In our jobless non-recovery, quality people can be hired for $10-15 an hour. Even hiring someone for a few hours a week can be a great investment. If you're a job seeker, you can spend those hours looking for a job. That's of far greater value than the cost of the assistant. If you're working, you're freed up to be more productive and, in turn, position yourself for a raise.
Even if don't care about earning more money, consider hiring a personal assistant: S/he will give you that most valuable of commodities: time, time for recreation, family, or productive work .
I've had a personal assistant for the past 20 years and each has stayed with me an average of five years. The keys:
- Don't hire someone too marketable or they'll leave. (It takes time to train someone. You don't want to have to go through that every few months.) You don't need a superstar; you need a responsible, kind, ethical person with reasonable intelligence.
- Treat the person wonderfully. That needn't mean a high rate of pay. It means treating them with respect and kindness, giving earned praise, showing interest in them as a person, and doing little niceties like taking them out to lunch or giving them small presents. Those are not favors. I've truly enjoyed being a kind boss to my assistants.
- I give my assistant a lot of autonomy on how s/he does her tasks and her hours are flexible. Not only does s/he appreciate those things, it helps me establish that s/he meets the requirements for a 1099 contractor rather than a W-2 employee, which saves me costs and paperwork.
I recommend finding your assistant not by placing an ad but by asking your friends and relatives for referrals. You'll likely be giving that person a credit card and full access to your home. If the person is a friend or someone recommended by a friend, s/he is more likely to be trustworthy.