Many prospective or new VAs are keen to get as much experience as they can to be eligible for job leads that come along, but how do they get the experience if a client only wants someone with experience? The answer is to volunteer their services!
I don’t mean give away a lot of your time, but I do mean keep your ears and eyes open for opportunities in areas where you already have an active interest. Perhaps it’s your local kindy or junior school where a son or daughter attends. The mother’s club, parents’ association or similar is looking for someone to assist with typing of letters, developing a database, doing some mail merges or even write up grant and funding proposals. They won’t want to pay someone to do this and are open to you learning on the job – if you’re willing to give your time.
Perhaps your local church, sporting club, or industry association is seeking volunteer help with newsletters, organising events, event registrations and front desk support on the day of an event. All of these things serve to help you get experience in areas where you may want to develop and hone your skills and offer them as a service that is paid for. Or, it may help you determine what services you don’t want to offer! ;-))
This is exactly how I built up experience over the years and it has provided me with skills I never thought of developing when I first started my business 12 years ago. Remember, the client isn’t asking that you have ‘paid’ experience – just experience that provides you with the knowledge of how to get the job done in the best possible way to help them achieve what they need for their business!