I frequently see e-mails from people who have x years in administrative, bookkeeping, organizational, etc. roles, who are well-seasoned and well-skilled. Because they are not quite sure what else they can do, they are looking for some kind of executive assistant role, hopefully paying more than $10/hour.
I hate thinking that someone with so much wisdom, experience and business savvy will have to digress to an entry-level role when they really could and should be able to contribute so much more.
That’s where Virtual Assistants (VA’s) come in. I’ll confess I don’t know a ton about VA’s, and if I were as good as Alexandra Levit I would have done a bunch of interviews, and had great stats for you. Alas, I’m not that good, so I’ll throw out my ideas, and point you to some resources, and let you do your own research.
I love the concept of setting up a VA business because:
- You can earn more than $10/hour. Depending on how you speciliaze, or where your clients are, I think you can charge more than $40/hour. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
- You can set your own hours. You are a VIRTUAL assistant, meaning you don’t have to go into an office (no commute), and play the political games, and punch your timecard just for the fun of it… if you do your best work at midnight, cool. If you do your best work between 9 and noon, cool. That’s when you work.
- You define what you do. VA’s are quick to point out they are not merely data entry clerks, although I’m sure many do data entry ($40/hour is pretty pricey for data entry, but hey, people pay it). But I’ve seen other VAs define their boundaries, and I’m amazed at the skillset they are bringing to the table. Seriously, think about what an assistant would do for you, or for a CEO, or a one-man business…. that is what these VAs are doing. I’ve been on radio interviews where the VA is the technician, because they understand what buttons to push to get the recording… define your own skillset and market that.
- It is entrepreneurial. And you already know how I feel about being an entrepreneur, or at the very least, having another income stream.
- Need more money? Get another client! Too busy? Scale back. You are your own boss, and you set your own schedule.
- what did I miss?
Of course, this isn’t for everyone, but I really think it’s a great option for a lot of people. And it helps that Tim Ferris, author of The Four Hour Workweek, really sensationalizes the idea of having a virtual assistant, so he’s turned the world onto the idea of buying the services.
If I were going to look at being a VA, I would start by googling the phrase. But I would pour over the information at Virtual Assistant Directory, and the owner’s website, Kathie M. Thomas. She writes the popular and information-rich blog for Virtual Assistant Directory. Another site to check out is Ultimate VA Support.
I don’t write about career ideas like Alexandra Levit, but this is one of a handful of ideas that I really, really like, and know I’ll be pointing people to this post for a while.