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What Are Virtual Assistants And How To Become One?

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With the world still under the grip of the pandemic, people are preferring work-from-home opportunities to earn a living without compromising on the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. Working as a virtual assistant is a good option in this scenario. Let us see what makes virtual assistant a suitable job option for entry level job seekers as well as experienced professionals seeking career change. But first, let us understand what the job entails.

Duties and Responsibilities

The job of a virtual assistant mainly involves providing administrative services to their employers from remote locations. In recent times, however, the range of their work has included activities like reputation management, social media marketing, customer service etc. apart from regular administrative tasks like replying to emails, making phone calls and travel arrangements, preparing documents, and scheduling appointments.

One of the factors that make virtual assistant an attractive job option is the fact that it can allow you to leverage a large range of skills. This also makes it suitable for experienced professionals who are looking for a career change. If you have worked as a teacher, HR executive, accountant, social media marketer etc., the skills you gained are easily transferable to remote assisting.

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

A plethora of tasks are included under the ambit of virtual assistant. To be successful in getting a job, it is important to focus on applying to positions that could use the skills you have, and are simultaneously aligned with your career goals.

Here are four proven tips to help you get a good virtual assistant job.

1. Find Someone to Guide You

If you are confused about how you can find a job as a virtual assistant, requesting an experienced person to guide you can help. They will be able to handhold you through the process of preparation and job search, including advising you on handling challenges during the job stint. This does not mean that you cannot find a job without the support of a guide or mentor. But having one will save your time and take you quickly towards your goal. Ask people you know if they can introduce you to someone who is already working as a virtual assistant.

2. Apply to Jobs That Leverage Your Skills

While applying to jobs, it is prudent to choose those that leverage the skill sets you possess. If you have experience managing a website, apply to jobs that need those skills. In case you are good with creating spreadsheets, find a job that requires data entry or spreadsheet management. In fact, you should try and gain specialisation in a field of your choice to help you develop your career and command a higher salary.

3. Find Out How Much You Are Worth

Like any other job, the salary and benefits of a virtual assistant job depend on your work experience and skill set. Browse job ads for virtual assistant positions to find out what kind of pay employers are offering.

While applying to a job, you don’t want to outprice yourself, nor do you want to be underpaid. Factor in aspects like cost of living, skills and qualifications, work experience and the prevailing market rate for someone with your job profile, to determine your own market rate.

4. Create a Viable Job Search Strategy

A good job search strategy can help you work towards your goal. One of the things you need to figure out is, what kind of employers you want to work for. Also figure out if you want to target small business owners, lawyers, corporates etc. and chalk out your strategy accordingly.

While it is important to work with the kind of employers you like for a fulfilling career experience, you also need to be practical about your choice. For instance, it is unlikely that you will be hired by a law firm when you do not have relevant legal experience.

Growing Your Career

Working as a virtual assistant can not only help you work from the safety of your home, it can also be a viable career option. Specialising in a field, such as law, health, or digital marketing, can help in your career growth and increase your earning potential.

Experienced professionals with a background in other sectors have a slight advantage in this regard, although there are plenty of other skills including administrative functions that they will have to learn. Virtual assistants who are freshers or come from a generalist background can graduate to being specialists by choosing challenging roles that are aligned with their desired field of specialisation along with formally upgrading their skills through courses and programmes.

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