A Personal Assistant’s Dreams and Opportunities during COVID-19

“It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.”

Mark Hunter

Recognized and leading voice in executive leadership and keynote speaker

In Esther Weemers we found the right, new generation top personal assistant for the CEO and COO of INNO Metal & Assembly (INNO) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Discover how Esther has created new opportunities for her management and herself, to continuing to realize their dreams and ambitions.

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INNO Metal & Assembly (INNO) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, is also known as the ‘Pearl of the South’. The organization has been one of the Netherlands’ most innovative pioneers in the field of refined-technological sheet metal processing for many years. Since 2018, Esther has been the CEOs and COOs personal assistant, helping them to realize their ambitions. 

   A new period

Upon completing her studies in Commercial Economics, minor: Marketing Communication, Esther first worked for a successful developer and producer of innovative system solutions using intelligent technology. She started out as a management assistant and was swiftly promoted to internal sales manager, MT member and internal & after sales manager. Via Smeenk’s Personal Assistants Esther then joined INNO as their CEOs and COOs assistant, ensuring their vision is clarified, communicated and implemented. She talks about her role, right after the first corona press conference.  

“During the very first press conference of Prime Minister Mark Rutte on March 12 last, we were told: ‘work from home (WFH) as much as possible.’ The next morning I cycled to work to deal with some final matters and one hour later I was already working from my dinner table at home. Not yet knowing that this would be the last bike ride to work for a longer period of time and the beginning of an entirely new period.”

   Daily routine

“My daily routine had always been: getting up at 6 am, having breakfast, getting ready and then jumping on my bike at 7 am. A fulltime working day, a half an hour bike ride home, often straight to the gym, showering, cooking, eating and then it was almost time to go to sleep. So, a large part of my daily habits disappeared with the arrival of corona and the introduction of WFH, which I found terrible at first. Furthermore, corona also brought uncertainty for my employer through a decline in turnover.”

   Increased flexibility and maneuverability

“When I had gotten more used to WFH, I noticed that I had started to appreciate the freedom it brings. The freedom to organize activities in an even more independent matter, the higher degree of focus and effectiveness and the fewer full and scheduled fixed working days. All contributing to a higher peace of mind. In practice, WFH had turned out to be something I really enjoyed. And when I had realized that, I decided to use it for both my organization’s and my benefit!”


“Before sharing my discoveries with my CEO and COO, I decided to first research the following options more closely: more flexible working hours, more WFH or starting something for myself. When I came across one of Smeenk’s Personal Assistants’ vacancies for a dedicated virtual personal assistant, all pieces of the puzzle fell into place!” 

A very fruitful conversation with my CEO and COO followed. Basically, my flexible fulltime contract was extended to a contract for three days a week. So they could continue to benefit from my current knowledge and expertise -depending on their needs, both on and off site- three days a week, and I could start using the other two days to be trained as an independent virtual assistant. This way, my CEO and COO could also benefit from my future knowledge and expertise as a trained virtual assistant. And I would have the opportunity to start working as an independent virtual assistant for two days a week. This way, creating more flexibility, innovation and extraordinary maneuverability. Both for my management and for myself. Therefore, win-win!”

   Room at the top

I have now started the training ‘Start a successful business as a virtual assistant’ at VA School and I have already achieved so much. I have a company name, am preparing my new website and logo and am currently thinking my positioning through. I am very busy now. Soon, I will actually start working three instead of five days a week for my CEO and COO, and gain  a little more space to complete my training faster.”


“Despite the uncertainties that this corona time has brought, I am very happy that I have seized this period to create new opportunities, both for my employer and for myself. It feels like a dream come true and I can already see it in full view: in addition to my current employer, I welcome the opportunity to choose who to work for, when and from where. With more freedom to travel, to even be able to work from my laptop at a beautiful destination and last but not least … to even have time for a dog! This is also a dream that I have had for so long, but for which I was never home enough, so I have also decided to register for a Bernedoodle puppy.

In short, I am well on my way to continuing to realize dreams and ambitions!

“A personal assistant’s dreams and opportunities in corona time”. Esther Weemers, virtual personal assistant CEO and COO, INNO Metaal & Assembly BV, Eindhoven.

Esther Weemers for Smeenk's Personal Assistants
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