At Home with Our Founder Jess

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jessica gardiner executive assistant

Happy Holidays! As we turned 5 this year we decided to get 5 minutes with our Founder Jess, an ex Executive Assistant of 12 years, ahead of the festive season…

What inspired you to create The Assistant Room?

There is SO much I could say on this so instead, check out my Founders video.

You can watch the video and subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

What have you enjoyed about running The Assistant Room over the last 5 years?

Wow, where do I start?! Knowing that we have provided authentic support to thousands of people makes my office one of my favourite places. That and our podcast studio. Whether it’s helping people to achieve a pay rise, mentor them through having a difficult conversation with their boss or help them to learn a new skill, my job is very special.

In terms of big projects –

  1. We have launched an award winning podcast which was an evolution of our written PA Diaries series
  2. Developed an incredible events series The Assistant Room Live which combines networking, two workshops and a panel discussion. All live streamed to people around the world!
  3. Built and launched a membership platform
  4. Successfully redesigned and rebuilt the website not once but TWICE

You can listen and subscribe to our podcast here. You can sign up to our membership here.

The support we provide is still in line with my original motto back from 2016. The Assistant Room exists to provide PAs the support and resources they have always asked for but never received. Thinking back to my PA days, if TAR existed I’m sure I would have been happier and felt more supported in my career.

What is the secret to your success in not only running but creating and growing a global brand?

Resilience and perseverance. Describing exactly what it takes to run a global brand is difficult but out of all the skills I developed as a PA, the resilience and perseverance it took to manage executives definitely contributes to my ability to run a business.

Another thing I would say is that The Assistant Room has never been about me and it never will. That’s not the point of it. The brand has remained authentic to its mission and it’s still the go-to place I wish had existed when I was a PA.

Having a reactive and proactive approach to what our subscribers and members want is important. It allows us to react to what people are looking for. It’s not unusual that we have a member ask us for help with something work related. Within 48 hours we can create a workshop or can provide mentoring on that topic to help them overcome a challenge or reach success. That to me is really exciting and positions us as the best in the support industry.

What has been your biggest challenge throughout the COVID-19 pandemic?

I would undoubtedly say trying to balance running a business in an economy that is failing while handling the loss of a family member to COVID. That was hard and put a lot into perspective.

While there have been many challenges there have also been huge successes. My biggest success has been the incredibly successful launch of our membership platform. Building and developing a product that was so desperately needed and launching it during a time of such extreme uncertainty wasn’t easy but oh my god am I proud. Over the last 18 months we have welcomed hundreds of members on board from over 17 countries and we continue to develop the offering across our workshops, career masterclasses and at our online and in-person networking events.

What will Christmas look like for you?

For the first time in 5 years my partners family are with us for Christmas from Arizona so that will be a lot of fun. There will be lots of champagne, presents and a three course Christmas lunch. It’s my favourite time of the year and I intend on making the absolute most of it with the people I love the most.

Can you tell us about your plans for 2022?

There are some exceptionally exciting plans for 2022 which I can’t say too much about but I can give you some clues. Look out for season 2 of our podcast and the expansion of our membership platform into even more corporate organisations. Our in-person events will return and we will be launching something VERY special. Ruffling feathers will be at the top of my agenda in 2022.

What advice would you give to people ahead of the New Year?

Stay grounded and focus on what’s important. If you’re feeling anxious, vulnerable and confused at what the next few months looks like, remember – you’re trying your best and you’re not alone. If you can get through the last two years, you can get through anything.

Oh, and sign up to our membership! It’s flexible, affordable and will help you develop your skills as to be the best PA your boss has ever had 10x faster than any other other training platform in the world. Especially with objectives being set for next year, it’s literally the perfect time to join and get that support to hit those objectives.

You can sign up to our membership here.