Virtual assistants or VAs are highly-skilled professionals, mostly home-based, that work for companies, businesses, and entrepreneurs. How to become a virtual assistant? What are the benefits? What do you need to get started?
They usually work either part time or full time to provide them mainly with administrative, customer service, social media, and technical support.
And, if you are currently looking for a job that gives you the flexibility to work at home or anywhere you prefer, then becoming a virtual assistant in the Philippines might be the right choice for you.
To help you, we’ve listed down some benefits and challenges you may face as a Virtual Assistant.
Benefits of being a Virtual Assistant
Being a virtual assistant is hard work, however, there are still benefits that may motivate you to start your journey.
1. Work-from-home Set Up
Other people’s dream of working from home is a reality for a virtual assistant.
Virtual assistants work remotely, meaning they don’t have to go to a physical office.
This is a huge advantage, especially nowadays when traffic in the city is just horrible and also Covid-19 is still on the rise.
As a virtual assistant, you can either enjoy doing work in the comfort of your own home, in your favorite café, or even anywhere in the world, maybe at a beachfront or at a vacation home away from the city.
This way, you can get all the inspiration you need to work excellently.
2. No need for daily commute
For most people, the most stressful part of working at the office is the long drive or commute to the office.
Some people wake up as early as 3AM every single day just to get to the office on time.
What’s even more painful is that sometimes people still get to the office late because of the train or car breaking down, or because of really bad traffic.
And so, even if they did their part of waking up at 3 AM, they still arrive late. Which results in a salary deduction.
When you become a virtual assistant, gone are the days when the traffic is stressing you out on the daily.
Gone are the days of enduring long lines and crowded trains and buses.
Gone are the days when the unpredictable drive or commute in the morning and evening is pulling the life out of you.
3. No dress code
Since you don’t have to go to the office as a virtual assistant, you don’t have to worry about the dress code and getting a memo from the HR office.
You can do work in your most comfortable clothes and just dress up whenever you have meetings. Plus, in a practical sense, you save time and money for laundry.
4. Productivity and work-life balance
As a virtual assistant you can say gone are the days when life revolved around work. When all you ever did was wake up early, go to work, go home late, and sleep.
That’s it. It’s like you’re simply surviving just to get to work.
As a virtual assistant, you will no longer have to waste 2-3 hours a day for your commute, you can spend this time doing more productive things.
You can spend more time with your family, read a book, engage in sports, and increase your knowledge and skills.
This way, you can live a more productive and holistic life.
5. Career Advancement
Being a virtual assistant will allow you to work on your strengths and skills.
And as we all know, working on your strengths and skills is more fulfilling, can help you improve faster, and will enable you to be the best that you can be.
As you gain more experience in your employment as a virtual assistant, you are given opportunity after opportunity to hone your skills
.If you are the type of person who is ambitious and career-driven, yet at the same time is someone who values a well-rounded lifestyle, being a virtual assistant is the perfect job for you.
6. Low start-up costs
You do not need expensive hardware or software to get started.
While it is possible to have various tools depending on the services you provide, there are some tools that are more useful for long-term use.
However, it is not necessary when starting out. So take some time to figure out how to structure your business to make it more efficient.
Challenges of becoming a Virtual Assistant
1. Finding your very first client can be a struggle
As a new VA, finding your first client can be hard. You will also need to work hard in establishing a strong portfolio.
Even after becoming a professional VA, the need for a good portfolio still remains. Thus, you still need to work hard to get notice and attract more potential clients.
Even if you are not an experienced Virtual Assistant, it is still possible to start somewhere and still find work.
It is still possible to get into a rhythm and work towards a goal.
Working from home may be in a lot of people’s dreams. Others may find it very easy to do, while some may find it very challenging.
If you are looking to do this job to be home with your kids during the day, then that is great!
However, you will still constantly struggle to balance work and your duties at home.
It can also be very difficult to work when you know that movies and social media are just a click away.
Sometimes, it’s hard to work from home if your family and friends don’t understand what you do.
Also, finding the motivation to resist the temptation to distraction and focus on work is incredibly important for success.
3. The line between work and personal life
Sometimes, working outside your home is a lot easier to manage, as it allows you to focus more on the task at hand.
Although, some virtual assistants find it hard to stop working and this idea of working more than living is taking a toll on their quality of life.
Even if you don’t work everyday, it can be hard to find the time to relax when you constantly think about work.
Working from home can be hard, but it is important to set a boundary between work and your personal life, to be able to enjoy life more.
4. Being a Virtual Assistant involves a lot work
As a virtual assistant, you may handle a variety of tasks that a business owner would typically do by themselves.
You need to keep track of all projects, especially if you work with multiple clients. And it is important that you keep track of all the tasks and projects assigned to you.
If it seems like something you are not used to, then it may require you to make some adjustments.
Remember that not being organized can turn into a disaster. Fortunately, there are a lot of tools and programs that can help you with that.
5. Less or no employee benefits
As a virtual assistant or a freelance virtual assistant, you may not be able to get the perks that are usually offered by a company.
You may not have paid vacations, sick leave, 13th month pay, and sometimes even some holidays, because some holidays in the Philippines are not the same where your client is from.
However, these issues are just minor problems because most virtual assistants make far more money than they are used to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is becoming a virtual assistant worth it?
Becoming a virtual assistant is hard work and you’ll probably work more hours than you did in an office setting.
However, becoming a virtual assistant is worth it because, most of the time, you are the one in control, which means you can have a work-life balance.
Is being a virtual assistant a real job?
Being a virtual assistant is a real job. It is a legitimate job, even if some people may wonder whether it is real or not. However, not every virtual assistant job is the same.
Whatever route you choose, a virtual assistant job will definitely be available for you.
You will be able to earn well with the benefit of flexibility in terms of being able to work from home or anywhere you prefer.
We hope the list of benefits and challenges motivates you to start your journey as a Virtual Assistant in the Philippines.
Rei is a resident Author on Mango & Coffee. Specializing in business development online. Well-versed in article research and creation. A long-time independent worker, assisting clients with administrative work, business development projects, social media, marketing, content writing and other tasks.