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A little about who I am

Good Morning all and welcome to my first blog post. I decided I would make my first post about introducing myself and why I have decided to become a Virtual Assistant.

Born in 1980 to two of the most loving parents anyone could ask for, my life started living in Mascot, Sydney, along with my brother Daniel. My parents promptly went on the search to build a new house, away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, so they purchased on of the very first blocks of land in Raby. By the time I was 2 1/2 we had moved in. It was us surrounded by the cows and rabbits, which as young child I quite enjoyed!

My brother and I had started our schooling at the then named Heathfield Public School, whilst our more permanent school was being built, Robert Townson Public & High School.

My schooling life was fairly good, whilst in Primary School I excelled at just about everything I can remember. I showed enough of my intelligence that when the school purchased their very first Apple Mac Computers (which back then looked like a small boxy TV) they decided to put me in front of it to work it out, and so I did. I ended up teaching my entire class how to use this thing. I of course was quite pleased with myself as you can imagine only being 10 years old at the time.

Then came high school. I can honestly admit, I didn't like it much. I think like most teenagers, there is that period where you start to rebel against going to school or doing your homework or paying attention in class. At the time, my mother was working at the high school as a cleaner, all my teachers knew her, so of course when I started to slack off in class, well they would be well on their way to her and let her know all about it.

I promptly changed my ways and my grades, and decided at the end of year ten in 1996 that I had no desire for university, so I left school, which back then you were able to do, I enrolled myself in a Certificate III in Office Administration & Financial Skills course at TAFE because I wanted to work. I wanted the independence of being able to support myself. So I completely my Certificate and within 4 months, I had my first job working at Ipec Specialised Services (the now Toll Ipec). I was a Customer Service Officer. It didn't take long for them to see the skills I had, after working out the freight management system in the space of a few weeks (back then it was an old DOS based system if any of you can remember what they looked like). The Branch Manager at the time decided I had proved myself enough that I got hand-picked to be the sole Customer Service Officer for their new multi-million dollar account - Nike! I was stoked to say the least. I got to help build the Track and Trace system which was going to be used for the account, which yes the nerd in me quite enjoyed.

I did so well with the Nike account, they kept throwing accounts at me. I ended up looking after Big W and Collins Debden on top of the Nike account. By the time I was 21, I decided I needed to leave and head off doing other things. I ended up working for an IT company who sold Adobe products, doing first level IT support as well as Customer Service. I enjoyed the job, but not the drive, so I didn't stay there long.

I later went on to become a Project Manager at another transport company, helping to redesign their freight management software on a contract basis. When this tenancy ended, I went back to doing some Customer Service work for a local timber company. But I got itchy feet and decided to head to Malta (my background and where both my parents are from). I almost didn't want to come back, the joy of being in the Mediterranean made me so happy. But I came back and then went onto working for Sunbeam for almost 5 years firstly as an Administration Clerk and 2 years in as the Administration Supervisor. I left there in 2008 and took another contract role on with BASF as their Customer Service Team Leader, and just as my contract was ending in 2009, I landed a job with Salmat as an Administration Clerk. Although it wasn't long before I was asked to become a Production Planner to look after all work heading out onto the printers. I met my now husband, Tony working at Salmat (and my father always told me don't have a relationship with anyone you work with.... yes dad). We had both been on a weight loss journey losing 70kg between the two of us, which is what brought us together in the end as we supported each other through it. In 2011 I was over the moon to find out that we were expecting our first child (this was a big thing for me, as at the age of 21 I had been told I wouldn't have children). 13th of February 2012 is when I became a mother for the first time. My gorgeous little girl Sophia, who brought so much joy to our life. I was hoping to enjoy a year at home with her, but by the time she was 4 months old I was back at work again. This was when my burning desire to be able to work from home kicked in. I hated the fact I was leaving the house at 3.30am and leaving my little girl behind. I had always thought of become a virtual assistant as I knew I had the skills to do it, but between working and being a mum I couldn't find the time.

Then in mid 2014, we found out another little one was on the way! When we found out it was a little boy, we were over the moon, a pigeon pair, couldn't have worked out any better. We welcome our son Jack into the world on the 23rd of March 2015. Now having 2 little ones, really ignited my desire to be able to work from home. So in June I decided to just do it, take the plunge and run with it.

So here I am today - I have South West Sydney Virtual Assistant running, I'm at home being able to look after my two little ones and couldn't ask for much more!

Carlene Cardona-Elvy | Owner South West Sydney Virtual Assistant
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