure empathy market

Outsourcing responsibility is about trust, everyone needs help but only those that can convey ‘how’ that can be done well and with empathy stand a chance. I hope in some small way this helps position what an EA can say to make an impact, so many people out there need your help right now.



James Routledge

Digital and product thinking