Alexia is vir­tu­ally priceless

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - RECRUITMENT & BUSINESS - by Mike Ben­nett

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

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