Role Models and Mentors: Shining Lights on Career Paths

Exceptional EA is proud to showcase Real Careers, in which administrators from around the globe generously share the benefit of their experience. We’ve already made virtual trips to Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, the USA and Wales.

The value of role models or mentors has been acknowledged by many of our first 50 Real Careers alumni … and it’s also not uncommon to hear people expressing a wish that they’d been able to tap in to one earlier in their career.

While we each need to take responsibility for our own career development and growth, mentors and role models help illuminate those paths. This week, as we pause to celebrate the 50 admin. professionals from 16 different countries who have already shared the benefit of their experience and expertise, we’re looking at some of these professionals’ perspectives on people who have served as mentors or role models to them.

Let’s see if you can match the experience with the Real Careers alum …
  1. “She has been mentioned here many times, but Victoria Darragh has been someone I have always looked up to and admired. I feel very fortunate to be able to call her my friend as well as one of my role models. She has pushed herself to the top of our profession, is highly respected and doing amazing things in the industry. I don’t think I would have had as many of the opportunities that I have had without her input. Victoria is closely followed by Lucy Brazier of Executive Secretary Magazine. Lucy has also been a solid role model for me and many others. Championing all PAs and providing education and training (often free, in the form of #AdminChat every week).”
  2. “Over 30 years, I have had three male and eight strong women as line managers. The ladies have all been amazing role models – each one of them unique and extraordinary in their own way. I admire, respect and have been inspired by them in so many ways. Who I am today has without a doubt their imprint – and for that I am so very grateful to all of them. “
  3. “My role model/mentor since starting this job has been and still is Lucy (Brazier) … I was 23 when I started working for Lucy. She saw potential in me at the time that no one else had, and I will never forget that. She is so focused on helping PAs get the recognition they deserve and for me that is really inspiring.”
  4. “My first role model in life was my lovely Mum … As she climbed the career ladder, she taught me values and self-worth. I watched her progress, studying hard in every spare moment while working shifts and taking care of three young daughters and our family home. She was never afraid to roll up her sleeves and muck in with the team when they were short staffed. She said I should always listen, be a caring friend and someone to depend on. She always looked for the good in people and was there to lend a hand to someone in need. I learnt from her that you should never give up; that you should believe in yourself and accept that mistakes are just part of the learning process. “
  5. “There are so many role models now in our industry it’s fantastic, and many are my unofficial mentors. Lucy Brazier and Victoria Darragh have both had a big impact on me and how I view my career, and I hold their advice dearly. I remember how inspired I was the first time I saw Leeanne Graham speak, and Marion Lowrence has been instrumental in my networking activities. All these women have changed and shaped the way I view the role of a PA. There are so many PAs whose advice and friendship I value deeply – it can be an isolating role, and I am grateful for the support and friendship we offer each other.”
  6. “Not one individual in our industry, but networking with like-minded professionals has had a powerful influence on me. Networking PAs/EAs are a force and an inspiration – they are all aspiring to do better, and wanting you to achieve the same. Having said that, my mother was the most hard-working person I have known as she inspired me to achieve the best I can, work hard and never give up.”
  7. “It is only during the past few years that I have found role models and mentors, and cannot believe how I survived without them. I prefer to call them friends but they certainly challenge me, teach me, stretch me and provide a support base that was non-existent for many many years. You have met most of them in Anel Martin, Susan Engelbrecht, Michele Thwaits, Cathy Harris and Lucy Brazier … and a host of other exceptional PAs, including Elaine Olivier, who was a colleague.”
  8. “I did not find many role models in my field until recently when I attended the BEL (Behind Every Leader) conference …  I truly enjoyed learning about EAs who also work in the technology start-up world as I do.”
  9. “I think that, if you have heard Victoria Darragh speak, you will just find something about her that makes you want to do better in your job. Cath Thomas andMarion Lowrence were also of great help when I initially set up Guernsey PA Connect. “

Here are the Real Careers alumni you’ll want to match to these remarks.

 Are you stuck?

You could scan the interviews to which these intelligent and friendly faces belong and, as the week progresses, I’ll match names and faces with the gems published each day this week.

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