Interview: PA Life Club Member of the Year 2020 Finalist: Karen Crowley, Baily Garner

Karen is the PA to Andy Tookey, the Managing Partner of Baily Garner, a construction consultancy covering a majority of the UK with offices in both Eltham and Birmingham.

PA Life spoke with Karen about how she secured her current position and her thoughts on PA Life Club…

How did you get your current job?

In 2007, one of the local newspapers had an advertisement for a Project Team Administrator, (I wanted a complete change from working in law and wanted to work closer to home) for which I applied and was successful.

Within a couple of months one of the Equity Partners asked me to become his PA and I have been his PA ever since. In 2016 there was a Management change within the company and the Equity Partner I work for became Managing Partner.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I have many highlights but two that are forefront are:

When I was around 23 I was working as a legal secretary and had not long had my daughter. As well as working full time and looking after my daughter I studied, gaining my Institute of Legal Executives Part 1 certificate which earned me a promotion to Litigation Executive at the company I was working for.

Another highlight includes the learning and development in my current position. I was asked to take over and produce our ISO14001 Environmental Management System, which I successfully carried out and our accreditation was passed and continued last summer during lockdown.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

Always give 100% commitment and work ethic and you will always be rewarded.

And what advice would you give someone looking to forge a career in this industry?

It’s a great career choice if you like variety of tasks, are organised and are willing to work hard. Learn by your mistakes and remember there is never a stupid question.

Why did you join PA Life Club and what do you enjoy most?

Our Head Office is based on the outskirts of London and as many of our events and meetings are held in Central London, I thought it would be great to have a network of PAs for recommendations of suppliers and restaurants, together with attending social events and getting to see venues first hand, which I really enjoy.

PA Life Club has been invaluable to me, forming contacts and providing continued learning and ideas through various seminars and webinars.

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