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    A memo from Sarah Sharp

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    Sarah Sharp of SmartPA highlights the need for VAs and PAs to harness the power of technology and the importance of adapting to change in order to make yourselves indispensable

    I have been running my own virtual PA business for over a year now. It’s the best thing I ever did for my family life. Family comes first and work fits in around it.

    As a VA, I’m passionate about being organised; I know that’s what motivates me. In my business, I try to standardise all my organisation methods, which in turn means every client gets the same service whether it’s a corporate client or SME business owner. My work history before becoming a SmartPA Partner was mainly in banking. I was with Lloyds Banking Group for over 10 years. Having worked for one of the Big 4 banks, I understand the importance of moving with the times.

    Technology has been attempting to replicate the role of the PA with artificial intelligence, and it’s easy to understand how some may feel that the days of the assistant might be numbered. I firmly believe that we need to adapt and constantly upskill ourselves as we always have done in the past.

    I personally think we live in an amazing era. The technology that is at our finger tips can ensure that we make ourselves invaluable and secure our future.

    I am lucky enough to have the support of a forward-thinking network of PAs behind me. SmartPA is a forward-thinking company that shares my views. We are excited about technology that allows us to communicate in real time, anywhere in the world – technology that allows us access to limitless realms of information.

    In the past, PAs have had to overcome change such as carbon paper, typewriters, computers, fax machines and the dotcom boom. Our predecessors have faced changes that they thought would threaten their livelihoods – but the PA role lives on.

    You cannot deny or avoid it; death and taxes are no longer the only certainties in life – there is also change! Change is happening; we must keep up and adapt to ensure that the new emerging technologies do not threaten our livelihood.

    Make technology your friend. Become indispensable.

    Sarah SharpSarah is a SmartPA Partner and her background is more than 20 years’ experience working within the highly regulated financial services industry. Sarah specialises in working remotely and providing first-class customer service, admin support and business development to her clients. This month Sarah is celebrating her first year in business as a Virtual PA. Twitter: @sarah_smartpa

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson