It’s A Funny Thing About Life

So … it has been a strange week, not least because of a very random headhunting experience.

I got a call from a local and high profile individual who had been without an EA for 6 months … first question stored up for the end of the conversation!

I had been recommended to him by my old boss – the challenging yet surprisingly lovely MP who had had 5 PA’s in 18 months before I went to work for him. So much to say about why I fared better than my predecessors but that is for another blog, for now back to the story …

Cue a delightful and brain stretching hour and a half conversation with said individual. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to say enough here to make it obvious who he is but sufficient to say a great mind with a huge amount of knowledge about a range of things I can only wonder at.

My favourite part of the conversation was comparing the dynamic of the Greek gods to the players in any corporate governance situation. Fascinating! Perhaps not to many but I am a classics geek and even 20 years after graduating I never fail to be excited by meeting someone I can talk to about it 😉

Anyway  – lots to be positive about.

Intelligent, clearly passionate about his cause (very far to the left of alternative, even for Stroud!) and thoroughly engaging. I had a nagging concern about the fact he steadfastly didn’t use a computer or email … ‘How could you possibly conduct a (clearly very successful) professional life by phone and text’ the voice in my head was loudly asking!

But he was making all the right noises about wanting someone who could have a  very active and intelligent input in his life and academic pursuits.

All great so far … so why is she blogging about it I hear you ask. And here it is

So, Julie. You seem a bit too smart to be ‘in service’, how do you deal with the resentment?’


Wow! No longer any need to ask why he had been without an EA for six months!

Needless to say I don’t think of myself that way – I am a hard working, intelligent, knowledgeable professional who delights in the challenge and on going learning opportunities that my role supporting, enhancing and enabling the goals of the never-endingly interesting brain trust offers.

It is an occupational hazard that any PA/ EA will recognise that you have to deal with those that think you are a glorified typist – being naturally overloaded with emotional intelligence means you learn to spot and avoid such ignorance early on in your careers!

So what did I do?

This created a pause for thought … I have a son just finishing his first year in a 4 year Physics degree, an 8 year old with an expensive teddy bear habit, more animals than you can shake a stick at and a house that doesn’t pay for itself.

So I thought about all of the options and decided that there will be other opportunities and the right thing will come along at the right time. So I was bold, and I was brave  and I turned down the proper face to face interview with his exec team that he offered me … 3 TIMES!

The moral of my random story this week – believe in yourself and never EVER sell yourself short.

I (we all) deserve to work for/ with someone who values and respects what we do.

Don’t settle!