Work & Life with Jo Sedgwick, PA at De Courcy Alexander – PA Life Club

Work & Life with Jo Sedgwick, PA at De Courcy Alexander

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PA Life Editor had a pleasure of interviewing Jo Sedgwick, PA at De Courcy Alexander, for our regular Club member Work & Life feature which was originally published in PA Life magazine in September.

“I live in Lincoln where I have been a ‘traditional’ PA for the past ten years, working in Local Government. I made the move to the private sector a year ago and have not looked back.

My background is in marketing and I’d describe myself as a good communicator, known for my loyalty, attention to detail, commitment to high standards, collaboration and a sense of humour. I am keen to draw positives from any situation. The pandemic was devastating for many, but it allowed me, someone who is disabled, to work on a level playing field when working from home became everyone’s new normal. That gave me the confidence to try something new, and move into the virtual world removing the barriers that once hindered me.

Joining De Courcy Alexander in London, at the start of 2023 as a Virtual Assistant, was the best decision I have ever made. I have quickly proven myself to be a first-class Personal Assistant, I now not only support one senior executive, but two.

I’ve been a member of the PA Life Club for a few months now and I’m hoping to build my network – please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Your membership of the PA Life Club has been primarily digital due to your mobility challenges. What aspects of the Club have you enjoyed most?

I look forward to reading the PA Life magazine regularly and I was excited about attending the PA Life Summit virtually in September this year. It’s really nice to see the PA Life Club being so inclusive and accommodating for its members.

During my short time at De Courcy Alexander I have been fortunate to be recognised for my PA skills and I’ve been nominated for a PA Award which is very exciting.

Are there any additional offerings you would like PA Life Club to introduce to its members – either face-to-face or digitally?

I would like to see more social events focusing on upskilling, and the opportunity to dial into virtual sessions, over lunchtime perhaps.

What do you enjoy most about your role, and what do you enjoy the least?

I love being part of a London-based sustainable innovation consultancy. We are currently working on a government funded project linking UK academia and small-scale rural industry in Kenya, where a flat-pack wind turbine that has been designed in the UK will provide low-cost power. It makes a real difference by transforming lives. I get a lot of job satisfaction being able to produce concise minutes and actions from attending complex meetings. Whilst there are a lot of benefits from working remotely it can be a little isolating at times and I miss the face to-face interaction with colleagues.

What do you think are the key professional development areas Assistants should focus on now?

I expect more and more assistants joining the virtual world as a more efficient and cost-effective option for businesses. Assistants will need to upskill in project management, financial management and strategic planning skills, and be expected to deputise for their executives in all aspects of the business.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given, and do you have a favourite quote?

‘Be kind. Treat people as you would like to be treated.’ You can’t go wrong with this attitude. My favourite quote is one of the late Sir Winston Churchill’s: “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

Which book recommendation would you pass on to your fellow PAs?

I prefer to read a good magazine which I find to be a bit of escapism from a busy job. I have just subscribed to ‘Red’ magazine which I would highly recommend.

Who inspires you?

Women who appear to have it all, excelling in both their professional and personal lives.

What do like to do in your spare time?

I love nothing more than travelling to different parts of the world. I also enjoy swimming and going to the theatre. At home, I have my own little bodyguard, a fun loving but protective puppy.

Have you discovered PA Life’s Recommended Supplier directory yet? It’s a great place to start your search for the best suppliers for what ever you need.


Marja-Leena Toseland

All stories by: Marja-Leena Toseland