Like many Assistants I meet, I never set out to become a support professional. After working in the Hotel Industry, I moved with my family from the UK to The Netherlands. I combined caring for my two children with learning Dutch and coping with the major culture shift. My re-entry into the workplace was as Assistant to the European Engineering Manager of The Dow Chemical Company in Rotterdam. During my 12 years with Dow, I increased my skills by contributing to Dow’s Quality Improvement programme, training the Secretarial team in problem-solving techniques and improving work processes.
I made a break with engineering in 2000 to venture into the world of telecommunications. I spent a year as PA to the Senior Vice President of Customer Operations at KPNQwest in The Hague, where I was again involved in secretarial team building and improvement processes.
Later, I moved back to the petrochemical industry, working as Office Manager for an American Consulting Company after which I spent four years as PA to the VP of Progress Software. In 2008 I took on the role of Office Manager and Assistant to a VP at Shell Aircraft, where I developed a Mentoring Programme “Secrets of a Successful Assistant” for the Assistants at Shell HQ, sharing my experiences and helping Assistants at Shell with their professional development.
It was the best job in the world, but I wanted to do something different. I started to think about my future and took early retirement so that I could continue with my passion of helping and supporting Assistants in their personal and professional development. I am now #RewiredNotRetired and run my own business as a Trainer, Coach and Speaker at Monumental Assistance.
I am very proud to be the Interim Chair of the The World Administrators Alliance, engaged with Administrative Associations, Networks and Admins professionals across the globe. This voluntary position gives me the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ to the profession that has opened so many doors to me. The aim of the WA-Alliance is to Guide, Influence, Positively Develop and Elevate the Administrative Profession.
I hold the Professional Certificate of Management from the British Open University Business School and the Diploma Academic Counsellor and Coach from the Academy for Counselling and Coaching in The Hague.