Earlier this year we asked “what do you love about being a virtual assistant?” Today, Helen John of Helen John, Virtual Assistant shares how she got started as a VA.
Your name & Business name: My name is Helen John and my business name is Helen John, Virtual Assistant
Where you are based? I’m based in Peterborough near Cambridgeshire
When did you first hear about VAs and what made you want to become one? I first heard about Virtual Assistants whilst out running with a friend of mine. She has her own business and was drowning in admin. I was working as a PA at the time, looking after two very busy Chartered Building Surveyors and although I loved my work and the people I worked with, I was finding the journey to and from work (40 miles in total) on difficult roads more and more tiring and stressful. My friend just happened to mention that I should look into becoming a VA and that she would happily give me some of her admin to do for her. This gave me something to seriously think about and I began doing a lot of research. I was fortunate enough to find my first client while I was still employed; when I attended a networking event in Peterborough. Marion Lawrence from The PA Hub Ltd was the guest speaker at this event and I had the opportunity to speak with her afterwards. She took my contact details and passed them onto an acquaintance that was looking for a VA. This then gave me the confidence and courage to take the leap of faith and hand in my notice and really work at growing my business. I left full time employment in January this year and have never looked back. My previous employer even uses my services to outsource work during busy spells and also for holiday cover and sickness!
How do you explain to people what you do? I explain that I work from a home office carrying out administration tasks. My background is in Building Surveying; audio transcription of building surveys, homebuyer’s reports and the like. I simply explain that I am a freelance secretary with a specialism in building surveying, as this is the background I have worked in for many years.
What does your favourite coffee mug say? I have several coffee mugs, but if I had to choose one it would be my mug which says “YORKSHIRE LASS”. A gift from my brother although I was born in Lancashire and brought up in Yorkshire from the age of 3!
Want to share your favourite things about being a Virtual Assistant, or tell us about a typical day in your life? Email us at [email protected] with your post and don’t forget to include a picture!