Virtual assistant is nothing but a personal assistant or a secretary in the online industry who assists and facilitates work for an entrepreneur, or professional who has engaged his/her services, be it a programmer, online store owner, web designer anyone. Anybody who is working online in any capacity can hire a Virtual assistant with clearly defined responsibility followed by other terms and conditions. By becoming a virtual assistant in the assistant world you can earn real money by working online for your employer.
Different Virtual Assistants may possess different skills set depending on the kind of employer she/he is attached with and his/her area of work. A real estate virtual assistant’s job will different from social media virtual assistant or internet marketing virtual assistant’s job.
For a virtual assistant hired by an online store owner, it is expected that the VA knows is familiar with maintaining accounts online, keeping a record of online transactions happening on a daily basis, maintaining shopping cart software, besides looking after business communication and replying to business and bank queries; where as qualities expected in a VA hired by a web designer will include basic sense and understanding of designing to take briefing from the client and passing it on to the team of designers, business communication skills, billing procedure, basic familiarity with designing language that the firm is using to design websites, and so on.
The basic qualities of a virtual assistant includes excellent oral and written communication skills, should be net savvy, familiarity with tools like Skype, etc to facilitate virtual conferencing and meetings, or communicating over telephone with employer as well as clients from time to time. A virtual assistant is chosen online, he/she is interviewed online, at the most via Skype by his employer to get a sort of feel of the person he is about to employ; terms regarding work hours, work pattern, area of responsibilities are discussed online, meaning the employer may never get the chance to meet his Virtual Assistant in person because they may be living in two different continents, and yet working with each other.
These days it’s a thriving business as overworked consultants, firms as well as freelancers are on a look out for people who will take care of the accounting and administrative aspect of their business so that they can focus on their main work. As a result of this virtual assistants are in great demand. The efficient lot is seen to assist more than one employee and earn several times more than a person who is working with just one employee exclusively. VA makes a pretty decent income and gets to work from home. They need to be disciplined, organized, qualified for the job, patient, and above all efficient, as they are hired to make life easy for the employer and take some critical burden off their shoulder. Since their job profile is very important as well as critical it is expected that they are a responsible lot because one wrong move on their part can impair the reputation and business of the hirer.
The advantage of this career is that it can be started without spending any money. That is if you have a computer and access to internet already, you need nothing more. Plus you have loads and loads of tools online to upgrade and improve your skills. You don’t need any formal qualification, degree or certificate to start working as VA. A Virtual assistant can work at hourly rate, weekly or monthly wages, as he wishes. Some Virtual assistants are so full of work and new offers everyday that they get into subcontracts and outsource work! Can you imagine?
The tough part is that it is difficult for someone to land his first few jobs because he lacks experience and recommendations and nobody wants to take chances with people who have not worked with anybody before. Another disadvantage is that the virtual world is very competitive you have to upgrade yourself all the time to stay in business. Plus this work can be high stress and deadline driven. Dealing with employer who has never delegated before can be very tough.
How to Do It: If you have what it takes to become a virtual assistant that is basic communications skills both, writing and oral, plus typing skills you can apply for the job of VA. You can learn the rest of the job depending on what duties your employer wants you to perform.
Qualification: Communication skills, typing skills, oral expression also needs to be good if one is expected to talk to clients over phone, besides attending and communicating with them on mails.
Skills: disciplined, organized, someone who can deal with stress and deadlines.
Equipments: Computer with web cam, headset, internet
Who can’t do – people who are not efficient or who are lacking in communications skill because it’s the basic criteria as everything is dependent on and revolves around communication.
Traditional Education: none, no degree, certificate, diploma, nothing.