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Davina

Davina, Executive Assistant

Davina, 33 is an Executive Assistant at an Executive Search firm in London. She lives in London with her husband and 2 sons, aged 2 years old and 6 months.

How I start my day…

My alarm typically goes off at 5am.  I first feed the fishes and get a bottle ready for when my youngest gets up. I make sure I’m ready for when the boys wake up at 6am and my husband and I will get them both ready for 6:45am so we can drop the kids off at my parents. Routine is really important for us; with kids, you need to have a good system in place!

I’m responsible for…

I’m responsible for a partner (who is a consultant too) and one other consultant. My responsibilities include ensuring their diaries are managed carefully and concisely. Diaries can be forever changing and you have to always be on top of it. Consultants depend on you being on top of your game, so you have to always be one step ahead and making sure you know what’s to come. Getting meetings in the diary are so very key!

How I got my job…

Before I started at my current firm, I was actually on maternity leave and for me, this was the perfect opportunity to start a fresh. I was looking for something to fit around my new family commitments and had the right work/life balance that I needed to accommodate my life style. It was an unexpected surprise that I received a message from Lucy at C&C Search and she told me about me about this amazing opportunity. One registration and two interviews later, here I am today!

My typical day…

My usual morning ritual is, grab a venti hot chocolate and be at my desk by 8:10am! I will look through my emails and flag all that needs to be actioned.

I will print off the both consultant’s calendars and make sure I’m on top of what’s happening that day. I will have my to do list already done the day before and I will look through the list in order to prioritise my day. I am trying my best to get out at lunch, but at the moment that hour is usually spent doing my own personal admin! Every day is different which I love – no two days are the same! By 5pm I’m starting to wind down and see what tomorrow will look like for both my consultants.

My most memorable work moment…

My most memorable work moment was in 2014 when I went back to work after maternity leave. I had huge anxiety and it felt like I was going back to the unknown! I didn’t know what I was going to face or the changes that lay ahead. I think I spent the first day staring at the computer and I literally didn’t know what I was doing – every day I felt I was seeing a different face! It did take a good couple of months for me to get back to my normal self!

The worst part of my job…

For me the worst part is being new and not knowing the best practices and systems! The fundamentals of being an EA are the same from job to job but in each organisation the processes are different. So getting your head around that and being a newbie is challenging!

The best part of my job…

It’s the variety and responsibility that I have! I like that I can build on relationships with colleagues and clients. Essentially you’re supporting your executive so that they are able to perform their job more effectively.

After work…

After work my second job starts! I leave work by 5:20pm and I’m off to pick up the boys! I would like to say I have time to socialise and watch some TV, but at the moment it’s spent trying to get the boys to sleep and quickly making dinner. After the boys are asleep I tidy up and I try my best to be in bed by 10pm!

My Plan B: Tourism!

My plan B would have been doing something with languages! I really wanted to do my degree in German and do something in tourism.

 

Do you want to feature in the next edition? If you are a PA, Office Manager, Receptionist, HR Specialist or anything similar we want to hear from you!

Email: amy@candcsearch.co.uk

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Joanna

Joanna, Executive Assistant

Joanna, 27, is an Executive Assistant to the COO/ President and the Global Head of Compliance at a an international cross border payments company in London. She lives in Essex with her boyfriend (and hopefully soon two sausage dog puppies!)

How I start my day…

My alarm goes off at 6.30am and I immediately hit the snooze button…With work recently getting a lot busier, due to one of my bosses stepping into a new role, I’ve been trying to squeeze in a quick workout at home before the start of a busy day. This really helps me feel refreshed and ready for the day. I’m actually quite quick at getting ready (although my boyfriend might disagree!) so after a quick 30 minute workout, another 30 minutes later and I am out the door. I live in Essex so my commute to work is about an hour door to door on an overground train and like many of the train providers, it is often delayed! Thankfully, I usually have my earphones in listening to some music and reading a good book, which makes the journey go that little bit quicker.

I’m responsible for…

I am currently the Executive Assistant to the COO/ President and the Global Head of Compliance. My main responsibility is arranging their days down to the minute and helping them with anything they might need. My job is to make their lives easier and keep their days running smoothly. As they are both members of the Executive team, their diaries are both extremely busy and back to back most days. On a normal week, I maintain their diaries, act as gatekeeper, minute meetings and organise international travel for them both.

How I got my job…

I got my job through a PA job agency that also hired another EA that I work closely with. I started my career as a Receptionist originally, working my way up to an Administration Assistant to a Personal Assistant and now an Executive Assistant. I started my current role at the end of 2015, having worked for a large insurance company for their Group CEO and Group Treasurer for over 5 years. Having this executive experience was a great insight as to how senior executives work and I think one of the main reasons why I acquired my new job was due to the exposure I have had to top level executives and how well I can deal with people at any level.

My typical day…

…is hectic, organised chaos, I liked to think of it as. As any PA/ EA will know, no two days in a week are the same. One day I can be booking diary appointments non-stop all day, the next I can be organising a business trip to Ghana for a team of executives and then arranging a team offsite day, researching and visiting possible venues across London. My day usually starts by checking my inbox and also my bosses, as we are an international company with a large part of our company based in New York, a lot of emails come in overnight so I think it is best to keep myself up to speed with everything going on. We have a great admin team and thankfully my colleague and fellow EA Amy, along with the rest of the admin team and those I sit around keep me sane and laughing during an extremely busy day.

