Those interested in becoming a virtual assistant should learn about what the position actually entails and how it can benefits both business and independent contractors alike.
Virtual assistance is a competitive career field, but one that does not always require a formal higher education. As a virtual assistant, you will generally be considered self-employed and work on a contract basis, typically taking on more than one business contract at a time. This is a great career choice for someone who would like to earn extra income, as well as those looking to be a virtual assistant as their primary career. The following sections have more information about the virtual assistant profession and what jobs are currently available in this field.
A virtual assistant is a self-employed administrative assistant who works remotely for a variety of clients. Virtual assistants generally work from home, but most are assigned a certain schedule when work is available. While many remote virtual assistants do find regular work, others may take on odd jobs, short term assignments or seasonal workloads. Each virtual assistant professional may bring their own set of skills to the table, as virtual assistants perform a number of tasks depending on the type of business that contracts them. These tasks may involve administrative work such as:
As you can see, some of the above tasks require previous experience and more trained applicants, such as researching or hiring new personnel. While other tasks, such as organizing spreadsheets or data entry, does not require any formal training. Depending on your specific set of skills you can be a virtual assistant in a variety of fields.
There are a number of tasks that a remote virtual assistant may be asked to perform, but the most common tasks come in the form of research, managing finances, managing social media accounts, creating content, managing emails and organizational tasks.
One of the most common tasks that a remote virtual assistant is asked to perform involves a lot of research. Research may be done on business statistics, brands, startup costs and more, in order to save a business owner time and energy. By hiring a virtual assistant, businesses can have independent contractors research all the information they need to create goals, analyze market shares and make comprehensive presentations for business plans.
While virtual assistance can help manage finances for a company, without an accounting degree they cannot actually do any form of accounting or taxes for an employer. However, a virtual assistant can be asked to maintain budgets, keep track of expenses and make purchases. This makes taxes easier for a business when tax season does come around, as information will already be organized and stored.
Another common task for virtual assistants is the management of social media accounts for a company. Social media has become an incredible tool for advertisement and overall growth, so most modern businesses, start-ups and brands will have multiple social media accounts that need to be managed. A virtual assistant may be asked to keep up on daily posts, scheduling content, gathering statistics, creating reports and aiding in the overall development and maintenance of a company’s social media presence.
In some cases, a virtual assistant may be assigned the task of writing content for blogs, websites and more. Generally, this is a form of ghostwriting, meaning that the virtual assistant will not have any claim to the content that is written. Content creation is a large tool that companies can use to grow their presence as a business, and having updated content can help businesses bring in more customers and clients. If you are not a strong writer, you can learn how to improve your writing skills for work with our informative guide.
Similar to an in-office administrative assistant, virtual assistants are often asked to handle scheduling tasks including calendar organizations and creating daily itineraries. Virtual assistances can also help manage business emails, especially when a business may get hundreds or thousands of emails each day. As a remote virtual assistant, you may be tasked with answering contact emails as well as job inquiries and general questions. You may also be tasked with simply filtering out junk email and organizing emails based on the subject.
Reliability is one of the most important qualities you can have as a virtual assistant. Being a virtual assistant requires commitment, as do all remote jobs, and if you are not able to commit, this may not be the career path for you.
The ability to multi-task and manage your time efficiently is also an incredible quality that can aid both you and the business that you are working for, especially if you are working with multiple clients. The ability to meet deadlines, plan ahead and use your time more efficiently can help you make more money while building your reputation, which can help you land even more jobs in the future.
Commitment, time management and a good work ethic all make up the qualities of a good virtual assistant, but also a successful remote worker. If you are still unsure if remote work is for you, read our remote working guide before you decide to take on any virtual career.
Businesses spend less money and benefit from a higher level of convenience by hiring a virtual assistant as opposed to a full time administrative assistant. Businesses often pay administrative assistants up to $50,000 annual, not to mention any additional benefits or potential bonuses. However, this salary may vary, as some businesses may only need a virtual assistant for five to ten hours each week while others may require a full-time assistant for a longer period of time. Because of this irregular schedule, many virtual assistants choose to work for different companies at a time to maintain high wages while working completely from home. To help you get started on a new virtual career, here are some of the best remote work resources.