Virtual assisting is an extremely new profession that has only come about since the boom of the Internet. Though in-person office assistants are still necessary in many areas, there are a number of executives that are finding a number of benefits in employing a virtual assistant instead.
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is an individual that generally works from home with anywhere from one to a handful of clients. Completing typical administrative support tasks such as handling phone calls, transcribing, and scheduling, a virtual assistant may do almost anything that a secretary would.
What Is Needed to Be a Virtual Assistant?
One of the benefits of starting up a virtual assisting venture is that there is minimal upfront investment required. These days, most consumers have a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. Other requirements may be a dedicated landline phone, a headset (available for less than $10 online), and faxing capability.
What about Payment and Benefits?
The vast majority of virtual assistants work as independent contractors, legally self-employed. Actual payment schedules may vary, with payment arriving anywhere from weekly to monthly. Payment may be via paper check, direct deposit, or an online payment service. As self-employed individuals, virtual assistants are not eligible for any company benefits, but may purchase benefits from companies specializing in offering such services to the self-employed.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Working as a Virtual Assistant?
With such high gas prices, even relatively short commutes are becoming outrageously expensive. The cost becomes extreme when a job requires at least a thirty-minute drive from home to work, reducing profits to such an extent that it is no longer affordable to work. Working from home reduces this problem, with no travel required for a position in virtual assisting.
Parents may spend more time with their children with the reduced time to get ready for work and commute time. Depending on the age of children, some parents are even able to work online while providing adequate supervision for their children, drastically reducing the cost of child care.
Who Shouldn’t Try This Line of Work?
Some people do not work well when left to their own devices. The relatively free schedule of working from home with all of the distractions in the house such as cleaning, children, and television can easily result in a lack of production.
How Can I Find a Virtual Assisting Job?
Since virtual assisting is an online employment venture, it only makes sense that the best place to look for this type of job is the Internet. Depending on a particular area of expertise and experience, positions may be found on websites specializing in connecting virtual assistants with employers as well as from freelancing websites. However, do be aware that many positions posted on freelancing websites for this type of work generally offers less pay, as many applicants live in other countries.
If this sounds like something that my fit your personality and desired lifestyle, first seek to obtain at least one position before quitting your current job, as with any other position. With some hard work and dedication, you can make your new business a success.