My most memorable work moment…

There have been quite a few actually, from being asked to speak at my first conference, to heading up a hot topic discussion at the Office* show 2016, but more recently when myself and a couple of the other girls in the admin team pitched in to help our marketing team with an Investor day we had coming up. Our Head of Marketing was on holiday at the time so it was all hands on deck to ensure a smooth and successful Investor day was held. Myself, Amy and Casselle (our top notch Office manager) went to the venue early to double check everything was in place and set up. Once guests arrived, we had a smooth and seamless process in place to ensure that every part of the day kept to time. Once the day was over, there was a cocktail reception to follow, we all stayed behind to clean up and gather all of our company merchandise to take back to the office, not before one the Executives presented the three of us with a well-deserved glass of prosecco! To thank us for our hard work and coincidentally to celebrate National Administrative persons day! It was nice to get some recognition and I really enjoyed working closely with such a great team.

The worst part of my job…

I think that the worst part of being an EA in general is feeling underappreciated and not being able to explain how much you really do. I think that an EA in a smaller environment sometimes gets involved in a lot of additional projects that perhaps in a larger company would be someone else’s job. This can be a positive as well though, as it gives you the opportunity to think outside the box or rather, work outside your box and comfort zone. For instance, if I ever get any free time, I help the marketing team with writing bios for any upcoming speaking events that our executive team might be attending or speaking at. I love this opportunity as I really enjoy writing, so it is nice to be able to do this as well as my usual EA role when time permits. A lot of the time others do not fully understand what it is that EA’s do on a daily basis and how involved and varied their job can be. This can sometimes make it difficult to say no to others as you want to be helpful but sometimes you just do not have the time as your boss is your top priority.

The best part of my job…

The best part of my job is being busy, as mad as that might seem to some. I actually quite like when you look at the clock and it is suddenly 2pm and you haven’t moved from your desk or even had lunch as you’ve been too busy working away to realise where the morning has gone! When I was younger and first starting out in the City, I was in a role that meant you had plenty of time on your hands and boredom can drive you crazy! So for me personally, being busy is great. Yes it can be stressful at times but it gives you a great deal of self-worth and a sense of achievement when you realise just how much you have accomplished in one day. I also love the variety that is involved within an EA role, as I said before with no two days the same (and busy!) it is impossible to get bored!

After work…

After work I jump onto the sofa! Once I’ve finally finished the commute home and endured the delayed, busy trains, there is nothing better than getting home and putting your feet up! I’m lucky enough that my boyfriend does most of the cooking in our household so I get a chance to get in and chill for at least 5 minutes, before usually one or both of us are rushing out the door to meet our friends or family. I love to socialise and catch up with my friends but sometimes after a long hard day at work, there is nothing better than going out for a nice dinner or even staying in with a takeaway and a glass of wine!

My Plan B…

My dad always told me that he thought I’d make a great lawyer as I have a passion for winning an argument and getting my point across, but sadly the idea of spending years and years study was put on the back burner when I started working part time at the age of 15 whilst still at school. Once I realised the freedom that came from working and earning your own money, my sights were set on joining the working world ASAP. I still have this passion for working and can’t ever imagine a life in which I didn’t work. I’d love to follow in my families footsteps and have my own company one day…in what, I have no idea but I absolutely adore writing so would love to utilise this one day and maybe even get some more of my own work published.

Do you want to feature in the next edition? If you are a PA, Office Manager, Receptionist, HR Specialist or anything similar we want to hear from you!

Email: amy@candcsearch.co.uk









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Our partnership with Tomorrow’s People benefiting individuals, society and the economy

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Lucy Chamberlain, 08 June 2016

Our partnership with the organisation Tomorrow’s People has created an impact that has extended far beyond what we originally anticipated when Ed and I founded C&C Search.

It is one of the most immediately tangible qualities that make C&C Search unique and that sets us apart from our competitors. We have seen much wider benefits as a business too which has included increased loyalty from clients; some of which have undertaken significant pro-bono project work for Tomorrow’s People. Our team are also more enriched in terms of their personal development and sense of worth as a result. For Ed and I it has become part of the DNA of the business and what makes us who we are.

We are about to launch a work experience programme which will give our clients the opportunity to offer invaluable work experience placements for the clients of Tomorrow’s People and additionally we are also committing to having work experience clients here at C&C Search on an on-going basis.

What can you do?

Tomorrow’s People need more Ambassadors…Business people, employers, peers, among others. Well-connected people who are fully engaged with their communities and want to make London a better place by helping Tomorrow’s People to get unemployed adults and young people into work. A key area of support that they require is in identifying vacancies and work experience opportunities for their clients and increasing support for their work around the country.

Why support Tomorrow’s People?

To coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the charity’s creation, the Diageo Foundation and Tomorrow’s People commissioned Oxford Economic Forecasting (OEF) to undertake an independent economic evaluation of its work.

Over the past two decades around 382,000 people have been helped by Tomorrow’s People in their quest to move out of long-term unemployment through mentoring, advice and general information received. In the early days, help in finding a job was given through delivery of training and work experience schemes. In recent years, the approach has centred directly upon getting the hardest-to-reach people into work.

On total investment of £285 million in today’s prices, Oxford Economic Forecasting estimates the benefits to society from the work of Tomorrow’s People are around £450 million, reflecting:

  • Savings in expenditure on benefits of around £190 million – particularly the reduction in expenditure on Job Seekers’ Allowance.
  • Additional tax receipts of £130 million – from both direct and indirect taxes, offset to some extent by additional expenditure on in-work tax credits.
  • A reduction in health expenditure of around £30 million.
  • A reduction in the costs of crime of around £60 million.
  • Benefits from training of around £30 million.
  • A reduction in government administration costs of around £10 million.

The return on the investment made by Tomorrow’s People is therefore 160%.

If you are interested in having a direct discussion with Tomorrow’s People about their work experience programme, please email amy@candcsearch.co.uk

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