A virtual assistant has many job duties and the majority of the work is done at home in front of the computer. You may need to make a run to the post office a few times, but for the most part, you work at home. This type of assistant can perform many different job duties such as answering incoming calls, replying to voice messages and emails, typing, making travel arrangements and researching. These are just a few of job duties.
Most clients that request the help of a virtual assistant do so because they have no room for an assistant in their office or they have no office per say. Office assistants can make good money depending on what the job duties are and the client. Most virtual assistants make between eight and fifteen dollars an hour. There are some advantages and disadvantages to being an assistant in the virtual world.
Some client put high demands on the assistant. Some clients feel that the assistant should be at their beckon call no matter what time of day it is or what day it is. Before agreeing to work with anyone, you have to set your hours and stick to it. If you let a client contact you any time of the day, you will open a door to burn out or become frustrated. Some clients expect a person to be able when they need them and this causes problems with your home life.
If you want to be a good virtual assistant, you need to set the hours right away and the hourly pay. You also have to set up a spreadsheet of your hours worked so that you have all the necessary documentations down to the minute if the client questions your work or pay. Most clients are easy to work with, but some will take advantage of your time. You have to discuss everything up front before agreeing to do the work.
Working at home can be a great opportunity for moms with small children at home. As a virtual assistant, you need to have a place to work with very little distractions if you have to answer phones or return calls. Most clients will have a phone system that you log into to answer voice mails and make calls. Typing up documents is usually done in Microsoft Word and sent via email back and forth. However, this could be different with every client.
Before you accept a virtual assistant job, you should clarify what office programs you need and whether or not you will be using their phone system to answer and make calls. You do not want to accept the job and find out later that you need to make long distant calls from your own phone. Each client is different and has different needs. If you work only a few hours a week for one client, you may have time to take on another client to make a full forty hour week.
Many clients are looking for virtual assistants, but will have a specific title for the assistant such as an executive secretary or office manager. It is very important that you know what type of work you will be required to do for each position. Executive secretaries have more job duties in the office setting, but in the virtual world, the work is similar to what a virtual assistant does.
If you accept a virtual assistant position, you will be responsible to dedicate your time during the hours specified. If you have conflicts with the hours, you should always discuss this with the client upfront. Many clients will be able to work with you so that you can still fill their needs. You must also keep in mind the different time zones. If you take a position with someone that resides in the UK and you live in the US, the hours that you work may be at night when you are usually sleeping. It is very important to clarify the hours for different time zones.
If you can type, do light research, answer and return phone calls, you will have no problem performing as a virtual assistant. You just have to clarify the job duties before accepting any position.