What Is A Virtual Assistant? (And who would want to be one?)
The phrase "virtual assistant" gets lost on a lot of people. It sounds like some sort of artificial intelligence, or maybe some high-tech software program that helps you budget, schedule, and fold the laundry. (Wouldn't that be nice?!)
Think of everything you know or imagine an executive office assistant does. What comes to mind? Getting coffee for their boss? Making copies? Screening phone calls and scheduling appointments?
A Virtual Assistant is a different breed of office assistant. No more sitting at a desk, filing their fingernails. A Virtual Assistant can perform in a particular niche providing a single dedicated service, or serve multiple clients with an abundance of skills and manage multiple projects, and all from the comfort of their own home.
I was a corporate assistant for 15 years, working from 8 am to 5 pm, five days a week. After I found out I was pregnant with our first child, I scoured the internet for ways I could stay home with her and still earn a sizable income. Nothing I found fit the bill.
I dropped my child off at daycare and went to a job I didn’t like so I could pay someone else to tell me about my child’s milestones and accomplishments during the day. I agonized for years, thinking there had to be a different way to pay my bills, and be a wife and mother above being an employee.
And there was. That’s how I became a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant has clients - whether one client, or many - they provide administrative services to. Services like:
Social Media Management
Correspondence and calendar management
and so much more. While there is no office or company owned building they need to show up to work in each day, a virtual assistant is still able to manage the tasks and responsibilities required of a traditional assistant, and they’re able to do so in the time frame that works best for them and their family, using their greatest skills and talents rather than simply fulfilling a job description.
Working from home has a reputation of someone taking an easy way out. Answering calls or doing data entry for pennies on the dollar is usually what comes to mind, once the direct sales or multi-level-marketing businesses ideas are dismissed. When I told people I worked from home, they responded with pity more often than with excitement.
Being a virtual assistant, however, is no cakewalk. I am a capable, experienced, educated woman and my work doesn’t pay pennies on the dollar. I provide as much income to our home as we deem necessary, based on the hours I am available to work each week, and the rate I charge for my time.
I didn’t start out as a top dollar VA. I was hired by my first client working 5 hours a week at $15 per hour. Eventually that led to more clients, and a higher rate of pay. But not before I had to overcome some steep challenges.
Being a virtual assistant isn’t a cush job. In fact, it isn’t a job at all. It’s a business which requires skill and a tremendous amount of character. When you make the determination to market your abilities and gifts to the rest of the world, you’re building a clientele for your business.
It might seem overwhelming at first, but you can build your business to suit the time you want to invest, the income you want to earn, and the skills you want to showcase.
What is a virtual assistant? An asset. A rockstar. The life-blood to the people they serve.
As a virtual assistant, you can change your future and the world, helping one client at a time.