Cradling the trophy and posing for the press photos, Sarah thought about how much she enjoyed winning these typing competitions. It wasn’t just the awards, it was the kudos, the feeling of being really good at something. And a picture in the Gazette was just the icing on the cake in our celebrity-obsessed culture.
As a teenager, Sarah discovered she was “good with computers,” as her Dad put it and set out to become a secretary when she left school.
She tried the local secretarial college in the evenings but she found it all too slow. Thank goodness she found Pitman Training in London’s Notting Hill.
Their secretarial course led to a nationally recognised diploma and their training methodology meant she could study at her own speed, as much or as little as she wanted. She decided to go mad and study 30 hours per week for 10 weeks. The trainers at the centre thought that was a little crazy, too, especially when she had to develop her typing speed to 70 wpm and master Microsoft Office to a high level in that time.
But she did it, proved them wrong and earned her secretarial diploma, starting a job as secretary in a bank the following week.
Her bosses noticed that she was more productive than many of the experienced secretaries at the bank, so she was soon promoted to PA to the Director Of HR.
It was a bit of an over-promotion, too soon in many ways, so in the evenings, she returned to Pitman Training to get her skills up to an even higher level with a number of Executive PA courses and before anyone spotted her shortcomings, she was once again delivering at the highest level.
Sarah put her accuracy down to the rigorous typing courses she had had to take in those early days in Notting Hill. Even though the repetition of “a,s,d,f” and “g,h,j,k” had nearly driven her mad, she had found a way to switch off and get on with it.
She took a beginners touch typing course, typing speed improvement and audio transcription classes, working her way through the discomfort of sore fingers and wrist ache. At least she was learning the proper technique, so she wouldn’t have to worry about RSI or anything like that.
Sarah joined a number of secretarial and PA societies and that was how she got into the world of competitive typing, pitting herself against the best. Although she was not always the outright fastest, she was always the most accurate and won extra points for the deployment of all fingers – she could type properly!
Over time, Sarah won trophies in agency-sponsored, regional and national typing competitions and now having won the Nationals yet again, she decided to start Googling to see what was going on in America.
She needed a bigger canvas to paint on and she knew the competition would be fierce in a country with 350 million inhabitants.
She’s entered into some competitions next summer when she can visit the USA during her annual leave, so watch this space!
Sarah learned her secretarial and typing skills at Pitman Training in London’s Notting Hill.
Find out more about this training centre at www.holborntraining.co.uk or by phoning them on 020 7792 5214.