I have recently changed roles, becoming EA to the Commercial Director at Data Interchange, where I have worked for four and a half years. My new role is exciting; I am supporting the Commercial Director, working on new projects for the business and in areas such as marketing and with our partners, so I have some new challenges ahead!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The variety of the role is what keeps me sane – I enjoy event planning and attendance, visiting customers and the pride in a well-kept spread sheet is a joy in itself! I like to be busy – and hope that I am more analogous to a swan than to a headless chicken! – and this role certainly provides the diversity that I crave.

What do you enjoy least?

Expenses! That said, there is a certainly a place in my working day for something quiet and desk based, so I don’t complain too often or too loudly!

What has been your career highlight?

Coming runner up for the Hays/Executive PA Magazine awards for Newcomer of the Year 2012 started my journey into becoming a career PA. The confidence I gained from the recognition has led me to set up my own network, the Peterborough PA Network, from which I have had some amazing opportunities, the most recent of which is becoming a Non-Executive Director at EPAA, the Executive and Personal Assistant’s Association, launching in 2016.

You are well known for your networking skills, what initial steps did you take to increase your network?

Using LinkedIn to search locally for people that might be interested in attending events was invaluable, as I could connect and begin to build my network virtually, giving me a contact list to reach out to when I had my first event in place. Whilst I enjoy organising my events, I am quite shy when it comes to getting involved in the event, so attending relevant event myself (look out for Chamber of Commerce events, or similar, in your local area) helped to understand the challenges and benefits of attending networking events as a delegate. Finally, we work with Hays in Peterborough; finding a partner that supports your aims can increase your network immensely.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to other assistants?

Get stuck in…which is a polite way of saying, “get over yourself!”. Don’t be afraid to fail, to make mistakes, or to come second (or third, or…). Who knows what opportunities are just around the corner – get stuck in!