Alexia is virtually priceless
A BUSINESSWOMAN has won a major award in the first UK-wide scheme recognising the skills of virtual assistants.
Alexia Padgham, 38, from Sellindge, was named the most outstanding virtual assistant of 2007 in the start-up category.
The awards were designed to boost awareness of the rapidly growing profession of virtual assistants, who support businesses or individuals in a personal assistant’s role but from their own premises.
Alexia walked away with prizes including a PR campaign for her business, a professionally-designed logo, a marketing consultation, a three-month coaching programme, a Fujitsu Photo Scanner and a winner’s certificate. She said: “It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but I’m obviously delighted and extremely proud to have won this award.
“I hope it is a reflection of the passion and commitment I have for the industry, which I feel has given me more control over my life, both at work and at home.”
Alexia first set up her business, called Your VA, last April after she was made redundant after 12 years as PA to the chief executive of P&O Ferries. She added: “Somehow, losing my job happened at just the right time. I wanted to spend more time with my daughter, Francesca, and the PA role meant I sometimes didn’t get home until six or seven at night.
“That, coupled with my ambition to work for myself, made me remember an article I’d read a couple of years previously about a PA who had set up in business working ‘virtually’ for several clients from home.
“I found out about a course that taught you how to use the latest technology to work effectively from home and how to market yourself as a virtual assistant, and signed up.
“It sounds idealistic, but being a VA has added so much to my quality of life. I am pursuing my chosen career and using the skills I’ve gained.”
Padgham, with her award, and fellow winners