A Virtual Assistant? Is that a real job I hear you ask?
I had heard the term ‘Virtual Assistant’ or ‘VA’ floating around for a while, but must admit, I didn’t fully understand what a Virtual Assistant was until recently. When I tell people I am a Virtual Assistant you can often see the cogs turning in their head, trying to understand how I can possibly be undertaking PA and admin duties for a client, such as diary management, scheduling travel, maintaining accounts etc. but all from my home office.
The 9-5 is the norm for so many people, and as someone who has worked in an office for all my career before becoming a Virtual Assistant, you will not hear any negativity from me about this work style.
However, I am someone who likes change and to experience new ways of working. The idea of being able to continue providing PA and admin support (which I love) but in a completely different setting, with such a diverse range of clientele, was a life changing moment for me. OK, “life changing” may sound a little farfetched to some, but we all seek happiness in different ways, right?
Some may think that working from home as a Virtual Assistant sounds like a dream – it is not for everyone! Whilst there is a wealth of benefits to this way of working – flexibility, no long commutes, fits in with family commitments, your pooch now has company during the day, or you have always dreamt of working in your Onsie (not me, I promise!), it can also be a lonely job.
A large proportion of job satisfaction comes from the colleagues you work with and the social interaction of working with others. Now some of you may think not having to answer the same weekly questions – “how was your weekend”, “did you hear all that rain last night”, “who watched Bake Off” – will make you less likely to be questioned by HR for your uncontrollable outburst of who gives a……, you need to consider how you may feel when you turn to your dog to ask him some advice and he can’t even be bothered to look up from his bed to give you eye contact! (That’s one less belly rub for him later!)
However, do not let this put you off. If you are worried that your social circle will take a dramatic hit, there are lots of other Virtual Assistants out there you can connect with. Virtual Assistant forums are a great way to retain that social interaction, keep your skills and technical knowledge up-to-date and possibly support each other at extremely busy times. Some may think of us as ‘Virtual Angels’ when they can see their partner is getting tired of their Chihuahua on Redbull behaviour each evening as they feel like 8 hours’ worth of conversation needs to explode out of their mouth at once.
So, in answer to the question, yes, a Virtual Assistant is a real job – a very rewarding one at that.