Why should I enter? What difference does an award make? It is not worth all the hassle! I do not deserve an award. How will I feel if I don’t win? I am too embarrassed to ask my manager for a nomination or even ask for some input for one?
I would have asked all these questions and made these statements a few years ago but now I encourage all PAs to have a go. If nothing else it makes you think about where you are in your career, how you are progressing and above all where you want to be. Write down all the things you have achieved over the previous 12 months and you will be surprised at how much you have progressed since last year.
Have you gone above and beyond your normal duties?
Have you run a special project which has benefited the company?
Have you introduced a new system that has helped the business?
Are you an all rounder that the company relies on?
Have you organised an event that had the ‘wow’ factor?
Are you an ‘expert’ in a certain field such as social media?
Have you set up an Internal PA Network?
Are you a new PA who is excelling in the role?
Do you make a good PA team?
These are all good reasons to be proud of your achievements and great examples for entering for an award.
Assistants work hard and have a unique skill set that is highly underestimated! Assistants are a special breed; they live and breathe a business. They know what is going on and they are the face and voice for their company and it goes without saying that they are often taken for granted! When you actually think what assistants do for a business it becomes easier to enter for an award. Assistants deserve to be recognised and that is why the Yorkshire PA Awards exist!
Since winning my awards my whole career has taken on a new direction and I embrace every minute of it. It gave me the confidence to follow my goals and my dreams in my career. I am on a mission to help other PAs to think the same. I am no different to you; I have just been recognised for it and you can be too. I have gained more knowledge in my field, made fantastic new connections and enjoy every new networking opportunity while helping assistants be proud of their roles, their commitment and their skills.
I originally started an Internal PA Network within the universities in Yorkshire and this proved successful. I started getting approached by different companies to speak about my experiences and share my knowledge with other groups of PAs around Yorkshire and then around the UK. Since then the doors have opened for me to speak internationally and to be well regarded in the PA industry. I definitely would not have believed what has happened to me a few years ago. I found the thought of public speaking the most daunting experience of my life and was literally terrified, but with encouragement and support I gradually started speaking. It certainly wasn’t easy but it has opened up my horizons and given me the chance to do things that were not possible before I was an award winning PA. I stepped out of my comfort zone and it is now paying off. If I had not won the awards I would not have had the confidence to set up The PA Hub and I was oblivious to my true capabilities. The feel good factor is priceless!
Saying all this not everyone in the category can win an award so what if you don’t win?
Well firstly of course it is great to win but it is also fantastic to be nominated or be a finalist. As my son pointed out to me when I haven’t won awards (which there are a number of!) he said, ‘Well done mum – you are one of the best’. Being nominated or being a finalist is a huge achievement in itself and fantastic to have on your CV. If it really is not for you then there are also plenty of categories that you can nominate others for too such as Best Boss category or Best Client so spread the word, think of those nominations and start writing those entries!
You can find all the information about the Awards here: https://www.thepahub.co.uk/ypa2017/
Interviews for YPA & Lifetime Achievement, Malmaison Leeds
For all the finalists, Malmaison Leeds
The Pavilion, Leeds United Football Ground
Marion is a multi-award winning former PA winning Yorkshire PA of the Year in 2011 and Pitman Training Super Achievers International PA of the Year in 2012. Marion has worked in various administration and management roles over the last 30 years building up her expertise and networks throughout this time. This has included working for the Civil Service and the NHS before joining Yorkshire Universities as a senior PA in the higher education sector. Marion has presented to various groups of PAs throughout the UK and overseas and she loves to network both in person and through social media. Marion was the Founder of the Yorkshire Universities Internal PA Network which led her to set up The PA Hub where she runs 3 independent UK PA networks in Leeds, York and Liverpool with her husband and business partner Jon Lowrence as she continues to promote the profession. Marion is a mentor to six PAs throughout the UK and enjoys working closely with them to raise their aspirations finding this part of her role truly rewarding. Marion is a Regional Board Member for the National Executive & Personal Assistants Association (EPAA) and one of the UK representative’s for the World Administrative Summit (WASummit) in Frankfurt in 2018.
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Well things are starting to return to some kind of normal albeit slowly! Little steps and moving forward seems to be the way to go!