My Journey as a Virtual Assistant by Annie Francis

Hi, my name is Annie, I became a Virtual Assistant by chance, because my boss of 22 years passed away suddenly and as there were only two of us in the company, I was ‘forced’ to retire!

I had spent most my working life in the shipping industry, starting out working for the Ship’s Superintendents, which involved organizing the annual maintenance of the vessels, ensuring the vessels were always in good working order. Also looking after the crews’ needs. Liaising with the Port Authorities for pilots and tugs to bring the vessels in, arrange for berths, customs officials and the health department to meet the vessels. I took over the running of a coaster up and down the Mozambique coast line, where I was in charge of the crewing and supplies of the vessel, organizing the cargoes as well. I was lucky enough to spend the last 22 years working with my late boss in the brokerage side of shipping. There I ran the office, typed all the Charter Parties, ensured all the documentation was up to date and all the accounts. Arranged meetings between our office and our Principals. Organized all flights and overseas trips for my boss. I loved my job!

I was at a loose end after the office had been closed down, not knowing what to do with all the spare time I suddenly had! My daughter suggested that I looked into working from home, as I liked the idea of being home, but was getting bored after having worked all my adult life, there is, after all, just so much house work one can do!

So I started researching on the internet and found VA Connect, I liked what I saw and decided to give it a go.

It was a pretty straight forward process, I sent in my application and my C.V. and after an interview with Karen shortly afterwards I was introduced to my first client, who is a dream come true, so appreciative of all that I do for him. My main tasks for him have been making his phone calls as it is something he doesn’t like to do, sorting out his SARS appointments, making appointments with Estates Agents and doing research for his various project, which I have really enjoyed doing.

Working from home is a pleasure and a privilege, apart from keeping up with all the new technology, one has a purpose and a reason for getting up in the morning.

You can schedule your life to include your training runs and coffee dates with your friends, you can even do house work, should the urge overcome you!

I would thoroughly recommend this way of working, you have all the advantages of earning a living and still being at home, what more could a woman ask for?

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