The role of virtual assistant was originally synonymous with administrative assistant. A VA performed administrative tasks like scheduling, data entry, file management - the overload work that was too time-consuming and repetitive for a busy executive or business owner to focus on. More professional careers have gone virtual now, and the demand for many different skill-sets has expanded the definition of a virtual assistant.
If you are considering a WFH career, here are some of the skills you may be able to offer clients as a virtual assistant:
The traditional administrative skills are still in high demand. Expanding companies are looking for virtual assistants to answer emails, field phone inquiries, schedule appointments, handle travel arrangements, and coordinate meetings. You may have some of these skills from a previous job or you could draw on personal experience running your household and planning family vacations.
In our digital world, data is king, and data collection systems are everywhere. Companies still need people to clean up the data, program new forms, and query databases to create reports. Some industries, like medical, are still inputting some data by hand. Whether your data skills are entry-level or advanced, there is a need for all types of data specialists.
There is a broad range of applications for project management skills: engineering, programming, marketing, just to name a few. Project managers have a big-picture perspective on projects, create interim milestones, delegate tasks to team members, and track and report progress. Demonstrating your ability to meet deadlines, manage budgets, and project timelines could make you valuable to potential clients.
From social media to earned media, marketing covers a lot of ground. Just knowing how to use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram could be an entree to a virtual assistant position in marketing. With some experience in Facebook advertising and Google Ads, your opportunities in this area become wider. Marketing also can include content creation, a fancy way of saying you can write a few sentences to engage an audience on any platform. With some graphic design skills, your content creation abilities become even more marketable.
When you got your IT training, you were told there would always be a job for you, and unless you have let your skills lapse, this is still true. Technology continues to change fast, so it is important to keep up on the latest, whether you are in-network security or database administration. Technical skills are highly sought after and one of the easiest areas to apply to a work-from-home lifestyle. The best way to demonstrate your skills in IT is to obtain certifications in your area of specialty.
This is just a brief summary of the skills you could offer as a virtual assistant. Your first step should be to identify the skills you have and figure out how you can describe and demonstrate them to potential clients. Consider taking some online skills courses to brush up on the basics if you have been out of the workforce for a while.
There is really no limit to virtual assistant skills that are marketable. The other advantage to developing a career as a virtual assistant is that you have access to employers around the world, increasing your job pool exponentially. You no longer need to live where your specialty is in high demand or worry about the length of your commute cutting into family time. Anyone can become a virtual assistant and benefit from the WFH lifestyle.