Working from home sounds like a dream, right?
Sitting in your pajamas with a fresh cup of coffee in your hands. Working for yourself, making your own schedule and doing something you love, with no one micromanaging you over your shoulder…
But how do you make this dream a reality?
You may have been thinking about becoming a virtual assistant for a while now, but you’re not quite sure if this is the career for you.
Keep reading friend, I will share a few key attributes you need so you can figure out if virtual assisting is right for you. These things are crucial for your success in launching your virtual assistant career.
(Hint: virtual assisting is not for everyone, and that’s okay).
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant or VA provides administrative, creative or technical assistance to clients remotely, so maybe from a home office.
Anyone can get started as a virtual assistant really!
First of all, there is no barrier to entry. So what if you didn’t go to college and get a fancy degree; you can still be a virtual assistant. If you don’t possess prior experience, it’s not a deal breaker.
And if you don’t have a huge portfolio, who cares? There are skills that you currently possess that you can use right now to become a virtual assistant. Sounds awesome right?
Esther Inman (bad-ass owner and CEO of Virtual Assistant Internship) offers a FREE CLASS on how to work from anywhere as a virtual assistant and shows you how to get started. Did I mention it is free?
But first, let’s determine whether or not Virtual Assisting is right for you.
4 Essential Prerequisites to Working as a Virtual Assistant
There are several characteristics you need to have to be successful as a virtual assistant. These four requirements are all very important in determining whether or not you have what it takes to rock this career.
1. You have to be self-directed and a figure-outer
A virtual assistant works online. There is no office that you drive to every day. There is no time clock monitor watching you punch your time card.
You are not working with other people. You’re working by yourself from your home office, so you have to be self-motivated and on top of your game.
No one will be watching you do your job (which is a benefit, am I right?!). Which also means that no one will be reminding you of that deadline you have to meet.
You have to be responsible, organized, and able to prioritize your work so that it gets done.
And if you don’t know how to do something, where that document is that you need, or how to accomplish a task, you have to figure it out!
Research it first. Don’t run to your client before you’ve tried to figure out a solution to a problem. Be proactive and do what needs to be done without bothering the client with questions you could have found the answer to by yourself.
We have a wealth of knowledge and information at our fingertips. Use YouTube, the internet, whatever you can to research your problem before asking your client to step in for help.
Then if you do have to ask for help, you will be able to tell your client what you tried already. They’ll be impressed you took the time to do the research before asking them how to accomplish the task.
Being able to be a problem solver (a figure-outer) is key if you want to be a virtual assistant. That’s why they hired you in the first place… to solve problems!
2. You need a basic working laptop or desktop
The laptop or desktop must be yours; not your mom’s or your roommate’s. And you MUST have good quality WiFi.
It doesn’t really matter what brand or type of laptop or desktop you have. It can be a Windows or a Mac. It just can’t be an iPad, tablet or touch screen device. Your computer needs to have a keyboard and a mouse as it’s so much easier to do your work with these items. Trust me!
If you have a laptop, that’s fine. You may want to invest in an external mouse. A mouse makes design jobs much easier than using the trackpad. But that’s a concern for later!
Make sure that your WiFi can handle the tasks you need to do. Some VA jobs require a good and fast connection, so you’d need high-speed internet. This means you might have to invest in a WiFi upgrade if your current one doesn’t cut it.
3. You need basic computer and tech skills
You most likely have experience with most of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel Outlook etc.) and Google Suit (Gmail, Docs, Drive, Sheets etc.) from your high school days.
These are good to know because many companies utilize programs like these. And they’re easy to download and start learning because most are free!
You also need to be able to write a professional email. Good grammar is essential. You should not use slang, emojis, inappropriate language, etc.
You can learn most other skills you need online or on the job, but you need to know how to work with a computer.
4. You need time and space to do the work, and you need to have a plan
Take a good, honest look at yourself and your life. Does becoming a virtual assistant make sense for you and where you are in your life right now? Do you have time and space to actually do the work?
If you are single or married without kids, it is much easier to carve out time for virtual work.
A full-time or part-time job limits your time, so you can only apply for jobs that have work during your available hours.
If you have kids, becoming a virtual assistant can be a bit harder, but it’s totally possible! Look at your family life and assess whether or not VA work can fit into your life.
For example, if you are a mom with a newborn, do you have the time to take on virtual jobs, take care of your little one, and sleep?
Or maybe there are more kids? You might not have a lot of downtime because you’re running from school to soccer practice to dance rehearsal and then home in time to cook dinner.
Maybe your kids are older and are able to entertain and take care of themselves a bit more already. You might be able to work more hours in this type of situation.
Be realistic about the demands you put on yourself. But also remember, if you are motivated, it’s absolutely possible to carve out time in a busy schedule to start your VA career. You can look for jobs that are flexible with time.
Make a plan with your family. When does mom work? For example, between the hours of 2-5 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, mom is working and cannot be disturbed.
You have to figure out what is right for you. Talk to your family to see if you can carve out time for you to do the work.
It can be hard at first, but once you’re established as a VA, you have way more control over how much and when you work and you will probably end up with MORE time for your family than in a regular job!
How to Get Started Working as a Virtual Assistant
If after reading this, you’re still in, you’re motivated, a problem solver, you have the time, the technology and know your basic tech skills, then go for it!
Being a VA gives you so much freedom to choose when you work, who you work with and how much. It takes some discipline, but if you can hack it, it’s an amazing career!
If all of this sounds amazing to you, but you’re not sure what you’d actually do online or you don’t have the skills yet, you’re in luck!
Sign up for our Esther’s FREE Masterclass on how to work from anywhere as a virtual assistant. In this free class, you will learn what a virtual assistant actually does, how to get started, what kind of salary to expect, what type of companies are hiring, and much more. Esther answers all of your questions about how to work anywhere as a VA.
And the good news is that Esther’s signature course 90 Day VA is opening for open enrolment on May 1st! So if you are ready to take the plunge after reading this and watching the masterclass, you can sign up for 90 Day VA very soon!
The 90 Day VA takes you step by step through the virtual skills you need that are requested by clients. The course will give you everything you need to start your virtual assisting career…AND supply you with 10-20 legit job leads every week! How amazing is that?!
Over 2,000 women to date have completed the program and started their careers as a virtual assistant using Esther’s 90 Day Virtual Assistant Internship Program. So why not you, too?
Alison Wright is a virtual assistant here to help you with all of your bookkeeping needs. When she’s not helping you reconcile your accounts, she loves to hang out at the beach with her husband and dog Millie Belle, and perform with her improv comedy group called Ham n Eggs.
She’s a member of 90 Day VA and assists with everything from bookkeeping, content repurposing/marketing, blogging, and creating a strategy for and managing social media accounts. To find out more about the services she offers and how she can help you, send her an email at [email protected].