Are you considering a job change which includes working for yourself as a Virtual Assistant? As someone’s who’s been there and done that I‘d like to share my experience.
In 2014, I was at a crossroads workwise. I was working part time for a business and, while I enjoyed the work, there were those parts of my job that I didn’t enjoy. “What would it be like,” – I asked myself, “to just do the parts that I liked all the time? And how was that even possible?” Like many of you my work career didn’t unfold exactly as I pictured it when I was at school! At 15 I decided to study Physiotherapy and subsequently did so, graduating in 1992. For the next 10 years I worked as a Physio both in Australia and overseas – it was wonderful, and I found a lot of satisfaction in the work.
After moving to the Netherlands in 2001 Physio took a back seat as I started as an employee with Nike at their European Headquarters. For the next 8 or so years I held a series of positions in Facility Services and Corporate Services. Working for a high-level multinational company was amazing, educational, great fun and also challenging. There were many opportunities for training and advancement. Ultimately, I found my niche in a Business Specialist Role where I was able to integrate my Lean* coaching role into helping functions collaborate effectively. The common thread was focus on the customer, efficiency and continuous improvement.
*[So what is LEAN? – Lean is a business mindset focused on the relentless elimination of anything in a process that does not add value to the output. Value is determined by the customer and represents what they are willing to pay for.]
2011 brought me home to Australia without work and now without the possibility of practicing Physio (which I had always done here) having let my registration lapse years previously. I decided to merge my 2 work worlds and began as an admin for a health business. Fast forward 3 years brings me back to my crossroads.
During a conversation with a friend in which we were discussing “what next?!” I came up with (or thought I came up with!) a new profession – as I loved helping people, and organising them, I decided to become a “remote personal assistant”. Of course, getting home that day my bubble was burst as I realised that there was already a thriving industry of Virtual Assistants or Virtual Professionals!
Starting as a Virtual Assistant – I got really lucky when, as part of my research I made contact with 121Temps. I did their Online Assessment, chatted with the CEO Liz Parker and signed up. 5+ years later – I’m still with them and constantly learning. In association with 121Temps, I’m also listed on VA Placements which allows businesses searching for Virtual business services to be matched with a skilled Virtual Professional.
So, to you! If you need a change of direction and are considering becoming a Virtual Professional – I applaud you, It won’t be easy but you can achieve it.