If you are planning on working as a Virtual Assistant, you will be making an abrupt shift in your professional career. Becoming a Virtual Assistant is more than just a change in business address. Everything in your life; schedule, income, routine and relationships will change. People who eventually transition to a career in virtual assistance realize this as early as Day #1. Is it really worth it?
Picture this; you wake up at your usual time, go down to the kitchen and pour yourself a cup of coffee. As the scent and flavor of your coffee work to clear out your senses, you realize you actually have time to read the morning paper. You do not have to head out the door and beat the morning rush like most of the working population. It is both a moment for comfort and re-awakening. This will be your life from now on.
People want to become virtual assistants for many reasons. They want financial independence; it doesn’t matter how productive you are or if you have contributed significantly to the success of the company. As an employee, job security will always be a concern.
They want to have flexibility in their work schedule. A 9-to-5 grind isn’t for everyone. Not only do you have to endure the inconveniences of the daily commute, but there are out-of-pocket expenses to account for and office politics to deal with.
Meanwhile those with children want to spend more time with the family. Working an eight hour shift does not leave much time for anything else except for dinner and a little conversation. Not exactly quality time.
But adjusting to life as a Virtual Assistant is not as easy as one might think. It is not simply a matter of having more time but rather what to do with your time that becomes an issue. And becoming a Virtual Assistant presents new challenges to overcome.
1. Sustaining Your Stream of Income
The immediate challenge for virtual assistants is landing their first client. The virtual assistance industry can be very competitive.
You have to compete with virtual assistants from remote locations such as the Philippines and India which offer more competitive rates. The Philippines is home to 1 Million virtual assistants.
If you have no experience, signing up your first client may be difficult. By becoming a Virtual Assistant and resigning from your office job, you may not have any source of income for the next 6 to 12 months. The situation becomes more critical if you have a family to feed.
2. Staying Productive
Working from home may also diminish your productivity because it may not have the same energy and frenetic pace of an office environment.
While most people detest having someone constantly look over their shoulder, tight supervision keeps us more focused and honest with our work. We are constantly reminded of deadlines to meet and revenue targets to hit.
Complacency may become your biggest enemy. There are many distractions when working from home and these will detract you from the tasks that you have to do.
3. Lack of Motivation
If you are starting out and have no client, the process of trying to sign one could leave you desperate and frustrated. It could lead you to question your decision to leave a stable job and become a Virtual Assistant.
Becoming a Virtual Assistant puts you back on the road to starting over. Trying to land a client is like trying to land a job in an office. You submit a job proposal and an online profile then hope to get an interview.
Getting an interview does not assure you employment. You could wind up facing simultaneous rejections in your quest to finding a client.
But in terms of industry, virtual assistance offers you many opportunities to build a stable, well- paying career.
There is Demand for Virtual Assistance
The rise in the number of virtual assistants in the United States and other parts of the world prove that there is demand for virtual assistance work.
In the United States, it is estimated that more than 50% of the workforce would be virtual assistants in 2020. This is because more companies are integrating home-based workers or virtual assistants in their workforce to streamline cost and build revenue.
Income Will be Directly Proportional to Productivity
As a Virtual Assistant, you can manage as many clients as your work schedule will allow. If you cannot accommodate any more projects, simply expand your operations and hire your own virtual assistants.
There are many success stories in the virtual assistance industry with people making upwards to $10,000 per month on a steady stream of projects.
There are Many Sources to Land Clients
The first place to look for clients is the online job market. There are websites which function as a community exchange where virtual assistants and potential clients meet and discuss the possibility of a working engagement.
Among the best sites are:
The key to getting a client through these sites is to be persistent and consistent. Target 3 to 5 job applications per day and hope that at least one of the 66 to 110 prospects would give a favorable response.
As a Virtual Assistant, you are the proprietor of a business that offers virtual assistance services. You are not limited by having only one client.
As stated earlier, you can sign up as many clients as you realistically can. If there are more projects that you can comfortably handle, set up virtual assistance teams to help you manage them.
You will not be in danger of being fired, although if your client is not satisfied with your performance he or she could terminate your agreement. In the same context, if you consistently perform over and above client’s expectations, you should expect more business in the form of referrals.
So should you drop everything and become a Virtual Assistant? If you are committed to your new career in virtual assistance the answer is “Yes”.
Virtual assistance is the wave of the future. Businesses regardless of scale and size will always look out for the best virtual assistants in the market. Outsourcing work to virtual assistants presents businesses a great double-edged strategy for building their bottom line.
Building your own career is no different than competing for vertical or horizontal promotions and career advancement in an organization.
However, if successful, you reap the benefits of your hard work and effort. Any new endeavor is never easy. Starting out is always the hardest part. But once you gain traction, it becomes more fulfilling and rewarding.