The Transition from Day Job to Virtual Assistant

7/22/2014 Christina Winsey

The Transition from Day Job to Becoming a Virtual Assistant

by Rev. Dr. Christina Winsey

 

If you have worked in corporate America, but you would prefer to work from home, virtual assisting and working from home may be your answer.   Certainly there are advantages, and disadvantages to both options.  When considering becoming a virtual assistant you will wantto weigh the pros and cons, as well as the various factors that come into play.

 

If you currently work a "day job," and are considering becoming a virtual assistant and working from home, the idea of eliminating the cost and time of commuting to an office is can be extremely appealing.  You may be holding yourself back because you don't believe you can create the income you need.  You may also be hesitant to give up the benefits an employer provides.  You may even have your identity wrapped up in your career and the idea of leaving it behind is upsetting.

 

Be a Virtual Assistant Employee
But becoming a virtual assistant doesn't necessarily mean that you won't work for a company.  There are virtual jobs that are full-time,
the only difference is that your "office" is your home.  Many companies have gone this route to hire employees who work from their homes in order to cut overhead and expenses.  Some of these companies offer a benefits package as well.  You can find many opportunities of this nature at www.virtualassistants.com
on our job board.

Be a Virtual Assistant Business Owner

If, however, you are looking at the option to be a virtual assistant so that you can be your own boss and call the shots on your time and commitments, then you will need to look for clients who value and will pay for your services or for a company that particularly wants employees of your qualifications who will work from home.

 

What are the steps you need to take in either case?  

   
Do a Self-Assessment.  You need to make a list of your talents, capabilities and qualifications.  Get a full snapshot of what you have to offer that could be turned into a valuable service to offer the marketplace.  One place you might begin is to review skills assessment tests at O*Net Online.  If you are looking to work for an entrepreneur or professional you might be making calls, sending emails, blogging, doing social marketing, or medical transcription.  However, if you were to look for a virtual assistant position with a company it could include being on a phone router to take customer service calls, or it could be a higher level project management job, in which your entire team is also virtual. 

 

Do Your Research.  Consider whether virtual assistant jobs you are qualified for will pay enough to cover your expenses.  If you are married this is naturally a discussion you and your spouse will have to determine together.  Make sure that your search is done on legitimate job boards like that on www.virtualassistants.com, where you will find verified and legitimate jobs - both for companies or for entrepreneurs or professionals looking for someone like you to whom they can delegate tasks.  The Small Business Administration may also be a place to begin your research to learn marketplace need. 

 

Make a Clear Decision on a Niche Need.  While you may have a variety of qualifications and services you could offer, it may be helpful at first to concentrate on finding a virtual assistant job, or marketing to entrepreneurs who you know would need a particular service.  In other words, find a need in the marketplace you know you can fill, and fill well.

 

Consider Your Reasons.  What are your reasons for making this transition?  This is an important question because working from home can sometimes pose a challenge to your motivation, drive and discipline. When you work from home there may be interruptions of family and/or you may find yourself distracted by other household tasks, rather than concentrating on your work. 

   
Be All Business Even Though You Are at Home.  If you treat your virtual assistant business like a business it will flourish.  If you treat it like a hobby you will probably be disappointed in the results.  Decide whether you are able to set yourself up with all the required technology and all the space you will need in order to complete the tasks that will be required by the services you provide.  Usually the very basics include:

 

-phone

-up-to-date computer with sophisticated operating system

-printer 

-scanner/fax

-stapler

-calculator

-Any specialized items pertinent to your services (i.e., if you are a graphic artist you may have to purchase software to create graphics.

 

You may want to look for a very part-time virtual assistant job that you can do at night, to get your feet wet before deciding whether you will quit your job.

The bottom line to all this is that before embarking on the transition from corporate to home be methodical about how you go about it and list all of the considerations involved to reduce your risks and maximize your success.

 

About the Author:
Rev. Dr. Christina Winsey is a women's empowerment coach, and author and speaker.  Clients reduce stress, gain confidence, improve health, lose weight and conquer negative habits and addictions.  She writes a regular column called WORN Mothers for the free online magazine www.birthandbeyondmagazine.com and can be reached at  www.TheICanDoctor.com
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