Nikki Holland

After achieving my diploma in Office Studies at the age of 18, I was still unsure what kind of career I wanted and still had dreams of being an air stewardess or a model.

So being more realistic I applied for various office roles and was pleased to secure a job working for a direct marketing company booking the inserts into magazines. It was an interesting and exciting role but unfortunately after 18 months the company went into liquidation – not a great start my working life!

I was fortunate a find a new position working for a company called Digital Equipment, now known as Hewlett Packard. My position was a Sales Administrator which involved travelling the UK working on their stands at computer exhibitions. I stayed with the company for 8 years working my way up the ladder until I left to have my daughter Emily. After a 5 year career break and a move to Jersey I took a part time role at a local trust company in a secretarial role which enabled me to get back into the working environment and build up my confidence.

After 2 years I knew I was ready to get back into full time employment so took a position as PA to the CEO of Airtel-Vodafone. The company were newly established on the island so it was just me and the CEO in a rented office where we started to build the company from scratch. This gave me a useful introduction to recruiting staff, marketing, finance, and setting up an office and generally helped me develop the skills I now call on today. Two years later we were able to roll out the network to Channel Island paying customers, an achievement that still excites me to this day.

As a result of this successful venture, I was approached by several HNWI’s and because I always like a challenge, I accepted. I was sad to leave Airtel-Vodafone but after six years I knew it was time to take the next step on my career ladder.

Over the next two years I worked for two HNWI’s. Both roles were demanding but a challenge is something I have never shied away from. The roles were complex and involved coordinating meetings in various locations all over the world so I had to be super organised which of course I am! As much as I enjoyed the roles I still felt that there was something more to be achieved.

I was approached by a friend who advised me to apply for a role at PwC as PA to the Senior Territory Partner. At the interview I realised that this was a position that played to all my strengths and would allow me to develop further management responsibilities. Fortunately, PwC felt the same way and I joined the company in September 2014. The role, as I hoped, soon grew and enabled me to take on the added responsibility of managing the Secretaries/PAs, then in 2016 I was promoted to Office Services Manager/PA adding Facilities and Reception to the Office Services team.

As I have mentioned previously, I like a challenge and had noticed that Jersey didn’t have a network for the PA community so I decided to start one myself. I successfully launched The PA Network Jersey in July 2016 enabling 250 PA/EA/VA and office managers to meet and share their knowledge and experience on a regular basis. We have had some amazing speakers, training seminars and fun social events but the stand out event so far has been our International Women’s Day event in 2018 which PwC kindly sponsored. It was attended by over 150 people from all sectors of the community, the feedback was amazing so much so we are running it again this year where one of the topics up for discussion is how gender equality in the workplace benefits the economy, organisations and women themselves. The network ended 2018 on a high by being shortlisted for External PA Network of the Year at the Manchester PA Network awards in November which was great way to put Jersey and the Channel Islands firmly on the map.

I am proud to have had an extensive and varied career and look forward to the challenges to come.