The Australian VA Conference – Are You Thinking of Starting a New Career?
If you would’ve asked me during my pregnancy with my first born that I would be a business owner as a way of earning money for my family and during my pregnancy with my second child I would’ve said you’re crazy. But that is exactly where I have landed and I want to share with fellow Brisbane mums that it’s something that is possible for you too. No, it’s not via MLM or sales or Tupperware, it’s purely built on my previous skills back in my corporate life pre children.
My first pregnancy was a perfect storm of huge life events, redundancy from my long term permanent administration manager role, terminal illness of a parent and trying to find suitable work during my pregnancy to help with the financial stress that all of these elements were providing.
Then following the birth of my child when he was about 5 months old the financial strain began to show and I then started looking at re-entering the workforce. What I discovered was that there wasn’t the right roles to fit with my new life situation (being a career administration support person part-time is rare because anyone who has worked in admin knows that you’re expected to be attached to your desk 40 hours a week and at the beck and call of the managers/staff you’re supporting).
So in the meantime I found myself leaning more towards temp roles which of course made planning day care and stability difficult. This went on for a good 9 months doing the juggle when by chance I met the person that would become my first (and still current) client who couldn’t put me on in their business but instead wanted me to come in and assist their then current administration employee with overflow tasks and setting up systems and processes to help their business. This was my lightbulb moment because I was so tired of making money for the recruitment agencies (and getting paid absolute minimum to do so) and having to drop my child at daycare at the drop of a hat because roles would come up that day.
Work and Mum Life – “The Juggle”
Work and Mum Life are two worlds that are a constant juggle, and with the online marketplace exploding it seems there’s more options than before for any Mum wanting to try the work from home route or try their hand at being a “Mumpreneur”. However the whole MLM or Tupperware or selling of products via Etsy doesn’t suit everyone. There is an option for you to use your skills that you had in your previous working life before children, you need to acknowledge what your strengths are and how you can translate them into building your own business.
It’s a hard market out there for any kind of part-time or full-time employment for Mums reentering the workforce – I’ve lost count of friends and fellow Mums recently that I’ve had the discussion with that they either were made redundant during maternity leave or have returned from maternity leave to find their work just isn’t cutting it for them and their family situation anymore.
I was in the same boat in mid 2016, being a career administration professional without a permanent role to return to and working in the temporary pool to help make ends meet. By chance I fell into the self-employment world of being a Virtual Assistant and I haven’t looked back (and I’ll be honest, I’m pretty sure I’m never going to return back to the traditional employment land from this point).
Right now I’m taking maternity leave from my own business after having my second child and thanks to my fabulous clients I’ve been able to do this. When I am ready I will be reopening my virtual doors and all of my previous clients have asked that I get in touch when I do. It doesn’t guarantee that I will be returning to a full roster but my goodness it’s a fabulous feeling knowing that I’ve made those meaningful connections and I have the option to do so. A very different scenario from when I last went on maternity leave!!
Becoming a Virtual Assistant
It took me a good 6-9 months of researching and feeling my way around the virtual assistant industry but there was one event I attended in 2017 that absolutely transformed my understanding and own business ambitions (you can read my run down of the conference here).
The even better news is that this conference is coming to Brisbane in 2018.
This conference is a great start for any Mums of Brisbane who are looking for the right work from home scenario if you have previously been in employment within any administration support capacity. For any Mums that are toying with the idea of becoming a virtual assistant this conference will ensure you don’t waste the time and energy as I did in my start and jump straight in with great information and make contacts within the industry.
The Australian Virtual Assistants Conference 2018 is being held at Hotel Grand Chancellor Brisbane, Spring Hill on 16-17 March 2018 and the website can be found at here
This year the AVAC 2018 program is proving to be bigger and better than ever. The two day conference is being emceed by the wonderful Katrena Friel and is packed full of engaging speakers with must-know topics to share with the delegates.
Even if you’re just starting out or not yet in your virtual assistant business the Friday night dinner is a great evening to come along to (hello, adult child-free dinner and conversations and drinkies if you so wish) because it’s a great opportunity to get to know people outside of the confines of the conference and make real-life connections with people you may only interact with virtually!
Lots to do at AVA This Year
The topics covered at the conference can also apply to any mum who works from home, not just virtual assistants, so if any of the speakers or topics pique your interest single day tickets are also available. You can read more in depth details about the speakers and their topics on the conference website as there will be more to be announced in the lead up to the conference.
So far there are speakers covering topics such as how to use video to market your business (Kate Norris from Presentation Boss), better fitting your work role into your other roles such as parent, child, spouse and “make now count” for your clients (Derek Rowe from Derek Consulting) and Cut the crap: Smart writing in the digital world (Amanda Vanelderen from WorkWords).
So if you are a Mum of Brisbane who has been toying with the idea of working from home with your little one and the idea of administration and virtual assistants is something that is of interest to you, then this conference is definitely at the top of my recommended to-do’s for you. This conference gave my confidence and skills such a huge boost last year and I wish I had have known about it much earlier because the knowledge and contacts I gained from attending have been priceless.
Also, if you have questions or would like someone to talk to because you’re starting out or thinking about wanting to start out please feel free to get in touch with me!
Korryn Haines is an administration ninja with over 10 years of administrative experience in a wide range of industries. Based in Brisbane and founder of Encore Admin Consulting, she provides virtual assistant services to small businesses and solopreneurs. She loves a nice big pot of tea, smashing out a BodyPump class and spending time with her two children, husband and Cocker Spaniel. Connect with her on her blog on her Website, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.