For most, working from home is a “the” new normal, however, for people who have been working as virtual assistants even before the economy collapsed because of the virus, working from home is nothing but just another normal day.
Virtual assistants are getting more popular nowadays because of the global pandemic that left most employees with no choice but to work from home. People have become so used to Zoom meetings, time trackers, and office set-ups that those who have always been working in the office have somehow started to embrace the possibilities of applying as a permanent virtual assistant. Okay, I’m not pertaining to myself, but somehow, I can attest to that *wink*
Admit it or not, working from home gives off a whole lot of benefits compared to reporting in the office. Gone are the days of transportation, streams of heavy traffic, falling in line to wait for the bus, or fighting the urge to doze off while driving. Now that you have adapted to it, I guess the next practical step is to take advantage of it as long as it lasts, right? And that brings us to this topic of how to become a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistant vs. freelancer
For starters, the term “virtual assistant” often coincides with “freelancer”, but these two are completely different. Basically, freelancers are workers of any job type, remote or not, who report to multiple clients. They do not have a certain employer and they often work on their own schedule.
Virtual assistants, on the other hand, are employees who obviously work remotely. A virtual assistant can be a jack of all trades as there is a wide selection of remote works out there such as web designing, administrative services, and blog writing. In short, you can be a virtual assistant and a freelancer at the same time.
Preparing your resume
Like all job positions, employers of virtual assistants set certain standards and qualifications that you have to meet. If you don’t have any experience, it is best to find a virtual assistant job closest to your previous job experience. For instance, if you have experience working as a customer service representative, declaring it on your resume will look good for jobs that need
the specialty in providing customer service such as appointment setting and sales support.
While there are some employers who will ask for experience in different tools, most of them will be willing to teach you the software that they use at work. All you have to bring is the grit and perseverance to learn how their system works.
Tools and equipment
One downside of working from home compared to working in the office is that you have to provide your own tools and equipment. In fact, there are employers with requirements when it comes to your desktop and Internet connection.
Stable Internet connection
The first thing that you need to have is a strong and stable Internet connection. Prepaid wifis and broadbands are becoming a thing right now for those who are starting their journey as virtual assistants and do not have enough funds ready for getting a fiber connection with all the deposit and advance fees. These Internet connection aids work, but keep in mind that there are employers who prefer these only as back-ups and would rather hire someone with a fiber connection.
Most employees will also ask for your Internet speed using the Ookla Speedtest tool online, so if you are applying for a role, you better be prepared with your Internet speed and test it before your interview. A good Internet speed should be at least 12mbps for the download speed. If there are more than four devices connected to your provider, the “ok” speed is at 25mbps.
Desktop or laptop
To be completely honest, some virtual assistant jobs can be done using only a mobile device. But of course, that would not be very efficient in the long run and if you are committed to booking more than two VA jobs, you will really need a desktop or a laptop. A good laptop or desktop should have at least 4GB of RAM but if you want to work smoothly for jobs that require graphic or video design, the smart move is to upgrade to 8GB of RAM.
Headset and microphone
These tools come together, though they are not necessary at all times. There are only certain jobs that require a headset and microphone, obviously if you will be tasked to speak with clients and customers.
A webcam is also not very necessary compared to the first tools that I have mentioned, but it is always best to have it prepared since there are clients who will ask you to join virtual meetings during your on-boarding period.
Finding the best job
Now that you know some of the basic tools and equipment that you need to have, you are almost ready to find the best job. The easiest and most accessible way to find a virtual assistant job is through online job platforms, just like jobs that are non-remote.
But compared to non-remote works, virtual assistant jobs are easier to apply to as it does not require physical reporting or interview. Most of the time, these job ads will ask for your resume or will ask you to send them an email. Interviews such as the initial, operations, and client-based are all conducted virtually. There are also important things that you need to remember when it comes to these types of interviews, but that will be discussed in our next blog!