Posts Tagged ‘Virtual Assistant’

Job Hunting

It has been a busy time since I last wrote….

When we moved here 6 years ago, I know that there were friends in Dublin who thought we were stark raving mad, especially as we had no jobs to move to.  I have been extremely lucky though.  I have been working solidly for the past six years, up to the end of August this year.  It was strange adjusting to being the employee, rather than the employer, but you know you can get very used to going to work, doing your job, getting paid, and having no worries about work out of hours and getting holidays!  I spent the last five years working with County Enterprise Boards – firstly, with Offaly County Enterprise Board (4 years) and then the last 8 months with Tipperary North Enterprise Board.

I had had contact with Fingal Enterprise Board when we lived in Dublin, and when we ran the National Diving School.  They had in fact been a great help to us way back then.  So here I was on the other side of the desk, advising people on how to start, develop and progress their business.  And it is also a great way to meet people!  I ran the business network in Offaly Enterprise Board for 2 years so that definitely gave lots of scope to meet people.

Now, of course, I am back on the job hunting trail, and I am looking at various options at the moment.  Since I finished up with North Tipp Enterprise Board in August, I have taken on a course in Entrepreneurship & Strategic Planning at the National College of Ireland.  Both Sarah and I have been doing the course.  Again this was a new learning experience in more ways than one way.  The ‘academics’ of starting a business are rather different.  As part of the course we had to produce a Business Plan – all very well…. and again, from my previous job, it would not have been a problem for me to produce a business plan for someone else, but now I had to do one for myself…. nightmare!  I have so many ideas going about in my head, the first hurdle was to decide on a topic!  Eventually with 10 days to go to the deadline, I decided to write about our Pigs & Pork – Oldfarm Heritage Pork – of course!  Another idea I have is to set myself up as a Virtual Assistant, specializing in e-Marketing for small business owners – you know developing ezines and website content for the busy entrepreneur.  So many of the small business owners I know just don’t have the time or the inclination to keep their websites updated, or to build a marketing strategy using the web.  I enjoy doing this type of work, so the plan is to build on that.  Hopefully, both of these very different ventures can in fact run together and keep me busy!

So this week I worked with a client all day Monday, attended the Offaly Network meeting on Monday night (strange doing that as a delegate rather than as the organiser).  Spent Tuesday and Wednesday literally tied to the computer in order to meet the 5 o’clock on Wednesday deadline for submission.  Got it done with an hour to spare!  Don’t think it was my most inspirational Business Plan but I figure it will be a work in progress and can be revisited when the reality starts to become more of a focus than the theory!  Thursday was catch up day, and then Friday it was off to the National Women’s Enterprise Day in Mullingar.

I have attended this for the last 3 years, and it is a good place to meet people who are starting business.  It was good this year to catch up with colleagues from other Enterprise Boards, who I hadn’t seen in months.  It was also a chance to catch up with people, like Lisa and Fiona, who I only meet at these big networking events – we should perhaps make more of an effort to meet up!

This year they had Rita Shah and Jo Fairley as guest speakers, as well as a group of 5 women who were ‘case studies’.  It was all very inspirational.

Now my challenge is to get focussed and get these two businesses up and running properly!  So this morning I was up at 7.30 writing lists of jobs to be done starting tomorrow morning!  Roll on Monday morning!

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As I am recently unemployed and need to get out there and start searching for business I attended the Offaly Network of Entrepreneurs meeting in Tullamore last night.  This time last year I was Network Manager for the ONE network… so it was different to be at the other side of the table so to speak.  It was also great to meet up with some of the old crew of members and catch up with how this recession is treating them.  While business has slowed down for most, they are all still quite optimistic about hanging in there which is wonderful to hear.  Go for it guys!  It gives those of us who are thinking of starting out on their own heart!

At present I am looking at various options… busy sending out cv’s to all and sundry.  Also considering the idea of setting myself up as a Virtual Assistant, i.e. for those of you who know me of old – revisiting Malahide Secretarial Services.  And boy, is that a journey back in time.  For those who don’t know me that long – my first every journey into self- employment was back in the ’80’s (and yes, that was a recession time too!) when I opened Malahide Secretarial Services doing admin/secretarial jobs for all and sundry.

Well now might be the time to revisit that concept, as companies are loath to take on staff and make all the commitments that that entails (wages, holiday/sick pay, etc.). Now they can employ me to take on a particular project or do the routine stuff that keeps the business owner from building the business.  As that old saying goes ‘no job too big, or too small’.  I can work on projects from home, or it may be more beneficial to work on site.  Contact me!

Besides that of course there is also the free-range pig and pork business.  So in view of attending last night’s meeting which was on the subject of Social Media (delivered by Johnny Beirne), I have spent today trying to put into practice what was learned last night… let’s see how successful I have been at it.  I have signed up to IgoPeople, tweeted (is this a verb now?) and even put a link to this blog on Facebook!  Quite a productive day all told!  Should I now go and put this on Twitter too!  Will do and then must go feed cat – who is now sitting right in front of computer screen… reckon she’s trying to tell me something????

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