I saw an interesting ‘side’ comment from a VA at one of the VA networks this morning. She’d commented about how unselfish and sharing the VA community has been to her and that although she works at home alone, as we all do, she felt she had a number of allies to call upon. And she is right about that.
Working at home alone day in and day out does require commitment and a resolve to manage on your own. Many don’t succeed at this. They end up suffering from feelings of isolation and depression and crave the company of others on a day-to-day basis. They leave their VA businesses and return to a fulltime job because of this.
I’d mentioned in recent posts about the value of networking outside the home to help gain resources for your Virtual Assistant business as well as gaining new clients. But there is another benefit – that regular face-to-face contact with others which can help alleviate the feelings of ‘aloneness’. Getting outside your four walls on a regular basis is important – if not just for your own physical health but for your mental well being too.
However, when you are working at home there are other things you can do to help you not feel so alone. I have the radio on in the background all day long – it’s just nice having voices and music there behind me, although not directly interacting with me. It gives me a sense of comfort.
And then enter the VA networks and forums. There are many online these days and they all have their own culture and way of operating. Below I list those that I belong to and I encourage you to visit, explore and join. Note – the forums are free to join, but the networks usually do have a membership fee. One provides companionship and the ability to share and learn information, the other provides you, the VA, with services and benefits to help you with your business.
VANetworking (they have a membership network and forum)
Some of the above also have LinkedIn discussion forums as well. So, as a Virtual Assistant, working in a home office, there is no need for you to feel alone and unconnected – join a VA forum or two or three and learn about the networks that are connected to some of them and join those too! You’ll find a vibrant helping and friendly community available to you 24/7.