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Real EAs of Wellington: Episode 7 – Christina Hammond

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Welcome back to another episode of Real EAs. We really have an amazing community of Executive Assistants here in Wellington and I’m so glad to be able to share their stories. Today’s edition features the wonderful Christina Hammond.

Christina, tell us about your pathway to becoming an Executive Assistant (EA).

I kind of fell into it to be honest.  My first job was as a Receptionist/Customer Services Officer in a Bank, and from there I tried a few different customer service roles. Then I took a role as Secretary to the GM of Air Services and Legal Counsel at the Ministry of Transport. The legal side of that role lead me to a Personal Assistant (PA) role with one of the top law firms in Wellington. I continued working in the legal industry as a PA and then as a paralegal for a number of years, both in NZ and Australia. When I returned to Wellington, I ventured back into the PA/EA world. After sampling a few different roles and industries, I ended up where I am today, at the Electricity Authority working for the Chief Executive and Board.   

What’s your funniest or most embarrassing moment as an EA?

There have been a few over the years but text messaging always seems to get me in trouble. Once I texted my manager to tell her that the doc (document) she was waiting for was ready but it came out as ‘your dic is ready’. After reading my text, she got the giggles and had to leave the meeting she was in. Another one that springs to mind is when I thought I was texting my partner and actually texted my old boss. Luckily it wasn’t anything rude!

What’s been the biggest challenge in your career?

Not getting bored. I like to be challenged and kept busy. I work better when I’m under pressure and there is a deadline.

Who do you admire and why?

Anyone in a high pressured role, who works full time, has outside interests whether it be sporting or professional and has a family to look after. Life is so busy and it always amazes me how some people do it.

If you could do any other job in the world, what would it be?

Growing up I always wanted to be a flight attendant and travel the world.

If you could rewind 10 years and give yourself a piece of advice, what would it be?

Do what makes you happy and don’t work anywhere or with anyone that doesn’t respect you for who you are. Most importantly make sure you HAVE FUN wherever you’re working.

What’s the best piece of advice that’s helped you in your career?

Proof read your emails/correspondence/reports thoroughly before sending them out.  

What’s your favourite piece of work wardrobe?

Are handbags classed as a piece of the wardrobe?? I have many, and love changing them to suit my outfit. If not then I’d say anything with bling. 

Where is the best place in Wellington to get a coffee/drink?

The French Kiss in Post Office Square who do an awesome coffee and a yummy chocolate brownie.

If you were not living in Wellington – where would you be and why?

Probably back in Australia where it’s warm.