To be or not be a virtual assistant.
That is the question.
Virtual assistance as a fast-growing work-from-home opportunity has attracted lots of people who want to try it out. Many advantages await prospective virtual assistants (VA’s)- flexible working hours, sizable paychecks, more time for yourself and your family- that entice many to take the opportunity of being a VA.
But there are also “disadvantages” to this job, or what might seem like drawbacks when you work as a Virtual Assistant. While you entertain the idea and decide whether you can be one, there are common scenarios that Virtual Assistants encounter. You definitely need to prepare for these instances once you make the shift from to office to your home.
For new VAs, loneliness usually becomes a problem. Since you work alone from home, you might eventually miss having officemates and going out on Friday nights. The thing is, working alone is the job description of a VA (even with teammates who you talk to online), and you should have known this before you took the job.
If the feeling of loneliness becomes too much that it hinders your performance as a VA, take some time out. Since you have a flexible timetable, you can schedule breaks for yourself, and coordinate with your client or teammates regarding these. Having breaks should allow you to meet with your “offline” friends during lunch or coffee breaks. Being a VA should not stop you from being social.
In relation to this, there are also times when VA’s confront loneliness because their clients are “not present.” Unlike in the office setting, talking to your superiors is not as easy. Being able to work independently is a quality most clients look for in a VA. You cannot expect your client to always be there; they hired you because they have no time to do the tasks they hired you for. As such, they expect you to deliver without relying too much on them.
Besides, working with clients can be a bad experience. There will be nice clients, and there will be disrespectful clients. You will encounter clients that will say or do offensive things, give inappropriate criticisms about your work, or treat you unfairly. You need to prepare to be disrespected, but that does not mean you will allow such a behavior to continue.
When the relationship between you and your client turns sour, it might be better to quit the job. Just remain professional when you send your resignation letter because the rule- Respect Begets Respect- still applies.
Sometimes, however, it is not the client that is the problem but the workload itself. As a VA, you have a specific skill set that you want to develop in your job, but sometimes you will be given work that does not match those skills. You will also be given work that drains you, maybe too demanding or stressful that takes up much of your time. If any of these come into the picture, you might end up not being happy about your job as a VA.
Happiness is important in a job. Even if a job pays high enough for you, money is not the ultimate endgame of a job. What good will your money do if your stress levels are high? Find a job that makes you happy, gives you excitement and a sense of fulfillment.
And while VA’s definitely receive nice pay for the amount of work they do, there are clients who prefer to pay their VA’s once a month which means you need to wait for the paycheck before you spend on the essentials and non-essentials. VA’s then need to be financial managers for their payouts; it will be challenging for most that have weekly finances to manage.
Lastly, VA’s usually have night shifts. This is another occupation hazard, wherein your sleep pattern and body clock has to be adjusted, especially if you have clients abroad. It is not different from working in a call center of BPO office, Adjusting your sleep pattern should be an organized pattern for your schedule, making sure that you have enough time for work, sleep and personal time.
These are a few of the scenarios you might encounter once you finally become a VA. You need to be prepared for all of these, aside from the real stress of working for your clients. But rest assure, being a VA should be rewarding both financially and personally.