Many times have I been approached to discuss what school a Private Service Professional should attend.  This can be a difficult question to answer.  While there are only a few to select from, the cost and time commitment can make it a difficult choice.  Here are my recommendations on how to work through the decision.

First and foremost Know What Type Of Professional You Want To Be.  You can either be Management oriented where you spend most of your time behind a desk (which are positions that are few and far between).  Or you can follow the current trend and future of the industry and learn more service-oriented skills.  While most Household Manager & Estate Manager positions will require a good amount of management and administration, a vast majority of principals want to see you with your sleeves rolled up.  Purely administrative jobs are out there, but you will need a four-year degree to be considered for most of those positions.

Beware Of High Placement Rate Claims!!!! No agency or school can guarantee you a placement, the placement process is about chemistry and skills set.  That responsibility rests on your shoulders alone.  Some claim a 90% placement rate……simply laughable.  Not only unethical and inaccurate, but this number is also padded by those who were employed prior to attending school.  In the same vein of thought, do not be lured into a school based on jobs they have posted on their job board.  While not proven, false postings and insistence on attendance to qualify for the position have been experienced by too many to ignore

Check References.  Ask the school for references but remember, like you, they are only going to give you references that will cast a positive light.  Look for references on social media sites such as LinkedIn.  Search for, or post, a discussion on one of the many LinkedIn groups catering to Private Service Professionals.

Calculate Your Total Cost.  Some schools offer room and board as a part of their tuition.  But remember, that if you stay where you learn, your time will never be your own, a lot like a live-in position.  While as a PSP your job will be very consuming, it is unrealistic to expect an adult to adhere to curfew hours.  However, if you are staying remotely you will need to calculate travel time (and money) to and from.

How Much Work Will You Be Doing In Addition To Class.  Some schools tell you that you will be hosting and serving at dinners as a part of your training.  While this isn’t a bad idea, it can be taken advantage of.  There are stories of students organizing as many as four dinners in a four-week training course.  While you may have this in a home, you will be well compensated for it.   Although hands-on planning and execution of dinner are very valuable.

Hold your instructors and owners of the school accountable.  They should be treating you as a student/client, teaching you skills and techniques.  They should be evaluating you on your skillset and interaction with other students and teachers.  As soon as they expect you to treat them like a principal, they have failed you.  It is common knowledge that EVERY Principal is different, and judging you on how you treat them is merely an ego trip.

Good luck with your decision, the more questions you ask the more informed your decision will be.  And if you need a sounding board, give us a call!!

Happy Hunting!

Here is some great input from Donna Shannon, 2014 DEMA Educator of the Year and owner of The Personal Touch Career Services.

Donna’s Comment:
I would suggest checking them out on Google as well as social media. Remember, when it comes to placement after the training, the school’s reputation will be reflected onto the student.

Another consideration is what kind of placement do they offer. Do they only place their candidates, or do they work collaboratively with other agencies to expose their students to as many opportunities as possible.”