Alice is a Senior EA at a major UK investment bank and Founder of The Canary Wharf PA Club. She is committed to helping other PA’s & EA’s grow, develop their skills and realise their full potential. Here she talks about managing home life with her day job and running businesses outside of the office..
Describe your typical day
“Recently, I’ve been trying to get up at 4.30am. Having two children under 3 means that me-time in the morning is critical for how my day goes. I catch a coach into Canary Wharf as we live in a little village which suits me because I can work from my iPad or sleep for an hour or so. Once in the office, I usually check in with the Executives and see what their day looks like. This will then determine my morning! A typical day is spent answering emails, booking meetings, helping with project work and adding things to the ever-growing to-do list. As Chair of the EA network within the company, I’m quite often planning the annual conference, training sessions or networking events. I usually get home around 7pm depending on traffic so it’s a long day but I’m used to it now.”
How did you get your job?
“I actually started as a Team Assistant on the trade floor. I had applied through a temping agency. Shortly after I joined, I was offered a permanent EA role and then a year later, moved into the Senior EA position.”
What is your favourite thing about your job?
“I love the variety. Although some of the admin can be monotonous, I enjoy the extra things I get to manage. Whether that’s volunteering activities, planning team events or just involving myself in the day-to-day business working on sales and strategy. I like that there is always room to grow and learn new skills.”
And the least favourite?
“I can honestly say there isn’t anything I dislike about my job. If I had to pick one thing, it would be the commute. If there is an after-work event, it feels like I am always the first to leave the party yet the last to get home!”
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
“The biggest challenge I have faced in my career was figuring out where I belong. Over the years, I have been given many opportunities however, for one reason or another, these haven’t worked out. I was desperate for someone to give me some direction. I learnt the hard way that if you want something to happen, then you have to go after it yourself. Now, I have found a great role with a lovely team and still have time to run my other businesses outside of the office which at first was challenging but ‘being busy’ is definitely where I belong.”
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
“I have a few actually! Being nominated for the London ‘PA of the Year’ Award and WeAreTheCity ‘Rising Star’ Award, as well as speaking at a Conference in Paris last year about ‘becoming a leader’. I was so nervous to stand up in front of people and now I want to do it all the time. The launch of the Canary Wharf PA Club in February this year has to be my biggest highlight to date. Following a hugely successful launch, we now have over 500 members which is incredible and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”
What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in your field?
“The EA/PA world is a fantastic field to start out in. There are so many avenues you can take once you are in the door that I would recommend this career to anyone. I love the following saying which is rarely used in its entirety – ‘A jack of all trades, a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.’ This for me sums up our profession, we turn our hand to anything and everything. My advice would be to embrace change and remain flexible because no two days are the same and you never know what’s around the corner.”
What do you do in your downtime?
“I spend time with my beautiful boys (I have a husband and two sons) – we like going away for weekend breaks or just hanging around at home.
My parents run a pub so this is ALWAYS a good place to catch up with friends and family.
I also enjoy running, it’s a form of mental health therapy for me. I recently ran the Marathon so had been spending quite a lot of my downtime on the treadmill.”
“I can’t live without…………
My iPhone – it’s my Personal Assistant!”
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Published by Strictly Recruitment.
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