Kathy Carrington, CAP-OM
My professional background evolved by having the courage to take calculated risks to create a foundation for success. My strategy was to accept jobs with challenging work so I could develop a versatile skillset. I didn’t allow myself to get too comfortable so when there was no more room for growth, I moved on. I understood at a young age, there is no reward without taking risks.
The first decade of my career, I served in administrative roles in the business office of industries such as education, manufacturing, healthcare, printing distribution, advertising specialties, human resources software development, and information technology. Because of this diversity, I acquired a wide-ranging skill set from which I serve my clients.
While I worked closely with executives and business owners, I knew business ownership would be in my future. The path appeared when I found AssistU. This course was the on-ramp to self-employment. I am a huge fan of AssistU and maintain a connection with this elite community of virtual assistants.
In June 2001, I launched Executive Virtual Assistance (EVA). Within six months I replaced the income from my corporate job. I provided c-level administrative support to small business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals throughout the United States and internationally. I never experienced a shortage of business during these 13 years and I am grateful for rave reviews from my clients.
At the end of year 13, I realized it had been a long time since I enjoyed going to my desk to work. After much contemplation, I decided to close EVA and reenter corporate America. Within a week of posting my resume online, I was snatched up by a 2.1-billion-dollar company. It was a good job with great pay and benefits. I supported the CEO who, always the consummate professional, treated me with respect.
In a short period of time I realized I had outgrown the traditional role of an executive assistant. At first, the relief of not carrying the weight of an entire business felt good, but being over-qualified and trying to squish myself into their job description made me shrink a little every day. Still, I consider the journey a successful one because I rediscovered myself and I made new friends. I also took this time to sit for the CAP-OM certification exams (my previous certification had expired) to demonstrate my skills are advanced and up-to-date.
This time period also freed up energy to date (I’d been single for 12 years) which led to getting married. My husband, Richard Spence, is a retired AT&T engineer who now drives a school bus to stay busy, and he gets summers off with pay. Great perk, right! Shortly before we married in December 2015, we agreed I would leave my job – to adjust to married life, do a little traveling, get our new home in order – with the goal of returning to self-employment at the right time. To prepare I worked with a high-performance coach, from Brendan Burchard’s group, who taught me how to master high performance without burnout.
I thrive on the collaboration and opportunities presented in business ownership so this is where I’ll stay. The strategy of working with other businesses in a virtual environment is brilliant. Self-employment is where I have the freedom necessary to shine the brightest. As a virtual assistant, being of service creates synchronicity with what I value most…helping others.
On the personal side, I live in a small town with the neighborly feel of ‘Maybury’ with my husband and two cats, Winnie and Pooh. When I’m not working, you’ll find me at home chilling with a good book, watching a movie, tending to my dozen or so indoor plants, or outdoor flower gardens, or in the kitchen cooking up a delicious meal. To express my creativity I like to cook, sing, write, draw/sketch, and recently I’ve taken up oil painting.
My favorite activity is our monthly family game night. My daughters and their families gather at my house for a big dinner and an evening of laughter and friendly competition. Nothing better than having fun with the people I love most.
Giving back is important to me. I’m a consistent supporter of our local charities with donations. I’m about to embark on volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time and a local build is happening making it an ideal time to get involved. If I had a bucket list, it would never end. There’s too much to experience to fit on a list so my goal is to stay open, say yes more than I say no, and embrace life fully every day.