For many people, working from home as a virtual assistant sounds like a dream come true. You can develop your own schedule, tempo and modus operandi while helping a company grow and thrive at the same time.
Taking the plunge from a 9-to-5 office job to a remote virtual assistant might seem daunting at first, especially if you have no previous experience. However, there are many skills that you already possess that can help you work in this position!
When companies and employers hire virtual assistants, there are two main things that set apart qualified candidates: experience and skills. Some companies will prefer an experienced candidate, but many actually have a tendency to prioritize a candidate’s skill set.
To present yourself in the best light to potential employers, you can accentuate some of the most important virtual assistant skills that you already have. Here are some of the most desirable ones:
According to the Oxford Dictionary, resourcefulness is defined as “the quality of being good at finding ways of doing things and solving problems, etc”. As you can see, even if you have never worked as a virtual assistant, you have probably displayed resourcefulness thousands of times during your lifetime.
When you work as a virtual assistant, it’s important to start building a whole different view on problems and issues. You shouldn’t feel unmotivated or stressed out because of challenges – they are simply matters that require solutions.
“I would say my problem-solving ability is my number one skill that I use in my everyday job. I’ve learned to look at a problem from multiple different angles. This allows me to find the best, fastest and most efficient solution for any problem”, says Neightan White, a part-time virtual assistant who’s also working as a blogger on Supreme Dissertations.
If you’re talkative and have the talent to clearly and honestly present your ideas and thoughts, you are half-way there to becoming a great virtual assistant.
Given the specific nature of the job where communication is carried out mostly through online tools and emails, good writing skills are crucial as well.
“When I’m assigned a task, I first make sure that the expectations are clearly stated. If not, I will communicate to my employer all the further information or clarification I need to get the job done”, says Kylie Nordham, a full-time virtual assistant at Best Essay Education.
Time management skills
Another highly important virtual assistant skill is definitely time management. When you learn how to manage your working time efficiently, you will start feeling like you can do more in less time.
Most of the time, you will be bombarded with dozens of different tasks, and you will have to know how to divide your time and prioritize them. You will usually learn which tasks to prioritize after some time on the job, but even when you first start, common sense and intuition will help you a lot too.
Like all other humans, you will make mistakes on your job as a virtual assistant. Sometimes, you might be in charge of a very important task, so there’s a chance that you will make some really serious mistakes.
These things happen, especially to people who are focused for hours on end and who multi-task. When it happens, it’s important to not let them get you down and discourage you.
Through your career as a virtual assistant, you will have to build resilience and have thick skin. If you receive negative feedback or criticism from your employer, take it as a learning suggestion and don’t let it de-motivate you.
For most virtual assistants, their job role and tasks are not set in stone. After some time, you might start receiving some tasks and questions that you didn’t expect. It’s one of the double-edged swords of working one of the most interesting jobs of all: the virtual assistant.
To handle this in the best possible way, you will have to adapt all the time and tackle new challenges as they come. The positive side of this virtual assistant requirement is what makes the job so much dynamic, interesting and educational than most others.
“I started working on simple data entry. After a couple of weeks, I had a new task of email correspondence with clients. Now, after 8 months on the job, I can say that I’m juggling tens of different tasks, so I can definitely say that it requires flexibility”, says Michael Pole, a virtual assistant at Wow Grade.
Finally, we have come to one of the most important skills for virtual assistants. Namely, the somewhat vague term ‘organization skills’ actually covers a wide array of soft skills, such as:
- time management
- attention to detail
- precision and accuracy
Whether you are aware of it or not, you organize things all the time during your everyday life. Planning? Remember all the birthday parties and events that you have single-handedly planned. Time management? Think about juggling your school, part-time work, and social activities back in the day.
Some people are naturally more organized than others. If organization skills are your forte, you’re already on your way to becoming a rock star virtual assistant.
And if not, there’s always room for improvement! You can read some of the advice from expert psychologists and career coaches on how to boost your organization skills to the max.
As you had the opportunity to read, you already have some of the qualities and skills that will make you an awesome virtual assistant. All that’s left is to start applying to jobs and nailing job interviews!
Throughout your career, you should always strive for more and continue working on each of these skills. The more you advance, the more you will experience benefits from a well-developed skill set.
Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Besides working as a contributor writer for WritingJudge and Studicus.