Virtually impossible not to love. A phrase coined by one of our virtual PA’s; Carrie Hickman. We took this opportunity to find out more about Carrie’s experience as one of our executive assistants and systems coaches at AVirtual. We asked her some questions and this is what she had to say.
Why did you join AVirtual?
I had been flitting through many different part-time jobs while trying to study. It reached a point where I needed to find stability and financial security. I took the first opportunity that came along. In October 2016 I embarked on a new journey at AVirtual UK. I had no idea what I was doing and armed with only the information on the website.
What was your 1st day like?
It started with the selection day and I got my first glimpse of AVirtual being different from anywhere else I had worked before. There was no panel or person sitting behind a desk interviewing me, no awkward silences, nor trying to think of the best answer to a question. No, I walked into an office with bright orange couches, a surfboard in the corner and a putt-putt green running across the floor. Now, I am not an office person and having worked previously in corporate, where my soul was slowly sucked out. I started to get excited at my first glimpse of what would be one of the best companies I would ever work for. The HR woman came down, introduced herself, and then other people started to arrive. This was no one-on-one interview but rather an afternoon shared with 9 other people, HR and, the CEO of the company.
What was your 1st impression of the CEO?
Once situated upstairs around a boardroom table I looked around and noticed that people had written all over the wall. I thought to myself that is so cool. Richard, the CEO came and sat down, and then did something that has never happened to me before. He asked if any of us would like some tea, of course, it was tea with him being British. I am an absolute coffee snob of note. So I bravely put my voice out there and asked for coffee instead. Richard then went and made each of us a hot drink himself. Here we were applying for a job, and the CEO of the company was making us drinks. This was my first indication that Richard was no ordinary CEO and AVirtual was no ordinary company. I was not wrong in my initial feeling that I was going to love working for this company.
How would you describe your 1st week?
For the first 3 days, we underwent training – an intense crash course in being a personal assistant. Then I was given my first client to call. He was a comedian who made me laugh, asked random questions and shared a love of watching documentaries. Client after client I connected with, laughed with, and learned with. My colleagues encouraged me, shared their knowledge, and told me stories. By the end of the first week I was in love with my job. I learned each person’s name and had real conversations with real people. There was not one single person I could find something to dislike about.
What is it like being a Virtual PA?
Everyone helped me settle in, they laughed at my mistakes and taught me how to do it properly, cheered at my successes and congratulated me. I never wanted to be a personal assistant but when I started I realised that it was nothing like I thought it would be. I designed adverts, I did financing, I wrote blogs and managed Facebook pages. I ordered whiskey and read books. I even searched and found a rescue dog his forever family. No client was the same and every day was different. For someone with a short attention span, it seemed like I had found my dream job, and I could end here, but there is more to tell.
Are there opportunities for growth?
After the first month, I was approached by the CEO and offered a change in position – a promotion of sorts. What I realised and have seen happen repeatedly is that our CEO has an amazing ability to spot someone’s passions and their potential abilities. In November I started my new role in a coaching position and helped develop a training program for new staff. I was now using my gifts of teaching with my love for helping others and I was getting paid to do it. Coaching and training became an important part of the company and now new staff are coached and supported appropriately for their first 3 months. Richard saw potential in me, trusted me to run with something, and create something from nothing. It was like he had known me for years.
How do you feel about AVirtual today?
I have now been here for 6 months and seen numerous people promoted, moved, and guided into their potential. For the first time in my life I am working in a company where I truly believe in the culture and the vision. Not because I love administration – which I slightly do – but because I finally work for a company that believes in me, a company that is stretching itself, forming and involving the staff in its growth.
Any added quirks that come with the job?
One more thing, we work hard and we play hard. AVirtual has a great policy on incentivising people to do their job at an excellent level, and it also ensures that we take breaks and enjoy ourselves. From paddle boarding, tenpin bowling, office Olympics, paper plane competitions and dressing up; having fun is a priority. I never wanted to be a personal assistant, and yet I became so much more than that.
If you have a gift of connecting or communicating well with people and want to get paid to do it, or if you’re like Carrie and are willing to take the leap into unchartered, yet rewarding territories, consider applying for a position at AVirtual. You can find more information about us on our website https://avirtual.co.uk/.
If you are a client who has had a positive experience after this honest experience of the culture we promote at AVirtual, and would like to find out more about our services, learn more on our website https://avirtual.co.uk/services/. If after viewing the services you’re still unsure of what we might be able to do for you, then we will provide you with a 5-hour FREE trial, and in this time you will be blown away by how much we can achieve in such a short space of time.