In the Spotlight ….Haleh Ashraf

Published: 2020-08-20

Haleh (36) has created her own dream job – and she has made a living of it since day one

In 2014 Haleh Ashraf lost her job in the pharmaceutical industry due to downsizing. Eventually it became the start of a brand new career.

Now Haleh employs one person, has several projects and leads, and she is about to join an entrepreneurial co-working space called “Gründeriet”. A lot has happened since she left her employer in the pharmaceutical industry back in 2014.

- I could not have been happier than I am today. I have created my own dream job, and I am now working on creating a “dream workplace", the 36-year-old says.

In addition to an education in administration and office work, Haleh has solid experience from the industry - and when her everyday life suddenly changed, she went ahead with exploring new possibilities. Soon she knew where she was headed.

- For several years I had observed that the typical office-based assistant role was changing, and I started doing a lot of research.

Two years later Assistly saw the light of day, and since then she – and eventually a colleague – have had their hands full.

Digital possibilities

The two ladies are administrative consultants, but they do not work in the physical offices of the companies they work for. They are hired by companies who need virtual assistant services and they work remotely. Haleh’s workplace could be her home, at the cabin or simply outside if she chooses. As long as she has internet connection, Haleh gets her job done.

Haleh Ashraf is among the first administrative consultants in Norway. 

Photo: Ann Kristin Saastad.

When it comes to the customers, the diversity is endless; From companies who need an assistant for short or long term, a few hours each day, or to assist in completing a project.

- Internationally, virtual assistants are well-known and common, but in Norway we are among the very first. The market is blooming though, and I think it will become more common in Norway as well, she says.

Haleh thrives by helping her clients, and Assistly’s client portfolio keeps on growing. 

- We help our customers with everything from managing documents to transcribing audio recordings, working with social media, and online research, she says. It is simply about doing administrative work. 

Thriving at work

Haleh tells us that from the very first day she focused  on building a solid foundation. Therefore, much time was spent on researching the market, comparing the Norwegian and international market – where administrative consultants are common – and on learning from experienced mentors.

The goal has been to build a new type of workplace in Norway, and she is off to a good start.

Photo: Ann Kristin Saastad.

- It has been so much fun, and I have been able to make a living of it since day one. There is no doubt that there is a market for these kinds of services, and our ambition is to grow into a larger team in the long run, she says.

This autumn Haleh is going to move out of the office at home and into a co-working space called “Gründeriet” in Sandefjord. She is really looking forward to it.

- It will be very exciting, and I am truly looking forward to becoming a part of an environment that actively and positively contributes to the local business community in Sandefjord. I love what I do, and I love creating, she says.

Haleh Ashraf - IMA Norway 

Member since January 2018.

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