Ambassador Tracey Williams
One week on from the awards and I’m still smiling, feet haven’t touched the ground.
Anyone sat near me at the awards evening will know from my expression that I was completely genuinely surprised to win. The calibre of the shortlisters was extremely high and I know that they all deserved to win for their passion for the PA profession and their commitment to MPAN.
So what have I been up to and how did I get here?
At the age of 16 being a PA had not even been a consideration. At school we were given mock interviews and I was lucky to be interviewed by a gentleman from ICI who gave me some really good advice (although at the time I didn’t appreciate it). He said that networking was and is a great aid to your career development. Only now do I really appreciate his words and understand the power of networking.
After leaving school I went to college and soon realised that taking the path of higher education was not for me.
So, at 17 I joined Lancashire Dairies as an office junior, within four months I was promoted to receptionist. At that time I used the old PBX switchboard (to those younger than me an old plug and socket). I can recall going into the MD to request a telex machine advising it was the way forward. I dread to think what he would have had to say about social media. These two roles gave me a great introduction and understanding of the business and gave me the opportunity of speaking to staff and clients at all levels.
Having gained good relationships with clients I moved to providing secretarial support to the sales and marketing team, a role I enjoyed for just over 5 years. I was supporting the sales director and a team of seven. From this I went on to supporting the Chief Executive, a role I held for a further four years.
During my time at Lancashire Dairies I was fortunate to belong to TEC PA Network. This provided PA specific training, including motivational workshops and advice on time management etc.
Over the years my role involved me arranging client events, one of which had me coaxing Elton John out of his dressing room and onto the stage at the MEN Arena (don’t ask)!!!
In our roles as PAs we do occasionally get some perks, my boss once left his yacht abroad and said if I could get a crew together I could have the yacht for the weekend, of course the catch was that the yacht was to be sailed back to England.
I had a complete change of industry when I left Lancashire Dairies, moving from food to construction in my new role as office manager at Austin-Smith:Lord.
Whilst at Austin-Smith:Lord I was tasked with arranging one of our yearly educational study tours, which included the obligatory recce, I was lucky as the venue was Palma.
After 9½ years working at Austin-Smith:Lord I moved to Indigo, where I have been working for the last five years supporting Doug and the team in the Manchester office. I am really fortunate with the opportunities I’ve been given which have ranged from organising national Christmas Parties (for over 80 staff) to assisting with events for the Manchester Property Forum. I am also very proud of the fact that in the last 12 months, I gained Associate membership to the RTPI, which has given me an even greater understanding of the town planning process so I can give greater support to the team.
Indigo recognise that support staff also require training and have supported my membership to EPAA which I know other members of MPAN are members and some are on the Board.
Throughout my career I have been fortunate to work for employers who value the support role and have invested in my career progression. I’ve had highs and the occasional lows, but I would not change my career path and I look forward to the profession continuing to evolve and embrace technological advancement.
I am extremely honoured to take the title of MPAN Ambassador this year and would encourage anyone who considered asking for a nomination this year, to make 2017 your year and step out of your comfort zone and promote your brand. To receive an email informing that you’ve been nominated for an award is a great feeling, to then receive an email to confirm your shortlisting is even more crazy. To actually win an award well, I’m super proud and very grateful to all those that have helped me on my career path thus far ….. you know who you are!!!
So, what do I plan for the next 12 months, it’s going to be all about raising my social media presence so if I don’t already follow you and you are on Twitter/LinkedIn please follow or send me