Tag Archive | Virtual Assistant

Career Focus: Work at Home as a Virtual Assistant by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

  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. AdirondackSchirs

 

The Technology

 

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.

 

Certification

 

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. 

 

 

Sources:

(2007). The Media’s Virtual Assistant Survey Results.  Retrieved March 7, 2009 from VA Networking Website:

http://www.vanetworking.com/survey/virtual-assistant-statistics.htm.

 

(2004). Virtual Assistant Skill set.  Retrieved March 7, 2009 from Virtual Assistant Certification Website:   http://www.vacertification.com/skillset.htm

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

 

 

Career Focus: Work at Home as a Virtual Assistant by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

  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. Buntstifte

 

The Technology

 

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.

 

Certification

 

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. 

 

 

Sources:

(2007). The Media’s Virtual Assistant Survey Results.  Retrieved March 7, 2009 from VA Networking Website:

http://www.vanetworking.com/survey/virtual-assistant-statistics.htm.

 

(2004). Virtual Assistant Skill set.  Retrieved March 7, 2009 from Virtual Assistant Certification Website:   http://www.vacertification.com/skillset.htm

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

In Praise of Podcasting, by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

by Sandra Beck

in praise of podcasts by sandra beck, motherhood incorporated

in praise of podcasts by sandra beck, motherhood incorporated

In Praise of Podcasts by Sandra Beck, Motherhood IncorporatedIn praise of podcasts A plethora of cliches often signposts a kernel of truth. Take your pick: women are good at multitasking; there aren’t enough hours in the day; I feel torn in two. Time is tight if you’re juggling motherhood and working. Add in any vague ambitions at maintaining broader interests or world awareness – and you’re stuffed, aren’t you? I laugh at the idea of old me, feet up, reading the newspaper. I used to enjoy settling down with a good non-ficton book to really get myself informed on an issue. My friends and I debating over black coffee and pastries – we could have been in Paris. For me, podcasts are an amazing shortcut. Simply browse, pick the ones that interest you, and subscribe to them. That ensures that I always have the latest edition on my iPod. I always have an ear in when I commute. I’ve been known to stay listening if I’m walking with the buggy. It gives me an hour each day out of nowhere, that very nearly meets the definition of ‘me time’, At least, I feel a little more like ‘me’ if I can make informed contributions to conversations. Being a London fan. I’m a big fan of BBC output. However, the real joy of the podcast can be in its accessibility to the amateur broadcaster. A high rated contributor on a podcast directory can often combine reasonable ‘listenable’ production values with some sharp commentary that the mainstream networks wouldn’t dare broadcast. I think that this anarchist iconoclast edge takes me back to my student days. We all know how seductive it is to feel young again. For Christmas, we got a radio which can be connected to an MP3 player. Now the kids are getting into podcasts too. They enjoy all the songs and jokes from their favorite characters, without needing to be glued to the TV. I thought I was being especially clever when I put a ‘tidy up song mix’ on my iPod. The kids loved it – they twirl and dance while I’m crouched on the floor picking up the toys. Never mind. Some interesting sites to browse: http://www.podcastblaster.com/directory/ http://www.podanza.com/podcasts/kids/ http://www.motherhoodincorporated.com

Have a Clear Cut Strategy for your Small Business, by Sandra Beck

by Sandra Beck

Having a clear cut strategy for your small business will save a lot of headache in the long run. I see many small businesses trying to be everythign for every customer thinking that they will get a wider income stream. Most of the time, they end up doing a lot of things not very well.  Knowing what you offer and focusing on how or why your product is better than the competition is key to giving value to the client and having them come back again and again. Using the Internet and some online services at a fraction of the cost can keep your overhead down and your profit marging high.  Studying other companies like yours in other cities can also help you devise your strategy for success. Keeping your small business on target with your strategy will ensure success!

Juggling Work and Motherhood

by Shannon Penrod

Being a Mom who works from home is a lot like learning how to juggle.  Years ago I was taught how to juggle by the head instructor of the Barnum and Bailey clown school, that’s true, not a joke.  Learning to juggle is not an overnight process.  First you have to get used to the feel and the weight of the balls, then you get a feel for the rhythm of a three ball juggle by rolling the balls on the floor with a partner.  Eventually you start to toss the balls into the air, at first there is a lot of dropped balls but you stand close to a wall to minimize drops and bending over time.  Gradually you get the hang of it. 

Once you have the three ball juggle you learn passing with a partner and then you begin adding more and more balls in until you loose your desire for complication.

It occurred to me today that this has exactly been the arc of my working as a virtual assistant for Motherhood Incorporated.  I started out slowly and got a feel for what I was doing. Gradually I started to handle multiple projects, getting a sense for the necessary timing so that everything could be completed in a timely manner while my household continued to function. 

The three balls were my work, my house and motherhood.  There are times now when I can get all three balls smoothly in the air. Sometimes I even get oohs and ahhs from the crowd; but I’ll be honest I still have balls drop from time to time.  I know from learning to juggle from the best that this is to be expected. Balls will drop, but they must be picked right back up.  No one learns to juggle without dropping balls.

And now I am learning how to pass and add other balls into the mix.  Some days it seems more like a shower of balls cascading onto the floor, but I have seen the future and it is a sea of well juggled balls, smoothly sailing past my head, in and out of my hands, past my clean kitchen, into the hands of another mom, past my smiling child and into a client’s computer.  MMMMM!  I like the picture.  Surely it’s worth a few dropped balls to get there.