9 golden rules for Virtual Assistants
A Virtual Assistant (VA) has similar responsibilities to a PA, but all work is done remotely. For a VA it is important to have experience and/or networking and/or an excellent understanding of PA work processes.
It is not difficult to be a VA if you live by the following 9 golden rules.
- You need to be obsessed with order. You must be obsessed with “order” because this is the №1 reason a typical employer needs you.
They don’t have time to manage and think about documents, which are usually a mess. They don’t have time to order financial reports chronologically, nor to organize events and other administrative tasks. You have to collect and provide him/her with updates.
- You need to be the calendar officer. Every day your “№1 task” should be the employer’s calendar. You should manage all deadlines, appointments, meetings, presentations, and calls. If one thing goes wrong, the rest will come crashing down! And don’t forget about scheduled commitments at home.
- You need a strong memory and a warm heart. You should remember all the information, concerning your employer’s business. Try to remember every detail, your boss has in their work routine. For example, their favorite café for business breakfasts or the name and contact details of any person who works with them, when to schedule meetings and when not to, when they should pay their insurance, housing costs, courses, medical treatments and so on. If you give this information as early as possible you will receive a long contract and good reputation as a VA.
- You have to think ahead. Try to prevent all unpleasant situations which could upset them. When your employer is travelling, make a plan which includes: a map route, address details (telephone, street number, zip code), the full name of the person with whom they will meet, as well as weather details during the trip (mention if they will need an umbrella, winter clothes, or certain footwear). It is critical to book everything in advance, and to know about any penalties for changes or cancellations. All detailed should be discussed with your employer in advance. Make a clear plan.
- You have to be online. Yes, sometimes it is difficult, but if your employer is on a business trip you should be close to your desk. Otherwise, all the processes you organized will fail.
- You have to be positive. Remember that being positive doesn’t mean telling jokes or sending emails with smileys all the time. You should find a balance between professionalism and cheerfulness. Your employer wants to trust you and feel relaxed, they want to feel confident and calm, that’s why they are using your services.
- You have to be computer literate. All standard computer software, presentation platforms, graphs and Excel have to be well-known programs to you. If you aren’t familiar with any software from this list, you should find online courses on the Internet to help you learn.
- You have to be attentive. Double checking is a must. By that, I mean data, information, times, locations, and all documents you provide. Better to check twice than regret once.
- You have to be respectful and appreciate your privileged access. Remember that you will have access to all sorts of personal information. It’s critical for you to respect the privacy and position of your employer, and for you to maintain a high level of integrity and a sense of discretion. This will also deepen the trust in your working relationship.