Every week I write a blog about what it means to be a Virtual Assistant, how you can use one to benefit your business, and what you can outsource to one. This week though I thought I would do a piece on why I love being a VA. To be honest, there’s a bunch of reasons but here are my top 3.
# 1 – The clients
Anyone who has ever worked with me in any of my many customer service roles will probably find this a bizarre thing for me to say, but I love my clients.
I’ve always been quite infamous for my dislike of customers (FYI, they are NEVER right when you work in retail), and I’ve never tried to hide this fact from employers (or customers, for that matter).
However, there is something very different about the people I work with and for these days.
My clients are professional business people, they are driven, they are enthusiastic and they are forward-thinking. Yes, there are some exceptions to those rules and I have come across a whole new level of not nice people (trust me, those are not the words I am using in my head) but generally speaking, my clients are all kinds of ace.
One of the best things though is the fact that I get to work with them over time, which means you can build genuine relationships with them. Whilst I do offer an ad hoc service, and sometimes it may be months between working with someone, over the years you build rapport and you get to know them, their families and their interests.
I may work alone, quietly from my office, but I definitely feel like I am a big part of their team, and I adore that.
# 2 – The variety
Being a VA means you have a tendency to take on a wide number of roles for different people. For some clients I just manage their email, for others I do research, book venues, source suppliers, do data entry or chase outstanding invoices.
On top of the regular work I do for people, I get random requests from one-off clients, or people who only plan to use me for one task. The things I get asked to do can range from the mundane to the downright bizarre, and I love the sheer variety. I never know what’s going to land in my inbox from one day to the next, and I think that’s quite exciting.
The most bizarre thing I’ve been asked? Well, that’s a whole other blog!
# 3 – The challenge
Being an assistant of any kind is a challenge, being a VA is even more so. Some of my clients I have never met face-to-face, in fact, some I’ve never even had a telephone conversation with, we just communicate via email. That can be a huge challenge in some ways, especially when you consider how easily things can be misconstrued in text format.
Equally, juggling the various demands of multiple clients, all of whom have different deadlines to work to and (rightly) expect to be your priority is difficult, to say the least. However, I thrive on that level of challenge, and no, I don’t always get it right, but the vast majority of the time I do. Most importantly, I learn from the times that I don’t.
On top of just doing my job, I am actually running my business, which means I have my own invoices to send and debts to chase, research to do and marketing to stay on top of. I think that makes me well placed to genuinely understand the time pressures my clients are going through, and at times that means we find ourselves lamenting just how bloody hard it all is over a glass (or three) of wine.