My Journey as a Virtual Assistant by Jennifer Botha
It has been a year since I started my journey as a Virtual Assistant and so far the journey has been one of hills and valleys and some huge mountains for me to conquer. My journey began when I moved from Knysna to KZN onto a smallholding way out in the middle of the sugar cane fields, far from the city and towns.
I liked the idea of working from home so I got wireless internet, which was the only option and started researching online. I had heard about freelancing sites and started looking there. I found an article about being a Virtual Assistant and that really appealed to me so I continued looking. That was when I found VA Connect. I sent an email asking if they were looking for more Virtual Assistants and Karen sent me forms to register. Within just a few days I had my first client.
I was excited and terrified at the same time as this was something completely new to me and I had got sick and could hardly see through my swollen red eyes, but I pressed on through my fear. I remember placing my bible next to my computer and every time I felt the fear surging up through me, I’d stop, look at my bible, pray and just keep on keeping on.
I started working on a three hour retainer for my client which then increased to half day and shortly after increased to full day. I have learnt a lot on my journey and been very thankful for Youtube videos. If ever I get stuck with something my client has asked me to do, I know I’m very likely to find the answer there. It’s also a comfort knowing that although I work remotely, I am still part of a team and can also reach out to them when I just can’t find the answer. Often though, it just takes asking the question for the answer to come to me.
As with most things in life there are the pro’s and the con’s but definitely the pro’s outweigh the con’s. It is wonderful not having to travel to and from work every day and getting stuck sitting in the traffic. I do miss the face to face interaction with work mates, chatting and laughing at the coffee machine, but I definitely don’t miss the office politics. I do miss dressing up for the office, but I also enjoy not having to. I can choose to sit in bed with my laptop and still be professional at my job. I remember having to call the director of a large shipping company once whilst sitting with my laptop on my camping table and thinking how great that was to be able to maintain professionalism and be in such a peaceful and natural environment. Being a virtual assistant allows me the freedom to still do what I love, because my office is mobile. What a pleasure!