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PA, Potter and Parent


July 30, 2015

On a Monday I’m a Virtual PA working from home, shifting diaries, booking restaurants, firing off a thousand emails and making the odd phone call. On a Tuesday I’m looking after my two boys, running round the park, making packed lunches and enjoying my time with them. Wednesday comes around and I’m logging back on as a VPA. Thursdays are my days to escape into my pottery in my back garden and dream of the day when I can turn my passion into a business. Here comes Friday and I’m a PA again, this time a traditional PA, based in an office and doing the London commute. My week is a whirlwind, sometimes frantic but I’ve designed it that way.

Right now I have the perfect balance. Working as a Virtual PA enables me to be the person I want to be, doing the nursery drops and still getting to my kitchen office by 9.30 to do a day’s work. I can get eight hours of work done in five. There are no distractions and I can have Radio 4 on whilst wading through the ever growing to-­do­-list! At 3pm I close my laptop and skip off to pick up my children, excited to hear about what pasta shapes they stuck onto paper and how many snails they found in the woodlands.

The best thing is that the flexibility gives me more time to do what I really love. My pottery is my haven. A rickety little shed at the back of my garden, covered in clay dust and glaze splatters. A place where all my corporate and maternal experiences are left at the door and it’s just me, a lump of clay and the freedom to create.

Being freelance is flexible and rewarding. You seek the work you want and commit to it with gusto. Being virtual is another level. It gives me the freedom to move. Move within the parameters that I set and which technology allows. I get the satisfaction and interaction of being a professional but in my space and around my life. It works. It works amazingly well.

Emily Merritt is an Associate at Hoxby , a Virtual PA, a talented potter and mum to two boys aged one and three. Have a look at her pottery on her website.

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