We hold our high-quality PAs close to our heart. And we thought it would be a great idea for you to get to know a little bit more about them too. Having a virtual PA means that you won’t necessarily get to interact with them in person, besides a few skype sessions. We wanted to give you an insight into the people that make us who we are and we hope you love them just as much as we do!
What is the best thing about being a PA for AVirtual?
The best thing about being a PA at AVirtual is that you are so much more than a PA. I am a Digital Marketing Project Manager for my biggest client and am able to use my education, training and previous work experience every day. I’m growing my work portfolio and my skills, whilst doing what I love.
How long have you worked with AVirtual for?
I’ve been with AVirtual for 7 months. It feels like years though as you feel like part of the furniture from day 3, as soon as onboarding ends. In fact, a new team member started a week after me and when asked who to go for advice on something (I was sitting next to her), she was told ‘You can ask Ashlea! She’s been here a while!’
What are your key strengths that you pride yourself in?
I am great at organizing anything. I love a good project and would be lost without my lists. I sometimes even add things to my lists that I have already done just for the satisfaction of crossing them out ? I enjoy working on project based items as I get bored quickly and like to be able to complete tasks and start something new and fresh. I enjoy helping people and am a great listener. I appreciate great spelling and grammar and am known at home and at previous jobs for my red pen and accurate eye.
When delegating, what do you think is the most important thing to remember?
I think it’s vital that the person that you are delegating to has the same information that you have been given and also understands the client’s expectations (with regards to deadlines, quantity of work, quality of work and allocated time), tone of voice (if it’s more than just research) and style.
What are some of the challenges you have faced as a PA?
Working in different time zones is difficult when you first start but you quickly adjust. I currently have clients in the US, Spain and in the UK as well as a few clients of clients in Ghana and South Africa. Another challenge is learning all the systems, software and processes, not only in-house at AVirtual but also per client.
How did you overcome those challenges?
To adjust quickly to time zones, I make use of my Outlook calendar which has been setup to show me UK time and South African time. www.timeanddate.com is also great! I try as much as possible to work everything out on UK time so as not to cause confusion.
To learn new systems, software and processes, I gave myself time and tried not to set myself up for failure: I was honest with my clients about what software I was confident in as well as what I hadn’t used before. I asked lots of questions, both in-house and to clients, and watched Youtube videos where possible. Learning new software/applications can be challenging but if you look at it as an opportunity to improve yourself, it doesn’t seem so daunting.
What is the best part of your day?
Hearing anything positive from my clients or figuring out something I didn’t think I was going to be able to do.
What is the best advice you can give to any other PA?
Be completely honest about what you are capable of when talking to client etc. but at the same time, don’t put yourself in a box and only expect you are capable of that much – you can always learn more. Always put your hand up if you don’t know – it’s not a sign of failure but a sign that you want to learn.
How do you keep on track of all of your work?
I make use of applications like Basecamp and Google Sheets but I also love using plain old pen and paper.
What is your favourite meal of the day, and why?
My favourite meal of the day is lunch. Supper is normally had at home during the week and consists of the standard items. We are spoilt for choice where we work and have so many different options for lunch – Restaurants, deli’s, coffee shops, food trucks and sandwich ladies who come to our offices with a selection of yummy things (and who offer so much more than just sandwiches)!