There still seems to be confusion, at least amongst the newer entries into the VA industry, that they are looking for ‘jobs’ online as opposed to seeking ‘clients’.
The confusion of not knowing what your target market is in getting established as a Virtual Assistant will cause considerable delay in getting things happening.
You can get jobs where you are an employee and are operating from your own home, but that is not what a Virtual Assistant is about. VAs are usually business owners, not employees. So being a VA doesn’t mean you’re a PA as in the corporate world, and being responsible for your role and service to one person or one company, but rather you end up supporting several people and businesses. You are responsible for the set up of your office, the services you supply, the software, hardware and other equipment you purchase, the hours you work, the rates you charge, the tax, insurances and other overheads you pay, and are responsible for your successes and failures.
There is no ‘corporate culture’ to settle into as such, although I could forgive you for thinking that is the case in many VA networks and forums – each has developed its own culture and feel. But when you become a VA and set up your business you work out how you want to operate and how your business will feel. You don’t go onto someone else’s payroll. Some of your clients will provide you with daily, weekly or monthly work, and others will be ad-hoc, as the need arises. Generally as an employee you are guaranteed xx number of hours of work a week and are paid accordingly, that is not the case when you’re a business owner. However, many VAs do set up retainer agreements with clients so that they know in advance how much work they can expect on a monthly basis.
So, if you’re researching this industry and considering becoming a VA, it is important you know the difference – you are not looking for ‘jobs’ as an employee but rather for work that you can carry out as a business owner/operator.