Update concerning COVID-19 – Distance Learning (home study) courses are still available. Find out more about distance learning at Pitman Training

Update concerning COVID-19 – Distance Learning (home study) courses are still available. Find out more about distance learning at Pitman Training

Become a Virtual Assistant (VA) – Have you got what it takes?

16/06/20

There are many benefits of being a VA - what is essential is to ensure you have the relevant skills!

  • Flexibility – can you manage your time effectively?
  • Work skills – are you proficient on the latest software?
  • Sales & Marketing – do you understand what a VA should do?
  • Accounts – are you aware of your obligations and understand basic accounting?
  • Networking – are you building your client base and resources?

It’s not all about great communication skills and managing a client’s diary – there are many more aspects to a VA. We asked one successful VA, Teresa, just what a typical week entails:

Who are you?

I’m Teresa and eight years ago I set up my business as a Virtual PA, providing office support to a small number of clients. I work from my home office in Berkshire.

Why did you become a VA?

I became a Virtual PA in 2012, having wanted a break from the daily office routine and a desire to bring some variety and flexibility into my working life. I’d spent many years in senior PA roles, which gave me the experience and confidence to explore the opportunity of working for myself.

What does a working week look like for you?

I work with just a few clients, as this allows me to devote sufficient time to each and gain a better understanding of their businesses. I’m actively providing support currently to clients in entertainment, property, recruitment and technology. Each client requires different types of support. Along with diary management and emails, I work with databases, create processes and documents, liaise with my clients’ clients and suppliers and generally ensure the smooth running of their offices. I can sometimes spend an entire day on one client’s work, but other days there will be a mix. I am seen as someone who will find answers to problems and this can lead to a wide variety of challenges.

What do you like best?

I enjoy the variety, the flexibility that working for myself brings, working from home itself and the opportunities to learn about different businesses and face new challenges.

Anything you don’t like?

I have never enjoyed self-marketing or having to worry about IT problems but thankfully these are now generally taken care of. As I am well-established, I don’t find I need to seek new clients, and I have a good IT Consultant to rely on for any technical problems.

Recommendations for someone wanting to be a VA?

If you don’t need to rely on a regular salary or crave the company of working in an office with others, then working as a VA could be worth exploring. You need to be very organised, have great office skills and be disciplined enough to work from home. You need to be flexible to meet the needs of your clients and prepared to take on new challenges. A great way to build confidence and get to meet possible clients is to join networking groups. If you are worried about your own levels of any particular office skills there are many training opportunities to brush up on them. After many years in offices I am still learning!

Contact your local Pitman Training Centre and speak to one of our friendly Course Advisors NOW to explore what opportunities are available to you!

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