Jennifer Gibbard, Owner of Jennifer Gibbard Virtual Assistant
Helping you take back control of your admin
My business is a fledgling endeavour – being under a year old – and my journey to its ownership has been less than ‘textbook’!
The story of my career can be told in two chapters. The first was the time I spent in the travel industry. After graduating with a degree in Philosophy & Criminology, I moved to South Africa to work and caught the travel bug in a big way. I have since lived, worked and travelled in more than 60 countries, but the confidence I gained from travel and adventure seemed to quickly desert me in professional situations.
Chapter two is when I landed my first role in Higher Education, which was in New Zealand at Auckland University of Technology. Working in a university suited me so well that when the time came to move back to the UK, I knew that was the sector I wished to remain in.
I came home in 2012 and applied for an admin role at Oxford University. I was delighted when they offered me the job and I spent the next four years working alongside so many talented (and academically brilliant!) people.
After Oxford, I moved to York – securing a similar role at the city’s university. At both settings, I struggled on and off with impostor syndrome until I eventually reached a stage when I felt compelled to shake it for good. I confided in a friend, who suggested I connect with a career coach, and I did just that. After a few coaching sessions with her, a fire had been lit under me. It was a decision that, unquestionably, changed everything.
With the ongoing advice and guidance of some inspirational mentors, I am proud to say I have created a business which brings together all the skills and experiences I have amassed throughout a varied career. I have the freedom to work with clients who align to my own values and I have a newfound confidence to speak up, step up and move up with everything I’m hoping to achieve.
Coaching and mentoring have helped me to cultivate a new, values-driven approach to life and work. I feel utterly transformed and I’d love others to benefit too!
Photo credit: Hilary Benson