Jenni is our Passionate PA based in Dorchester. She joined us in January 2018 and after a rollercoaster 5 years of personal and professional development, is delighted to share she will be a Passionate PA for a further 5 years!
This is Jenni’s very personal story of finding “a constant” during a tremendously turbulent period in her personal life, and why the decision to remain with #TeamPassionatePA was actually pretty simple.
Our franchisor, Kate Chastey, said “I have watched Jenni blossom as a Passionate PA over the last 5 years. She has found herself again, and strength I don’t think either of us knew she had at the beginning. Jenni is a wonderful woman and an incredibly Passionate PA, I’m beyond delighted she has renewed her Franchise Agreement. She is an asset to her clients – and she’s an asset to us!”
Starting all over again – Jenni’s Story
Around 6 years ago, my life reached a point where I knew things had to change. Having once had a thriving career, like many women, I had put “professional me” on hold to bring up my children. But in 2017 my children were 15 and 12 and growing up fast! I was needed by them less and less and my part-time job as a Facilities Co-ordinator for a well-known chain of travel agents was giving me little to no job satisfaction. My marriage was stalling too, and I was heading into my 40s feeling like my life was in freefall.
But what could I do?
Even though my children were growing up, my daughter was a national level competitive swimmer, so I had the responsibility of 4.30am starts and late evenings by the pool as well as competitions at weekends all over the country. I knew that a full-time employed role would be unsustainable, especially if it involved a commute.
I threw myself into my volunteer role as the Club Secretary for my daughter’s large swimming club and this gave me the satisfaction that I craved – but for no pay! By using the skills I had garnered over 20 years of my professional career, I was able to work with a small team to turn an ailing swimming club into a profitable organisation and we guided the club through many many challenges – I needed to use every ounce of energy and passion I had to keep the club going. And whilst I loved the challenge that this role gave me, I knew I needed to throw that passion and ambition into a paid role!
And then the lightbulb moment…
Whilst pondering this conundrum over a coffee with my friend and successful business owner, Ally Case, Ally pointed me in the direction of The Passionate PA. Ally tagged me in a post seeking a Bournemouth franchisee and I immediately reached out to Kate. We hit it off immediately. I knew this was it – the ability to build my own business but work the hours I needed to on a freelance basis, working around my family, and at first, still maintaining my volunteer role.
Getting off the ground wasn’t easy, and Kate and I faced many barriers, but finally, in January 2018, I got there. I signed the Franchise Contract and I was officially a Passionate PA franchisee!
I’ll be really honest, at first I struggled with the commitment required to maintain the standards of the franchise, but I then learnt that this only serves to ensure I am the best version of myself and delivering my best work – achieving the success I so desired. Franchising is the ultimate way of working in my opinion – the choice to work when you want, with whom you want and create a lifestyle business, but at the same time the backing and support of a ‘Head Office’ structure.
Where am I now?
That was 5 years ago, and I can honestly say, I haven’t looked back. It has NOT been easy, I can promise you that. In the 5 years since becoming a Passionate PA, I have faced the toughest of personal circumstances; my marriage eventually broke, we faced a global pandemic, I moved house and became a single Mum. I look back and wonder how I ever got through.
But The Passionate PA has been a constant. I love working with my loyal clients. The role I take on for ambitious leaders is very rewarding and I’m entirely in control of my earnings.
When the time came to renew my contract as a franchisee or move onto pastures new, there was no questions. As I enter my next 5 year chapter as a Passionate PA, life couldn’t be better. I feel like I have all my confidence back – I’m just a wiser, more mature version of the ambitious girl I once was.
I am now in a wonderful relationship with a supportive partner, I have moved 25 miles away to a new town and built a whole new life with our blended families. I also have the client set of dreams. I earn an excellent income and have the ability to push that further when my (now 3!) children fly the nest.
I love my work and now throw all my energy and passion into life as a business owner. I have the backing of an amazing and incredible team of Passionate PAs and we are sharing the journey with all of its ups and downs. Each of us treading a unique path, but do you know what… I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else, with anyone else!
You can find out more about Jenni by clicking here!
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