Former HR manager Melanie Peck has found that motherhood has given her the career break she needed to take on a new challenge - launching a new business 'DoMyStuff' which makes the most of her skills and experience.
She explained: “I had reached a new phase in my life and was looking for a new role that would enable me to spend more time with my two-year-old, Lilith, who was born three months early. She’s fine now but we had a difficult first few months. I wanted to continue making the most of my skills that I have developed after years working in a corporate environment.”
It was through a soul-searching conversation with her husband Andrew that Melanie, 41, came up with the idea of becoming a virtual assistant - with her business DoMyStuff providing a flexible and professional service to a wide variety of clients.
“I can provide support to small to medium sized businesses with administration, human resources and recruitment support. Those running small businesses can often find that a great deal of their working day is taken up by having to deal with a lot of small administrative tasks that mean they spend less time focussing on doing the job they love. By employing me, clients can outsource a lot of those tasks - be it diary keeping or organising travel arrangements - in fact I am happy to help with any tasks as long as it is ethical and legal!”
Since launching DoMyStuff, the business has seen steady growth, with Melanie taking on a range of different clients. Melanie’s current customers range from small business owners to those in the creative industries.
“I love this kind of work. I suppose you could say I’m super organised, I’m a stickler for detail and I good at prioritising what needs to be done. It’s a very exciting time for the business and I’m aware that there are a lot of potential clients out there who could benefit from the service that I can offer.”
Melanie explained that the advantage of hiring a virtual assistant, a sector which has seen rapid growth in recent years, is that clients do not need to consider the extra costs and responsibility of taking on an employee. There are no pensions, NI contributions, holidays or sick pay to consider because DoMyStuff only charges an hourly rate. And because the business model is so flexible, it means that clients can recruit someone with the skills of an experienced and qualified HR consultant and PA - taking on that expertise only when it suits them.
“It’s also ideal for me. Having a young child, I felt it was very important that I could be around as much possible to be there for her and be a great mum to her.”
Melanie has a wealth of experience to draw on in her new role; she began her working life in Durham where she worked in recruitment before moving to France. While living abroad she made a living working in property management and also running a gourmet food export business. On returning to the UK, she worked as a PA and also qualified as an HR manager.
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