The job duties of a virtual assistant are very similar to the responsibilities of a traditional secretary. The big difference, and great benefit, is that this job is performed from home. The world of virtual assisting has really opened up over the past couple of years, and it is reasonable to expect this trend to continue on the rise as more and more employers begin to realize the value of having a work at home assistant. Whether this is a position that is right for you will depend on a number of factors, but it is definitely a work at home job that is worth consideration for most people.
The Requirements of a Work at Home Virtual Assistant
Like any work at home job, the number one qualification you must have is the ability to manage your time efficiently, even through distractions. There will be deadlines to meet and priority must be given to completing tasks within a given time period. Beyond this, each client will have somewhat varying sets of requirements. The basic minimums however, are excellent grammar and communication skills, a relatively fast typing speed of 70 words per minute or more, the ability to multi-task, and a good working knowledge of different types of computer software.
In many instances, this will be all you need to get started. There are clients, however, that will require a more specialized set of skills that you may or may not possess. A legal client, for example, may only need a basic receptionist type assistant to handle their daily phone calls and correspondence. On the other hand, they could be looking for an assistant to help them plan their cases and handle a good bit of legal research, in which case you’ll need some education and/or background in law.
In any event, there are a few things in the way of equipment that you will need, regardless of specialty, to become an efficient work at home virtual assistant. Perhaps it goes without saying that a computer with a good, fast, and reliable internet connection is a must. You will also need the ability to copy, scan, and fax documents as needed.
While some clients will communicate strictly online, others may want to have daily or weekly phone conferences. Others still may desire to route incoming calls to your home office for you to handle, so you’ll need a dedicated land line for the purposes of work. Finally, you’ll need a proper work environment that is quiet where you can concentrate on the task at hand.
Getting a Virtual Assistant Job
There are many places online to look for this type of work at home opportunity. You may try searching online classified ads, but more specialized sites will bring you more results. Create a great resume and post it on several virtual assistant websites that are designed to bring employers and employees together.
You might also try marketing yourself to some local businesses by giving them a copy of your resume and educating them on the advantages of having a virtual assistant. Set a fee for your services that is fair, yet competitive and pretty soon you’ll be likely to find yourself with more work than you can handle!