Online Career Focus: Virtual Assistant

online virtual assistantsVirtual assistants are the Internet’s version of the administrative assistant/secretary. They work from home or from their own offices to provide assistance to their clients. Virtual assistance is one of the fastest growing careers online. It is one of the most lucrative, provided you can offer the experience and quality service required in the industry.

What exactly is the job of a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant (or VA) functions as an online office assistant. Some of their tasks include: secretarial work, project planning and administrative assistance. Virtual Assistants are called upon to receive and make phone calls and other communications, plan and coordinate meetings and travel bookings, assist in managing a project or coordinate logistics with concerned parties.

What makes their job different from that of office assistants?
Virtual Assistants often do not meet or work with their clients in person. They use the internet, fax machine or telephone to communicate with their clients and perform their jobs. They can also work from anywhere and may handle clients locally, nationally or internationally.

Virtual Assistants work independently, although they may be subject to comply with quality standards as agreed with their clients.

Who hires Virtual Assistants?
Virtual Assistants usually work with small business owners, independent professionals, online businesses and other individuals or companies who require contractual assistance.

How do you become a Virtual Assistant?
You should at least have a background in office administration and/or secretarial work. You should also have the necessary equipment and facilities, such as a reliable computer, broadband Internet connection, your own phone line, printer, some office supplies, etc.

Many Virtual Assistants receive training (usually online) and become certified VAs. You can offer your services by placing an ad online or you can work with an online agency to find your clients.

  • I hope you can post where we can apply as a virtual assistant. Happy New Year

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  • Cyprus,

    Being a virtual assistant is not the same as being an employee where you ‘apply’ to some company. It’s a business, where you set your own work rules and define your own market, skillsets and direction. As with any business, you do your own marketing, bookkeeping, operations, filing of business permits, networking, work scheduling, and so on.

    To a client, you’re not considered an ’employee’ but an outsourcing subcontractor. They won’t cover your taxes, SSS or Philhealth contributions, you do that on your own. They won’t define your working hours, that’s for you to decide (although there may be times that you must align your working hours with theirs especially when customer services are involved). Hope this helps.

  • @ Cyprus – i have posted a list of sites for you to check if your interested of becoming a Virtual assistant

    @ Jonathan – thanks for that info… I agree

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  • Ken

    please check our site http://callworksoffshoresolutions.com/, Our main mission is to provide our clients with quality services to meet their administrative and various office needs outside of an office setting.

  • The way I see it, hiring a personal assistant isn’t as easy as just going online and signing up with a company who’ll provide you with the service and hope that everything clicks. First of all, you have to know how to properly delegate the tasks that you’d like your virtual assistant to do for them to do it right the first time.

  • Eve

    Great post, and some good comments!

    Becoming a VA can be very lucrative, you are right. But building on from what Jonathon said, you do need to have a bit of initiative – to be able to manage your time and book keeping effectively, to research what niche businesses you are going to target and acquiring the skills necessary. It also requires you to stay at the forefront of the industry – so you know what wage to ask for, you know who your competitors are and you know what sets you apart. Oh, and you have to actually be good at what you do – it is alot easier for businesses to change contractors than it is for them to get rid of employees.

    It is definitely not the same as just being a secretary online (which is why it is more lucrative than secretarial work ;-) if you do it right)

    Thanks for a really good outline of what a VA does – very informative!

  • lala

    Im currently working as a VA here in the Philippines but still looking for a job same position. Kindly help me guys, i heard in Baguio they have VA account. But not sure and dont know what company

    Please advice.

    Thanks!

  • m yakub chowdhury

    i like this topics ,i am willing to do this work

  • m yakub chowdhury

    its also a helpful topics,example of modern technology

  • Hello! Virtual Assistant from Olongapo City here! In addition to VA jobs there are social bookmarking, SEO, data encoding, copy typing etc..those are few of the jobs/tasks that most VA’s do.

    How do you become a Virtual Assistant?

    ++ Yes, having an office administration and/or secretarial work is a plus but its actually not necessary..what is the main key of becoming a Virtual Assistant is you are detail oriented and can follow instructions. Why? Because most or let say some of the clients are providing instructions – in video or in text file format..all those are in plain english..I myself is not a good english speaker but I can follow instructions. Now I have worked with 100 clients in total from 2005 till now. That time I was just renting computer on the internet cafes. I already earned $700,000 from different projects and clients/employer.

    I do SEO jobs, Data entry, mining, fast typing, graphic designing, social bookmarking etc..TAKE NOTE..I started from 0, I have NO SKILLS, NO PORTFOLIO TO SHOW TO ALL OF MY CLIENTS but NOW who may say that I came from that? My patience and honesty really paid off..

    So I encourage all of my kababayan there are lots of jobs online..just search search search…God bless!