by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated
You’ve worked in an office for years. You’re good at your job, but dread the morning commute. You long for a flexible schedule that works with your family needs, not against them. If this sounds like you, you could work at home as a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants provide administrative services to their clients via the Internet. Though not required, experience as an administrative assistant can be helpful.
To work out of your home, you will need a telephone line, personal computer, printer, and Internet access. A fax machine is also helpful. If you would rather not invest in a fax machine, try an online fax service. For a monthly fee, you can send and receive faxes by email.
Some virtual assistants find certification helpful in keeping their skills at peak performance. The skills improved upon through certification include executive support, business decision-making, customer service, and project management. Certification is also helpful in gaining credibility among your colleagues, and potential clients. Try vacertification.com for more info on becoming certified.
Pump Up Your Resumé
Is your resume looking a little thin in the experience category? If you are willing to volunteer your time, you can quickly gain the experience you need to succeed. There are a number of websites available to connect you with a nonprofit organization in need of your skills. Try idealist.org, volunteer.gov, or volunteermatch.org. Beneficial to your career and the charitable cause of your choosing, this match is a win-win situation. Work hard and you will likely accumulate some professional references as well.
Choosing a Niche
Once you have established yourself as a virtual assistant, you may want to consider choosing an area of specialization. Most virtual assistants choose to specialize in a field of interest, such as real estate or medical transcription. Make the most of your expertise and interests when choosing a niche market. Specializing will help you gain credibility with your clients. Over time, you will become an expert in your field, all from the comfort of your own home.
(2007). The Media’s Virtual Assistant Survey Results. Retrieved March 7, 2009 from VA Networking Website:
(2004). Virtual Assistant Skill set. Retrieved March 7, 2009 from Virtual Assistant Certification Website: http://www.vacertification.com/skillset.htm