Whilst I was always totally sure about moving in with MrS, and moving to London, the job could so easily have marred the whole thing. When you are unhappy with how you are spending one third of your life it can quickly overwhelm the other 2 thirds.
When I first started looking in April, to get an idea of what was available, I panicked a little. Every day I would get an email “There are XX jobs matching your search criteria”. If i’d searched for PA jobs in Norwich there maybe 2 or 3 per week. When I started looking in London there would sometimes be as many as 200 new PA jobs A DAY. And the job description, skills and person specifications varied wildly – as did the salaries. Some asked for degrees, my biggest biggest pet peeve. You DO NOT need a degree to be a PA. If you have a degree and want to BE a PA, that’s one thing, but to make it a prerequisite that you have a degrees in Business Admin (or, in anything) for a PA role is madness. Anyway I digress. I thought it would take me ages to get a job up against all these Super London PA Types. As it was I got the first job I interviewed for.
I’ve been really lucky ending up where I have. Until 7 years ago the company was a family owned business and even though it’s been taken over by a large company it’s retained it’s small company values, employing around 60 people. For example on the last Friday of every month (today), we have Pay Day Drinks and my boss presents a company update. We have an employee of the month award (£500, not to be sniffed at!) nominated by the other staff. They have a social committee (I have been co-opted onto it already) and there is a social every month. We’ve moved to sharp new offices away from Blackheath and into Waterhouse Square in Holborn. It’s full of young people and it’s definitely going places.
My boss, the MD, is a woman (I’ve now worked for more women than men). She’s very exacting and expects the best from everyone but she’s also a really great person and we’ve really hit it off, really important when you work so closely with one person. More importantly to me I don’t feel lost or overwhelmed within the company. There’s not tiers and tiers of structure and names to get used too. No hierarchy of other PAs to negotiate. No more than 4 calendars to manage at anyone time. Usually only 2 timezones at most to look after. Everyone is really friendly. I couldn’t have asked for a better job to help me settle in down here.