Although still considered an uncommon profession, Virtual Assistant role is fast becoming best recognized choice for companies, particularly web-based companies, to pursue nowadays.
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is much like a traditional Administrative Assistant in many ways. VA’s handle correspondence, scheduling, customer support, website updates, writing and design projects, data entry – pretty much anything you can think of that an online company would require for their day-to-day operations.
Many parents who want to stay home with their children have opened their own VA Service. It is a perfect career choice for Mothers of young children, or people who must take care of older relatives. You work out of your home office as an independent contractor. Often times schedule can be quite flexible.
This is an ideal position for women who plan to return to workforce when their children are older. It will enhance your resume’ and inevitably you improve your old skills and acquire new ones.
Basic skills and equipment you will likely need include following: Microsoft Office – Excel, Access, Outlook, and Word HTML skills with either Macromedia Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage Instant Messaging software – ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger Cable Modem or DSL – Dial up is far to slow for pace most online entrepreneurs are accustomed to working at.
The above aren’t always necessary – but acquiring each and learning to use them will only increase your desirability and worth.
There are many places to start looking for a Virtual Assistant position: One of easiest places to land your first clients is through an ad placed in your own local classifieds. It seems unlikely – but trust me, there is far less competition for local clients then for jobs being bid on through Internet Job sites. Freelance Job Sites such as elance, smarterwork.com, findafreelancer etc. There is an extensive list of these types of resources here: www.freelancemom.com/gigs.htm Via Freelance, Home Business, or WAHM forums. Virtual Assistants with an established client base often times search for reliable ‘Over-flow Partners’. Forums are an excellent place to network and seek out these types of opportunities. Building your own website. Unless you do some very good website promotion, it isn’t likely you will actually gain clients through a website that you build to promote your service. HOWEVER, you really should have a website. Just as business cards are an expected and valuable piece of your traditional business, websites are like an online business card/resume. You should list your rates, your skills, your availability and your portfolio. A well thought out website will give you edge when bidding on a position.