Do you want to know more about me? Okay, here goes!
My PA journey started when I learnt to touch-type when I was 15 during school holidays! I came top of the class and I loved it, so decided to study for RSA exams in Word Processing and Typing, which I did while completing my GCSEs – I figured it would always come in useful while I decided on my future!
Fast-forwarding a few months, I moved to London to study at a secretarial college for an academic year, during which time I completed a Pitman diploma in Word Processing, Shorthand, Microsoft Office – all passed with Distinction – turns out I’m quite good at this!
At 17 I started my first job working in a small estate agents in London (a few yards away from Harrods!) – I was the secretary and later the receptionist and office manager. It was a great job, working in such a close-knit team, it felt like a family to me.
After a few years I decided to set my sights on the faster pace of the City and found a job working for a market-leading recruitment firm specialising in Financial Services and Banking roles. I worked my way from Team Secretary → PA to Director of Banking division → PA to MD of City office within 4 years. I honed my craft working here and developed solid administrative as well as communication skills during this time. I also learnt Event Management skills by arranging annual Golf Days and Client dinners at Claridge’s, which were amazing!
After 8 years, I left London to travel the world for 14 months, the most incredible year of my life. Wanderlust has bitten me hard and I still make sure I travel as much as I can. Since my return, I have spent each birthday in a different country so far (Dubai, India, Berlin, The Bahamas, Cuba, Sri Lanka, Spain…!).
After travelling, I temped for a number of different companies – Private Equity, Property, Banking, Architects – before taking a full time PA role for a global investment bank. After 2 years of being a PA, I became an EA to the Head of Trade Services Operations. I was a right-hand (wo)man to my boss and became adept at being proactive and always one step ahead! During this time, I was asked to become an oversight manager to the other PAs in the division – another string to my bow – I learnt the art of diplomacy and tactfulness in this role!
After a couple of years, I moved into a Project Management role in the bank – it was a huge compliment that I was given such a huge opportunity to step up into a different role and career path. It really suited me as it requires robust organisational skills and a keen eye for detail. I learnt invaluable skills in how to read financials and business management tools, as well as how to cope with very different responsibilities and expectations than of being a PA!
After a brief time working on the Foreign Exchange trading floor (where I learnt that it’s so important to do a job you love), I moved out of London to the south coast town of Hove. I planned to commute to London but after just a few months, I realised that I didn’t want to do it any more; I wanted a job that could allow me to enjoy all the wonderful things that Brighton and Hove have to offer (the beach, if nothing else!). I soon stumbled across the prospect of becoming a virtual assistant and felt like it was the perfect fit for me. I have learnt so much in my corporate career, that I felt confident in running my own business, whilst doing a job that I love and am great at!
So here I am! I run my own business and trade under the brand of SmartPA – a group of around 200 virtual assistants in the UK, US, Spain and South Africa. I source my own clients and do the work myself – it’s really important for me to provide the ‘personal’ part of the PA role rather than just being an account manager. I am also as authentic as possible with clients, so chemistry and fit are both SO important to me, for both mine and my clients’ benefit. The good thing about SmartPA is that there are alternative VAs if I’m not the right person for you!
I am looking for clients who are female entrepreneurs who run their business online – all of my current client-base fit this niche and I absolutely love it and believe that I can add so much value in this sector.
If this is you and you’d like to have a chat, get in touch!
+44 7400 913953