Having a Virtual PA in the modern day is a no-brainer. In this day and age, overheads can be very high already so, why hire in a permanent PA that needs equipment when you can just hire a Virtual PA on a contract basis? They come with their own setup already and there is no office space required from your side. This week we’d like to introduce you to Carrie Hickman, one of the superheroes that make up our authentic team of highly qualified assistants here at Outsourcery. We take a look at what keeps her driven, how she overcomes daily challenges and what she enjoys most about this line of work.
Name: Carrie Hickman
Location: Cape Town
PA to: Caroline Walker, Craig Taylor, David Holland, Dermot McLaughlin, Lisa Jones and Will Duff Gordon.
What is the best thing about being a PA for Outsourcery?
The diversity, no day is ever the same. Each of my clients is so different and I have learnt so much. The other great thing is the culture at Outsourcery, everyone helps everyone and shares knowledge. There is no fighting and while we work hard we also play hard.
How long have you worked with Outsourcery for?
Just over 1 year.
What are your key strengths that your pride yourself in?
Organisation, structure and being able to see the bigger picture. This allows me to anticipate my client’s needs before they know they need something.
Do you have clients who travel a lot? If so what do you help them with primarily?
Primarily I help with initial research for hotels and flights and then book everything and put all the details into my client’s calendar.
When delegating, what do you think is the most important thing to remember?
Make sure you understand the task properly before delegating to someone else. Then make sure they understand the task. Also, be willing to let go. You can’t do everything by yourself.
What are some of the challenges you have faced as a PA?
Working with multiple clients at the same time and they each want your attention. You have to learn to plan your days and always be aware of what priority tasks need to be achieved while balancing that out with urgent tasks to keep everyone happy.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Proper planning and making notes of everything that needs to be done. I use a task management system called Trello to log everything into and many of my clients now use it as well. This has helped keep track of what is due and when. Also managing the client’s expectations of when they will get the task back. I try to keep my turnaround times on tasks short but if too many tasks come in at once I need to organise and manage when the client expects it back.