A virtual assistant is much like a secretary, and the duties of this position will include taking notes, answering calls, delivering messages, and typing up documents. The only difference is that you will be handling all of these tasks from the comfort of your own home rather than being in an office. With the nature of phone and internet communications being as advanced as they are now, being a virtual secretary is easier than ever.
Often a job as a virtual secretary will involve temporary employment at various tasks. Companies that need help for an upcoming project or period of time will contact virtual staffing companies. This company then contacts available employees, and connects them with the business that needs their help. The staffing company is paid a finding fee that comes directly from the business that employs you.
Most of your communication as a virtual assistant with your boss will be over the phone, with emails used to present detailed information. Your tasks will vary based on the type of company that employs you, but should include the basic secretarial tasks that one might expect.
Pay in these jobs is by the hour, however it is important that you actually work and don’t just accept employment and then laze around watching television while they pay you. These companies will be tracking the results of any tasks they give you, and if you are not efficient and hard working they can and will fire you. If this pattern of behavior continues the staffing agency may drop you as well making it nearly impossible to find more work.
On the other hand if you are a hard and diligent worker, and if you do a good job, there’s a chance that the company may want to hire you on for a more permanent position. This can be full time or part time, based on what you work out with them, and might even include benefits and incremental pay raises based on performance. The idea is that if you do a good job, you will be rewarded with more work.
One of the greatest drawbacks to working from home as a professional virtual assistant is that it can be very distracting. If you have family, especially children in the house, they can be a constant source of distraction making it impossible for you to concentrate on your work. Often people don’t realize that just because you work from home doesn’t mean you’re on vacation; you are actually doing a job. This will prompt them to interrupt you with any little nuisance that they feel like. In order to be successful you need to find a way of dealing with these distractions so that you can focus when it comes time to get to your tasks.
Setting a special place aside where you won’t be distracted, whether it is an entire room, or a dedicated part of a larger space, is a great way to separate work from leisure time. When you are in that space you have to be professional, in mind and action. This will help to keep you in the zone so that you can be diligent and successful in your work at home career.
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