My early career was spent working my way up through various companies in my local area before a stint at the local council. It was at a non-profit organisation called DSDM, however, that I really found my feet and was given the space to be able to create my own ways of working.
It was also while working at DSDM that I had my first taste of the internet and started utilising email for my day-to-day work – something that would ultimately shape my future and become a defining factor in my later career choices.
Having been bitten by the internet bug I was hooked and wanted to learn more. I’d always been a self-starter and building my IT skills was no exception.
The next eight years of my life were spent working in higher education establishments, focussing on budgets for franchise. However, my true dreams would be realised when I chose to take voluntary redundancy and was in a position to start my own business.
The day after my redundancy, Jo Harrison – Virtual Assistant was born and I’ve never looked back.
Today, I still utilise many of the skills I’ve learnt over the past 18 years and apply them frequently in my dealings with clients.
My biggest leap of faith was moving to rural France back in 2011. I’d experienced my fair share of stress in the UK and wanted a better work/life balance. Also, the high cost of living at home made my decision even easier.
Being a virtual assistant, I could work anywhere in the world – providing I had a reliable internet connection and the decision to emigrate is one that I’ve never regretted. After all, I’m devoid of all stress (almost) and happier than I’ve been in many years.
The perfect work/life balance that I have achieved here in France means that I can provide a truly exceptional service to my clients.
Why I’m Supporting #MicroBizMattersDay
As a micro business owner (0-9 employees) myself, I know just how difficult it can be to forge and nurture professional relationships with clients, partners and supporters. Without huge marketing budgets, we have to rely on our professional networks for help and that’s why they’re such a vital part of our business.
For this reason I’ll once again be supporting #MicroBizMattersDay on January 13, 2017. I absolutely loved being part of it at the beginning of this year and this year’s event promises to be even bigger. I’ll not actually be making the short trip across the English Channel this time, but will lend my support from France on the day.
Last year’s event saw micro business owners giving eight minutes of their time to help promote other micro businesses. This year, it will be thirteen minutes.