I had a comment on the blog a few weeks ago asking how my big move to Barcelona was going and how I was settling into my new job, so as much as I hate talking about myself *ahem* I thought I’d give you’ll a quick update on the last few months.
The first thing to say is that I can’t quite believe I’ve been here for 4 months. It has been an absolute whirlwind! I left my previous job in London on Friday 19th April and was on the flight to Barcelona with my 3 suitcases on Sunday 21st April. I had decided to take a week off once in Barcelona to get settled, move into my new flat and unpack my stuff. That plan immediately went out the window when I was asked to attend an event in Madrid with my new Manager. The following month involved another three trips to Amsterdam, Frankfurt and back to London. By the time June arrived I hadn’t actually finished unpacking!
Luckily the last few months haven’t been quite so hectic but I have been busier in this role than any other job I’ve had before. We run two big events, one in Amsterdam in May and the other in London during July, both of which are now behind us but coming on board late in the process meant I had a lot of catching up to do and a lot of marketing to plan (particularly for the event in July).
I’ve been able to spend much more time on the blog, although my role in the events business is demanding it is mostly part-time so I am able to dedicate a few days a week to building on the popularity and success of the blog. I presented at The Office Manager and PA show back in June and absolutely loved it so I’ve decided to expand what I do by offering my services as a professional speaker, freelance writer and I am also open to training other assistants. I have a few opportunities coming up over the next few months that I am super excited about and can’t wait to let you all know!
Along with the move to a different country I have also completely changed the environment I work in. While working in London I was always based in an office that was very corporate and as I’ve said before I tended to sit near to the executive suite and the boardroom. I could generally see what my manager was doing, where they were going and who they were talking too. Not anymore! He is an events consultant so travels a lot and is very self sufficient (well thinks he is anyway!). It is tricky but I am certainly getting to grips with all of the technology needed to keep him organised while on the road and out of my sight!
Another change is that I either work from my flat, a local cafe / shared office space or on the move, which to start with was brilliant but now I’ve come to realise how disciplined I have to be to actually start working and then to actually stop working! It is great that I can now set my own hours but the old 9am-5pm routine does have it’s advantages (if assistants ever get the chance to work 9 to 5!) I now work for myself and for a small company so there really isn’t any place to hide and if you get a call in the evening you have to take it even if you are trying to enjoy the Spanish night life. On the plus side I have so much creative autonomy over my work, decisions are made quickly and I really do feel that I am seen as a business partner as much as an Executive Assistant, which is what I have strived for in my career.
And then there is Barcelona! It really is a beautiful city and I feel very lucky to live here. Don’t get me wrong I loved London and it will always be my home but for now I am enjoying the weather, the beach, the wonderful architecture, the culture, the food… I could go on and on! I’ve always wanted to live in a different country and travel as much as possible. It really is a dream come true and I’d highly recommend living abroad if you ever get the chance, even if it is for a few months. The opportunities to grow and learn are endless.
So it is all go at the moment! As I’ve said many times in the past I wouldn’t have been doing any of this if I hadn’t followed the career path that led me to be an EA. I really wouldn’t change that for the world.