This is a common question amongst VA forums and one that many new VAs ask. And somewhere along the line, the thought and responses have become slightly skewed with responses like ‘you should never pay for getting work’. Whilst on first sight this appears to be a sound response, I believe you need to look at this much deeper before answering with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
For example, the site you’ve visited – is it a membership based site that offers many benefits to its members? If so, and the benefits are worth receiving, then paying to join that network is worth doing. You are not ‘paying for work’, you are paying a subscription fee and one of the benefits may well be receiving client contacts and jobs.
However, if all the site is offering is a list of available jobs for a fee and nothing else, then it may well be worth moving on to another site.
There are many, many VA networks out there, some with membership fees, some without. All have something valuable to offer to the industry and to the individual VA and they are worth exploring. Compare their membership benefits and see if you can contact other members to get feedback. Are there testimonials on the site or can you learn from the members via a VA forum?
When seeking the answers to questions like the one above, ensure that the responses are coming from those who have been in the industry somewhat longer than yourself. It’s those with the experience and knowledge of the industry who can often steer you in the right direction.
Kathie is the owner of VA Directory and is former past President of the Australian VA Association. She founded the Virtual Assistant industry in Australia in the mid 90s, having already been operating a home-based secretarial service. Today the VA industry covers a multitude of office-based services for clients worldwide.