When it comes to online jobs, there are plenty of choices to pick from. Of the lot, one of the more interesting ones is that of working in virtual assistant jobs.
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistant jobs are something relatively new, so it is interesting to talk about it and explain what this 21st-century profession consists of. As a simple definition, A VA or Virtual assistant is a personal assistant who works remotely.
Indeed, a virtual assistant or personal assistant is a person working remotely for a company, an entrepreneur or an individual.
Given that they require an active internet connection and other telephonic infrastructure, it wasn’t something widespread before. All of this, however, changed, with the rise of the internet, which greatly improved the quality and speed of connectivity, as well as the reliability factor in general.
Developments such as these allowed for immense opportunities, for those who had the means for it, which were usually a certain skillet and a home-based internet connection.
Today, virtual assistant jobs can be found across the board, in a variety of industries. The jobs themselves are offered by both companies themselves, as well as intermediaries. Indeed, as the internet continues to incorporate more and more people into it, it is likely that one can expect to see this growth continue and even accelerate.
Do you have some administrative assistance or executive assistance skills? Do you dream of working from home and using your secretarial skills to make money? Well, then becoming a virtual assistant might be the right work from home career for you.
When it comes to becoming a virtual assistant, there are a couple of important things that you’ll need to understand.
Some of the various needs and requirements to become a virtual assistant are given in the points below:
1. A Good Internet Connection
This is by far one of the most important things you’ll need in order to work as a virtual assistant.
It would be one of the primary things that you will find on your job description and profile. Unless you are able to gain access online via a stable and reliable internet connection, this is really not a profession that you can take up. In fact, the first thing you should do before becoming a virtual assistant is to fix the connection or find a suitable means of accessing one.
2. Spoken and Written Language Skills
As a virtual assistant, you’ll be interacting with people buying your services from all over the world, for a variety of reasons.
The exact way that the interaction process goes about will certainly vary, ranging from live calls to chats and even email replies. This will vary based on the requirement of the job and the purpose of the interaction.
Regardless of the reason, the fact is that you’ll need to have the language skills go do the job. This means that you’ll need to have well spoken and written language skills, as per employer’s expectations. In addition to this, it should be known that some jobs will require you to have the knowledge, not just in one but multiple languages, especially in the case of metro cities or other such cosmopolitan areas.
3. The Ability to Deal With People
As much as the job may be “remote” in nature, you’ll still be dealing with people at the end of the day.
This means that it is very much like the job of a receptionist or any other front-end operations of a business, where you will essentially be the “face” of the company you are working for.
What this means is that you’ll be dealing with people first-hand, every single day. This is very different from the people who work at the back end, who only take care of things that are “administrative” or “technical” in nature.
4. Understand That Your Client’s Life Will be Your Life
If there is one thing that an assistant will need to understand, it is that their life is pretty much tied up to the one whom they are employed by.
In other words, this is more than just a job. It is essentially the “sharing” of the other person’s life on a regular basis. This is something of a given when you think about it, as you’ll be doing almost all of the work that your client will be doing.
What this means is that while the pay might be good for jobs as an assistant, you will end up dealing with all of the headaches, conflict and other problems that your client will be facing as well. For example, an issue with a customer or a lawyer that your client is facing will end up becoming something for you to deal with as well.
The point here is that you need to be mentally prepared to handle all of the troubles and issues that your client may have to face. Remember that you are being hired for this exact reason; which is to say that you’ll be taking care of a good part of their everyday chores and troubles, to lighten their own workload.
5. Handling Phone Calls
This is probably one of the lesser-known dilemmas that personal assistants don’t fully concede until they deal with it.
A good part of the phone calls is not really handled by the one hiring you. It is usually something that you’ll have to deal with on your own.
At face value, it doesn’t really seem like much, for talking on the phone isn’t that hard. While this is true to some extent, it should be known that you may have to deal with phone calls for hours on end, with dozens of people.
Not only that, but you’ll also need to handle other issues that come with it as well, such as handling the memos, calling back, keeping reminders, informing your client about the important events, maintaining the time when you speak on the phone and so on. And you’ll need to do this on a daily basis, for hours on end.
6. Being Ready to Travel at a Moment’s Notice
Although traveling about sounds fun, it’s going to be a different story when you’re doing it under deadlines.
But given that you are a personal assistant to another person, you may be required to move at a moment’s notice, should that be on your client’s schedule.
This is not very likely as a virtual assistant since you’ll only be doing back and work for much of your time. But quite often, the work contracts have clauses that require you to be available for travel in case there is such a requirement. So you might want to check if the contract has such a requirement and has the same negotiated on if traveling is not your thing.
Do note that this is not going to be a fun ride, but rather a work assignment of sorts.
In all, working as a virtual assistant can prove to be a great source of employment for those interested in finding a home job.
So if you are interested in checking out the opportunities to become a virtual assistant, you could get started with one of the many positions that are available and start your journey of making money while staying home. The key here is to remember that a virtual assistant is more than just a “cyber-secretary.” A virtual assistant is also an entrepreneur and business owner.
Reasons to Hire a Virtual Assistant
We often speak of virtual assistance because there is no physical contract between the customer and the assistant. In fact, most often there are even hundreds or even thousands of miles between them. Until a few years ago, this profession did not exist because most companies and entrepreneurs had a secretary who took care of tasks such as sending mail, for example. But with the crisis and the new generation of companies coming, many companies have decided to outsource these tasks instead of having a salaried person.
In addition to being a security for the company (no open-ended employment contract), virtual assistance saves hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year. Virtual support is really the best solution for task outsourcing if you are a company or an entrepreneur and you want to travel without worrying about having a head office with employees.
Let’s take a concrete example: you are a young start-up and you need to move around Europe and the US to promote your offer. If you have an employee, you will either have to “take him/her with you” by respecting the regulations regarding working hours, travel, rest periods, etc. Or leave this person at the head office and therefore continue to pay a salary as well as a head office, whereas you could have saved money by putting your head office at your home and taking a virtual assistant. In this example, the virtual assistance can save you more than a thousand dollars per month.