Why did you decide to be a part of the 2019 London PA Awards?
I love being part of the PA and VA community and believe that no matter which title someone has, its about the important contribution they make to the workplace and community as a whole.
Winning an award, is fantastic recognition of this, gives a huge boost of confidence and helps to provide further credibility and momentum for the industry.
With so many organisations looking at how they are supported, I am delighted to champion a sector that looks to not only support businesses but the person and the core values associated with successful small businesses.
Which attributes do you feel make PA’s so fundamental in 2019?
The attributes that I think are critical to being a PA / VA are quite simply core values.
Yes all of us have a different set of core values but for me the most important include: honesty, integrity, to be of service, commitment, leadership, endurance, courage, innovation, performance, persuasion and generosity.
But these need to be coupled with things like good listening skills, the ability to problem solve, knowledge of the business, pro-activeness, positivity and energy.
Whats the difference here between a PA and a VA? A VA needs to also be the Business Owner and the Shareholders not just the PA and this is what makes a stand out VA.
Which skills do PA’s need, now more than ever?
The role of the PA / VA has evolved dramatically over the past few years and will continue to do so, as businesses continue to streamline and innovate all aspects of business.
Although much of the conventional duties that have long been part of the profession are still needed so much more has been added to the mix and will continue to be added. However, I think we are seeing a re-invigoration of what are perceived as traditional skills such as shorthand and minute taking in addition to remaining current (and ahead of the game) when it comes to technology.
If you could change or further support the PA community in any way, what would you do?
Having been in the admin profession for over 30 years, and the last 7 in the VA Community, I want people to see that VAs are not there to take away PA jobs but instead can enhance an organisation - be that through the bespoke skills they have for a particular project or the freedom and flexibility to increase manpower / headcount, take charge of budgets etc.
My aim is to continue blurring the boundaries between employed and self employed team members so that everyone works for the common mission of an organisation but actually can live the life they want or need to fit around family, health, location, and even career aspirations.
What is your proudest career moment so far?
I have a wide and varied military career, having joined the military as a junior rate, getting my commission to become an Officer in 1997, and also having served in many organisations, locations and countries around the world - I am proud to be a #veteran. I have had some amazing opportunities and lots of stories to tell that normally get shared when alcohol is being consumed!
More recently, I am proud of the achievements that I have had as a Virtual Assistant and now as VA Coach, Trainer and Mentor helping 1000's of people both on my free and paid for courses and in my communities to have the VA lifestyle they want.
I have been voted Best VA Training Provider for the past 2 years and nominated again for a third year running and these are amazing, but what I love more and I am exceptionally proud of is the achievements of the people I have supported to get their business up and running.
To see them get their own clients, to earn an income doing something they love and for them to go on and win awards - now those moments are some of my proudest!
What is your personal goal for 2019?
I am passionate about inspiring, challenging and supporting Admin professionals, particularly Virtual Assistants. This year, I have taken my own advice and gone back to keeping things simple - to stop over complicating the ways in which my clients can work with me, and also to stop caring what those around me are doing.
I now have 3 core offerings: the VA Mastery Course aimed at those wanting to become a Virtual Assistant, the VA Help Desk for existing VAs who are looking for professional development and one to one coaching and mentoring for those who are looking to achieve something really special.
My aspiration in 2019 is to continue the valuable work that I do with military veterans to help them integrate into the business community and military spouses to have the portable lifestyle that will allow them to support their serving partner but still have an authentic and awesome career that fulfils them.