The most frequently asked question when someone wants to become a Virtual Assistant (VA) is “How do I become one?”

Simple. You need to have a personal computer and a reliable Internet connection. Okay, that’s too obvious. There are important points that you need to take note of in able for you to bring it  to the next level, such as:

ONLINE JOB SITES
Know the legit online sites that offer home-based jobs. To name a few are:
www.onlinejobs.ph
www.upwork.com
www.virtualstafffinder.com | VSF FB Page

Of course, you got to know and identify what and where you are good at. The rest follows. If you are lucky enough, your client/Employer will train you. Otherwise, Google and YouTube are your best friends.

WORKPLACE
Offline or online, home-based or office-based, having a comfortable workplace is very important (this was the before by the way, the photo below is the latest and renovated home office of mine). What more if you are able to enjoy the biggest advantage of working from home with flexible hours. Just make sure that your working corner is convenient for work. Working in bed is okay but I don’t see it ideal because it makes me feel sleepy, making me doze off and leave the works that I still have to complete.

In my case, I have a workspace, with proper computer table and office chair, set up with a night lamp since I mostly blog at night when the kids are asleep.

EQUIPMENT/INTERNET CONNECTION
As I’ve mentioned above, these are the two major things that a VA needs to have, a stable Internet connection and a working computer. Laptop or desktop, it doesn’t really matter for as long as it can pass and handle technical requirements that every employer asks. if you think, it’s impossible to have the most reliable connection in your place, just try to find an employer who is not strict on this or a non-voice job.

IDENTIFY YOUR SKILLS
Look back to your previous experiences and re-assess your skills. Identify what you are good at, and then try to discover what else you can do. Who knows, the job requirements that you thought you can’t be good at is something that you’ve always been wanting to try but afraid to do.

ONLINE TOOLS
You must educate yourself with the latest online tools like Gmail, Dropbox, Zoom, Slack, ActiveCampaign and the likes, or whatever your client/employer prefers to use.

SETTING A WORK SCHEDULE
One of the many perks of becoming a VA is that you get to choose your working hours unless the employer requires an overlap in their timezone a few days a week. In case, you can work on your flexible hours, as most VA do, make sure that you set your schedule wisely in a manner that your house chores and other daily activities are not affected. Remember, working from home also has a disadvantage. It could get you into trouble if you don’t schedule everything properly.

COMMUNICATION
Your boss cannot see you and vice versa. Even your clients don’t. Make sure that you make use of the time allotted for working hours. Communicate well with your colleagues as it would also help you maintain a well working online relationship with them, making the work process flow smoothly, happily and productively.

HOW DO WE GET PAID? It’s either hourly or fixed rate. In my case, I’ve always settled for a fixed monthly rate. It’s more of long-term employment than finishing a project then again find another one once it’s finished. But really it doesn’t matter. It’s all about your preference and how you can make it work. If you want to know how do we receive the payment, the majority use PayPal. Just create a personal account, have it linked to your local bank account and get it verified. Some send directly to your bank account but please never give out your online banking username and password if that’s the case. RED FLAG! A legit employer/client will never ask for your bank’s confidential info or even a cashout. Be smart, please! Don’t fall for it.

GET ORGANIZED
I have always been organized since the day I started working. I tend to panic more when I see scattered and un-filed papers on my desk. That happens the same when I see a lot of files on my desktop. So I make sure that everything is properly filed, by folder and by the client, categorized as needed.

ANTICIPATING YOUR CLIENTS’ NEEDS
Being proactive is something that every client and boss appreciates. Taking the initiative and giving suggestions on improvement will surely take you and your online career to the next higher level. It’s pretty much the same when your child starts to deal with things with his/her initiative, that is also the time when you begin to let him/her do his/her own, trust more, and probably give a bigger responsibility for betterment.

You see, it’s not that really hard. It still all depends on you and your Internet connection. Kidding! Of course, it all depends on you just like every dream job you had when you were young. You have to make it work! Also please remember that it’s not for everyone. There’s always the ugly side of it but of course, if others survived, you can, too! I repeat you have to make it work and love it!! Once you’re at it, you also need to know the effective ways to avoid the WAHM blues.

Mitch Carvalho

YOUR DIGITAL MOM NEXT DOOR
A full-time home-based Marketing Manager by day, 24/7 Mom, and a Blogger at any time. I’m 43 and proud. Mom of Derelle & Erchelle, sharing my adventures as I walk through motherhood and having to do most things on my own while my Indian national husband works miles away from home.