Virtual assistance is one of the fastest-growing career fields today. Becoming a full-time VA has a lot of perks, ranging from flexible hours to work-life balance.
However, to be successful in this career, a certain level of professionalism is required. If you’re thinking of becoming a virtual assistant, make sure to do the following steps:
Set up a Suitable Work Environment
The best thing about being a VA is that you will be working from home or virtually anywhere you want. If you’re working from home most of the time, then you need a suitable workspace.
Ideally, you want to set up your working area in a quiet and comfortable spot in your home. If a home office isn’t possible, then maybe you can set up your work area in a corner of your living room or bedroom.
Next, list down all the equipment you need to get the job done. Aside from your computer, you most probably need a headphone or speaker, sticky notes, paper, an additional screen, table lamp or task light, etc.
A peaceful, clean, bright, and organized environment is essential to focus on deep work and stay productive.
Understand Your Job Priorities
One of the best things about being a virtual assistant is you are free to choose your working style and schedule. Whether you prefer a 9-5 work setting or a staggered schedule, you can find a job that suits you.
However, once you start working with your client, you need to make sure that your chosen schedule and setting complement the requirements of your clients. This means you have to be there when they need you and complete work on the agreed schedule.
Be Someone Your Client Can Rely on
To succeed in this role, you need to be extremely organized. Your client won’t be around to check on you from time to time. They won’t be able to see what you’re doing round the clock. They mainly rely on your communications and work output. They rely on your promise to deliver.
That said, you want to be someone they can depend on. When you say you’ll get a task done in a specific period, you should do your best to get it done on time.
Luckily, some tools and apps can help you keep track of your projects. Meanwhile, most companies that employ VAs and other remote workers also utilize employee time and attendance systems to track employees’ productivity and progress.
Manage Tasks Like a Pro
Time management and organization are two critical skills for a virtual assistant to cultivate. As a VA, you’ll need to handle different tasks, from email management to data entry, and project management.
To make sure you don’t miss anything, you have to create a strategy and learn how to prioritize tasks.
For example, instead of multitasking or trying to do different tasks at the same time, group them accordingly and work in batches.
For example, rather than switching from your inbox to your Excel sheet trying to reply to emails and record data simultaneously, dedicate time for each task.
Maybe you can spend an hour answering emails before you go back to data entry. Then after say two hours, you can check your inbox again. Follow the same technique to complete different tasks.
Be Attentive to Details
Since you will be working on your own, with little supervision and instruction from your client, you need to be highly attentive to details in order to thrive in this role.
Attention to detail is one’s ability to ensure thoroughness and accuracy when accomplishing tasks, no matter how small or big.
Errors can cost your clients money and ruin their reputations. Whether it’s just a minor typo error or missing information in an email, it can cause disappointment and frustration in your clients.
Attentiveness to details isn’t a skill that comes naturally to everyone. Luckily, you can develop and master it with good practice.
Be Ready To Handle Challenges Well
Even if you’re working from the comforts of your home, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever feel pressured or stressed as a VA. The truth is that most clients only think about their own problems, rather than the tasks of their VAs.
Unlike in a traditional office where you can simply tap your supervisor or colleague when you need help with something, as a VA, you have to rely on your abilities. You also need to be resourceful so you can find solutions to the challenges you’re facing.
Aside from task-related challenges, other issues like power interruptions, connectivity issues, and technical problems can get in the way as well. You need to have the proper mindset and prepare for whatever challenges come your way.
Always Do Your Best
To succeed in your role as a virtual assistant, you should continually strive to be better. Some days can be extremely challenging and you have to work harder to complete a task properly.
However, doing your best doesn’t mean working tirelessly until you’re burnt out. After all, if you reach a point of exhaustion, it can significantly slow down your productivity and requires a considerable amount of time to rejuvenate. Work smarter and be more productive by organizing your work in an effective way. Make sure that you get enough sleep, efficiently manage your time and don’t forget to workout regularly so that you can stay mentally and physically healthy to continuously achieve maximum productivity.
Being a virtual assistant can be rewarding. However, to succeed in this role, there are several steps you need to take. Start by setting up a dedicated workspace where you can focus on deep work.
It’s also necessary to align your priorities to your job, work hard to meet your clients’ expectations, and master the necessary skills to handle your job well. Lastly, always strive to do your best. No matter how simple or complex a particular task is, do it with passion and dedication.
Additional reading resource: 5 Ways To Run a Successful Virtual Meeting