How to become a VA

What was once looked at as a side project for adult women or where young teens posted their personal thoughts is now a viable career for virtual administrators wanting to create content online by blogging as a virtual career.

Blogging is very versatile, especially now that many companies have realized that content is key and not even just the content itself, but the continued creation of new content to keep the website up-to-date and fresh with new material.

This changing of the tides for blogging has really opened the doors to many virtuals with a skillset in writing crisp and clear copy and has a lucrative pool of potential clients looking to begin and maintain a blog.

Below are reasons why positioning yourself as a virtual blogger can be a very great career choice and also some considerations:

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Some people go into virtual assisting for a full-time career, leaving behind an office job or just going straight into virtual work out of college. Others want to get into virtual administration but may not know how to navigate part-time virtual assisting.

Virtual assisting offers the great ability to work as much or as little as you need–as different clients have a different amount of work they need completing on a weekly and monthly basis.

Taking the time to research, network, and put yourself out there with your skillset as a virtual assistant is the main way to find work, but once you are out looking, you also have the availability to find work that fits your schedule and lifestyle needs.

Below are some virtual assisting positions that are great part-time opportunities for virtual administrators.

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We live in a technological world which means we have a lot of tools, both online and offline, available for us to make life easier.

As a virtual assistant, you will be wearing many hats depending on what the company you work for needs you to do. You may do administrative work, bookkeeping, scheduling or social media. This seems like a lot and keeping organized may be difficult, but that is why knowing the right virtual tools for success can make a huge difference in what your life and your desk look like.

Meadows VA School came up with a list of the top virtual tools for virtual assisting success. Below we discuss the major ones that may be helpful to your virtual administration career.

Shared Drives

Google Drive is the major platform when it comes to sharing files these days and for good reason. You can create documents, excel sheets and power point all within the drive and share and collaborate with ease.

Most times, you will be working alongside your company to create, edit and finalize ideas and other forms of work. Being able to jump into a document, create it, send it and see others comments in one spot is so much easier than printing, emailing and waiting for a response. It also allows you to be a part of the project from start to finish.

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Different fields may give different benefits based on your work and what company you work for. Some people find 401K’s and health insurance to be perks, others find two weeks paid vacation to be a perk.

For many virtual assistants, the perks do not come in the tangible form of vacation or a savings plan, but in the idea of being free from an office and free to come and go–as long as the work is being done. The freedom is whatever you make of it, whether it be working out of a coffee shop every day or being able to wear comfy pants while you work. Below are some of the main reasons many enter the field of virtual assisting and some virtual assistant perks.

Working From Home

Working from home is a major benefit to those who work as virtual administrators. You can roll out of bed, jump on the computer and sit with a cup of coffee and no one would know the difference.

This lifestyle works very well for women who want to be a stay-at-home mom, those who may have a disability that prevents them from commuting or even college students who want to start a meaningful career but do not have the time to go into an office.

Anyone needing a little bit of freedom from the 9-5 rat race can truly benefit from the idea of working from home. You save money on your commute, you do not need an entire wardrobe of office clothes and you can be around those you love a bit more if they are also home with you.

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Being behind a computer screen can connect you to the world, but it also can be isolating if you do not continue to create new connections. One thing that can get a bit harder as a virtual assistant is networking opportunities. You are not meeting people daily and not able to really speak with others about your capabilities and how you can help their company attain its goal as a virtual assistant.

While it may be harder, virtual assistant networking is not impossible and here are some options on how to network digitally:

Forums

Online forums allow for you to involve yourself in conversations with other virtual assistants around the globe. You can share stories, offer and ask for advice, or simply create lasting virtual friendships with those who work in the same field as yourself.

Forums are a great place to get answers to most of your virtual assisting questions as well because more likely than not, someone has already asked the question you have asked–which can be reassuring that someone else struggled with a similar situation so you feel less alone.

A good start is virtualassistantforums.com which is a very robust and engaging community of virtual assistants to answer questions and potentially find work.

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Our Virtual Assistant Spotlight Series focuses on members of Meadows Resources Virtual Assistant Team and how they came to decide a career in virtual administration was the best fit for them. Below we speak with Amanda Vigil:

When did you decide you wanted to be a virtual assistant and what made you consider the change?

