Virtual assistance is one of the most popular remote working jobs. As more and more businesses and other organizations adopt online and digital work, the opportunities for remote employees and remote work grows by the minute. But the question is, how can someone start a career as a virtual assistant?
Given that the virtual assistant industry is a completely remote workforce, the career path and hiring process can be different from traditional corporate organizations. To give you a better idea, here is a brief overview and guide on how to start a career working remotely as a virtual assistant.
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
Before we go any further, let’s first talk about what is a virtual assistant exactly. Indeed defines virtual assistants as self-employed independent contractors. This means that VAs are generally freelancers or contract workers who are employed directly by business owners or clients online. However, numerous virtual assistant agencies employ VAs either full-time or part-time and act as the mediator between VAs and their business clients.
Virtual assistants are remote employees who provide a wide array of services ranging from general administrative tasks to customer service and data entry. However, certain virtual assistant jobs and positions ask for more technical knowledge and skills such as graphic design, web development, bookkeeping, accounting, and more. The main defining element of a career in virtual assistance is that tasks are designed to be done completely remotely. That is why virtual assistant jobs mainly focus on digitally accessible responsibilities such as social media management, graphic design, email management, digital marketing, and the like.
Types of Virtual Assistants
There are several different types of virtual assistants. They are generally categorized depending on their niche, background, or skills. Some of the most common virtual assistant jobs include the following.
General Admin Virtual Assistant
General admin VAs are the most common type of virtual assistant. They are assigned a wide range of administrative responsibilities crucial in running small businesses or large organizations. The goal of a general administrative VA is to organize and manage business processes to ensure clear and trouble-free operations. This includes the like of schedule management, calendar management, email management, file and document management, and more.
Online Executive Virtual Assistant
An online executive assistant’s responsibilities are much like a general admin VA. However, the difference is that online executive assistants primarily work for and supports high-level business professionals such as CEOs, directors, managers, and the like.
Online executive assistants are tasked with managing a client’s work necessities such as their daily, weekly, and monthly schedule, travel arrangements, meetings, and so on. They can also responsible be for handling their client’s personal effects such as their emails, messages, and phone calls. The goal of an executive assistant is to manage their client’s day-to-day responsibilities and deal with mundane and time-consuming tasks to allow their client to focus on their executive responsibilities.
Social Media Management Virtual Assistant
A social media presence is considered a must for any public personality, brand, or business. Social media management VAs are those well-versed with mainstream platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. They are mainly responsible for handling and managing their client’s social media accounts including their posts and engagements.
Website Management Virtual Assistant
Website management assistants are those who manage and maintain a client’s business website. It is a technical virtual assistant position that offers web-related services. Website VAs can be extremely helpful for small business owners and online entrepreneurs with little to no knowledge of how to build, design, and maintain a good, stable, and secure website.
Ecommerce Virtual Virtual Assistant
Ecommerce is another booming industry in the world of online business and entrepreneurship. Ecommerce VAs are those skilled and knowledgeable about ecommerce platforms and processes that allow business owners to grow their online retail stores. Virtual assistants under this niche are typically delegated tasks such as product listing, inventory management, ecommerce systems management, ecommerce platform development, and the like.
How To Get A Job as a Virtual Assistant
At this point, anyone can become a virtual assistant. Whether you have no experience in the industry or you have years of experience working in the corporate world. However, starting a career as a virtual assistant is not as easy as one might think. There is still a lot to consider and to work on before you start looking for a job as a VA. With that, here are some tips on how you can start a career and get a job as a virtual assistant.
Know what you’re good at
Whether you are shifting careers or just starting to work for the first time as a VA, the first thing that you need to figure out is the things that you are capable of and good at. These will serve as the basis of the different services that you can offer to clients hiring a virtual assistant.
Having some work experience would be an advantage, however, those who are just starting out can identify their skills and commendable characteristics in order to qualify as a VA. It can be anything from the compulsive need to organize things to the ability to manage and handle multiple tasks. It can also include even more technical skills such as content writing, web development, or graphic design.
Develop an online presence
Knowing that VAs work remotely and digitally, the most likely way for clients to find you is through online platforms. Taking this into consideration, it is important for aspiring VAs to have an online presence. Create social media accounts and join communities that can be involved in the industry. Whether it’s a group of other virtual assistants around the world or a specific page where clients can look for, interact, and hire with available VAs.
Build your portfolio
Some clients may be more critical when hiring a virtual assistant. While your resume can say a lot about your experience and background, some may prefer looking into the actual results of your work. Certain virtual assistant jobs such as content writing and graphic designing include outputs that you can use to build a portfolio that showcases the best of your work. Providing your clients with concrete examples of what you are capable of makes it easier for them to decide if you’re a good fit for them as a virtual assistant.
Train and upskill
Experience can be a determining factor when it comes to working as a virtual assistant. However, that doesn’t mean that you should solely rely on your experience when you’re looking for a job as a virtual assistant. In order to put yourself in a better hiring position, it is important to continuously train yourself and upskill. There are tons of online training courses and resources that you can use to enhance your craft, develop new skills, or simply learn more about a specific niche or industry.
Be patient when job searching
While the demand for virtual assistants is high, the competition to get a client and land a contract is also tight. Taking this into consideration, it is essential that you are patient when you are looking for a job online. Don’t rush the process of getting hired and bite every possible job lead even if the pay is significantly lower than you are asking. As long as you are confident in what you can do and you know your worth, you’d be able to find the perfect client that would offer you the right price for your services.
Working as a virtual assistant has a ton of benefits. You get to work from home and enjoy the flexibility that remote work has to offer. But before you get there, you would still need to put in the work and effort to prove yourself as a qualified virtual assistant. Starting a career as a virtual assistant may not be easy. Much like any other career, it is important that you prepare yourself for the opportunities and possibilities that may come at any moment.
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