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How to become a virtual assistant

How To Become A Virtual Assistant

When the pandemic hit, businesses were forced to shift their business to have their employees work from home to survive and find ways to keep customers happy. Those coming into the office suddenly found themselves working remotely and discovered the benefits of working remotely. Even though most people return to their offices, some employees prefer working from home. Let us discuss this further if you consider shifting to work from home and how to become a virtual assistant.

Ways to become a virtual assistant 

Before anything else, let us define and understand what is a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is an individual or a team of individuals who works virtually for businesses or an individual client. Although there are no specific tasks per client, they can vary from one client to another. Mostly, individual clients would need help with repetitive and mundane tasks to focus on more important things like running the business. Others would hire virtual workers as well because of their expertise. Now that you have a pretty good idea of what a virtual assistant is let’s talk about the things you need to prepare for if you are thinking of exchanging your full-time office job for working remotely.

If you are thinking of fully working from home, one thing I can tell you is that, just like in anything we do, preparation is necessary. Before jumping on the bandwagon, there are basic things that you will need to know and assess on how to become a virtual assistant. 

Equipment needed to prepare to work remotely.

These are the things to prepare to work as a virtual assistant.

Workspace

A workspace is essential for virtual assistants to be able to work productively. Being able to work from home comes with convenience, with many distractions such as tv, radio, events at home, etc., so having your own space without all the distractions is very important for a virtual assistant. You can search for ideas on how to set up your workspace or check this article too. You don’t need to use up all of your savings to be able to achieve this. A clutter-free and distraction-free space are vital for you as a virtual assistant.

Laptop or pc

A virtual assistant must have a piece of suitable equipment, a Personal Computer or laptop. Preferably get the latest model so you can use it for many years. Most clients or companies would require an i5 and above. They would usually do an equipment check during the interview and a headset and camera to meet you virtually, so you better get those ready as well. Just make sure you have good equipment that can help you accomplish your tasks on hand.

Internet Connection

A reliable internet connection is significant for you as a virtual assistant. Think of it as the gas of your car. No gas means you can’t go anywhere. So as a virtual assistant, your internet connection is your lifeline and a backup connection. Although rare that employers would require you to have 2 LAN connections, at least have mobile data available at hand in case of emergency such as power interruptions and or your main line getting disconnected.

Other things you will need to prepare

Aside from the logistics, there are other things you will need to consider and assess before you make that jump. Here are the things you need to check:

Finances

When looking for a job as a first-time virtual assistant can be challenging. If you currently have a regular job, do not quit immediately to keep a steady source of income. It doesn’t mean you will stop immediately as soon as you land your first client. The thing about working from home is unless a good company employs you or they offer you a long steady job and you feel comfortable enough to let go of your site work. Make sure you have funds to cover expenses in a few months for bills while looking for remote work, and if a client ends their contract, don’t fall behind in your responsibilities.

Skills Check

Most tasks are repetitive administrative tasks, but some may require more advanced skills depending on the job post you are applying for. If you are new, it will help you to reflect on the skills you acquired in your previous work. Highlight those skills to increase your chances of getting hired faster. When you gain more experience, you may want to consider specializing in a particular field or niche. Either you become an expert in one specific place, or you can also keep learning new skills to give you that flexibility to deal with different clients and the required tasks. You can take online classes, primarily self-paced courses, that will allow you to take them at your convenient time. The prices may vary, so you must select the plan or method within your current financial state. If you are lucky enough, the employer sometimes offers to train you. 

Right Behavior

Suppose you are used to having all eyes on you in the office. In addition, as a virtual assistant, clients rarely check on you or micromanage your tasks which can be an adjustment. Thus, if this is your first time as a virtual assistant, they usually give you a set of tasks and a deadline to meet. They would expect you to accomplish the tasks discussed and communicate if there are challenges and questions along the way. Therefore, integrity plays a big part in this setup. 

Also, understanding why time management is important and knowing the best ways to create a to-do list that works to plan your day can guarantee your success and maintain a good relationship with your client. Like in any company, your efficiency and contribution to the team will be measured and will determine your capacity to work.

Project-based vs. Regular Employment

Unlike in an office, working remotely at home allows you to accept side hustles like project-based jobs. Project-based means when the task is given once done. You’ll receive the payment no further contract binds you unless they will hire you for another project or they will get you like a regular employee. Some virtual assistants would start as project-based and eventually end up being hired as regular employees, so the tip here is to give it your best all the time, as you will never know. It may lead to something extraordinary.

Compensation

This can be the exciting or challenging part of how you perform. Most virtual assistant contracts paid hourly, ranging from $3 to $15, depending on your expertise. You can expect fees to be taken out of your base pay if you use other platforms to acquire clients. Mostly, the hourly rate is for an individual client, while the monthly wage is the setup for companies and businesses.

Job Application

I know you pretty much have an idea of how to apply for a job in the corporate world. Applying for a job remotely, however, is slightly different. There are three ways you can get hired. 

-Promote yourself 

meaning you look for potential clients and message them. Inform them of the services you offer and what benefits it will do them to hire you.

-Apply for the Job Ad 

 it used to be harder to apply for a job remotely, but now many platforms have opened up, and the requirements to get verified have been less restrictive. Some websites allow both job seekers and employers to meet. Enrolling in these platforms, however, sometimes have service fees applicable in return for a guaranteed job contract which is safe for both parties. That would be a different story if you applied directly to a company.

-Company Job Ad 

It is like submitting your resume to a company. However, instead of going into the office, as these are primarily offshore clients, you will have regular virtual meetings and report to online chat apps for updates and check-ins.

Benefits

Mostly, virtual assistants are individual contractors. Meaning they are not employed by a company but by an individual. On such occasions, you will have to make voluntary payments to government offices to ensure you can still avail of medical or retirement benefits. However, your benefits will be subject to your employer’s company employing you. Mostly, tax payments and other local benefits will still fall under your responsibility, so you have to ensure you have a good idea of how to get that done. If necessary, consult with a lawyer.

Takeaways

In summary, you will be in charge of your success or failure. Constant innovating processes to make your work efficient benefit you and your client. Starting as a virtual assistant may be tough initially. Getting a client can be challenging and discouraging. All I can say is you must prepare to be rejected several times and learn not to take it personally. However, if you are serious about how to become a virtual assistant, don’t give up. Try and try again. Use your spare time to learn; eventually, all your hard work and determination will pay off.

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