By Elayseah Woodard-Hinton
I really wish I’d known about the world of virtual assisting and the many career opportunities that exist under this umbrella before I’d separated from the Army in 2012.
What’s great about this path is you can work from anywhere in the world as long as you have a reliable internet connection and a decent computer. This is a plus for those of you who are in the 6 month to 18 month range from transitioning out of the military because you can start setting yourself up for success in this industry prior to receiving your DD214.
VAs Have Nothing To Do With The VA
It’s pretty common in the Military and Veteran communities to hear the acronym VA thrown around in reference to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs –the government agency that provides various health care services and benefits to Veterans.
Ironically, VA is the same acronym used in the virtual assistant world as a quick reference to who we are and what we do; but what we do as virtual assistants and what Veterans Affairs does are two completely different ball games.
As a virtual assistant, the opportunities are endless if you have a specialized skill set or passion that can help with the success of an organization’s mission. You can use your skills to provide professional administrative, technical, creative, or social media assistance to clients remotely from a home office.
As a VA you are typically self-employed, so you can set your own hours, decide how much you will charge, and the services you will offer.
Some examples of services you could provide as a VA include:
- Set-up and Manage Social Media Accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube).
- Manage a client’s Blog (Basic WordPress Skills).
- Recruitment (source for other team members for your client)
- Prepare Slideshows (Powerpoint Presentations)
- Transcription (transcribing voicemail, video or audio, podcasts etc.)
- Create basic reports
- Graphic Design
- Write Articles
- Email Management/Filtering
- Following up with clients/customers (sending thank you and other reminder emails)
- Research on certain topics for blogposts, newsletters or social media posts
- Calendar Management
As you can see from the list above, some of these administrative tasks may seem quite simple; but for someone trying to run a business, these tasks can take a huge chunk out of their day leaving them with little time to work in their area of expertise.
Having a VA step in and take on many of these responsibilities can help free up time for an organization’s leader to execute their role in other key areas.
Who Is Best Suited For This Career Path?
Anyone with specialized knowledge that can bring value to an organization can get started in this industry. However, if you want to thrive in this profession, you will need to have a passion for helping others, be professional in how you handle your client’s needs, be a self-starter, and resourceful.