I originally went to Texas A&M for music and then went into accounting but realized accounting wasn’t what I enjoyed. I went into business and fell in love with marketing. My next thought was what can I do with marketing? I started working with Houston Area Council and the American Women’s Business Association and became their Publicity Coordinator and I would say that is where my career in virtual marketing took off.

Did your career background and experience fit into the general realm of virtual assistant work or was this a complete change in career?

It felt like something I was always supposed to do. I did go to college as a music major. From looking at that to where I am now is a huge jump. I ultimately didn’t want to be a music major and thought “Well maybe I can become a music teacher.” I then really thought I wanted to do accounting after jumping into business and then moved to general business as my concentration as a start with the notion that I could change my mind later. I was like “I will take this accounting class,” and realized it wasn’t for me. I then went to marketing, but before went to management briefly. I decided “Let’s do marketing,” but stuck with a general business degree to learn a bit of everything. I always felt strongly about marketing even through the changes in major I made in college.

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Our Virtual Assistant Spotlight Series focuses on members of Meadows Resources Virtual Assistant Team and how they came to decide a career in virtual administration was the best fit for them. Below we speak with Jennifer McPeak:

When did you decide you wanted to be a virtual assistant and what made you consider the change?

I actually was attempting to launch my own VA business last year. With having more than 15 years in administration, clerical, social media management, I felt that it was time for a change. I had already been doing the work and I wanted to do that from home with my clients.

Did your career background and experience fit into the general realm of virtual assistant work or was this a complete change in career?

For me, it was kind of both. It wasn’t a complete career change because of most of my background being in administration and I worked in administrative roles. It was a slight change because it moved from clerical to a contractor so it was a little different but played up on skills. Also going from a brick and mortar-type job to working from home can be a change.

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There are many instances when being self-taught can be a cost-saving way of becoming trained in a certain field. While this may work, you may be shortchanging yourself on many different opportunities you may have found putting a little money out to get formally trained. Most times, you do not need to pay thousands of dollars for a college degree and can instead get certified and trained in a field without much money being put out there.

Virtual assisting is a field that is best left to be taught by the professionals. There is much to learn on the subject and you need to be the best you can be with the knowledge to properly conduct yourself in a way that will continue to a lucrative and fulfilling career. Here is why being trained as a virtual assistant is a great career move:

All Information is Located in One Place

Being taught formally in virtual assisting can help keep everything you need to learn organized. What does this mean? Well, you will have learning modules, PDF’s or Powerpoints made available to you that are easily accessible if you are ever in a bind. Most VA School’s offer many workbook pages and other pieces of information that can be kept in the same place.

Meadows VA School’s Best Practices is an organized list of all the best practices for virtual assisting all in one place.

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Okay, so you really feel like you can make a go of it as a virtual assistant. You like the idea of working at home because you may be a mother, retiree, or simply looking to leave your office job in search of a bit more freedom.

Luckily, virtual assistant positions offer the freedom to work from your home, a coffee shop, or wherever you can find high-speed internet, a place to sit and work and the ability to take calls in peace.

Now, here is the caveat to it all, you may or may not be best suited for this position after all–even if you want to take part in being a person virtual assistant. This does not mean you will never succeed in the position, you just may have to try a bit harder than others to be able to fulfill all the administrative duties and needs of a virtual assistant.

Below are some of the most successful personality traits that tend to succeed in the business of a virtual assistant position.

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Becoming a virtual assistant is a smart move for someone looking to find a rewarding career helping other companies by offering your administrative skills virtually.

What may have been viewed as a job for stay-at-home moms or retirees has now come into the spotlight as being a great career for those young and old, with children or without and can bring just as much respect and happiness from a career as an in-office worker.

Now, the decision to change should not be a light one and should not just be because you want to work from home and you think it’ll be simple work. Just because you are not in office does not mean as a virtual administrator that you will not work hard and have deadlines. You will also not just be sitting around all day as your clients WILL need you.

Below are some tips to ensure your career starts off on the right foot as a virtual assistant.

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