My Journey as a Virtual Assistant by Jenni Plaistowe
There was a time in my life where I loved the hustle and bustle of the corporate world. I have always been in admin positions, but in various roles from being the receptionist to managing the boxes at the rugby and cricket stadiums. Then the company got taken over, then that company got taken over and so on and so forth. Eventually, I became a number….literally….any queries within the company had to be followed by BUILDING NUMBER, FLOOR NUMBER, DESK NUMBER. Never a name.
It was time. I then had the wonderful privilege of being a stay-at-home mom and that came with a whole new set of challenges. During this time, I did a few work-from-home admin jobs for people I knew and got involved in charity work. But, children aren’t at school forever and things changed again.
I started the search of work-from-home ideas and the internet threw reams and reams of information at me. Sadly, a lot had to be filtered out thanks to the unscrupulous folk out there, but I came across virtual assistant work. The first thing I did was an in-depth course on Medical Transcription. This course took me from “how to open your laptop” to “learning the English language” to “The Anatomy” to “Pharmacology” and everything in between. So, I started doing some work for a couple of companies on and off. In a technology advanced world that we all live in I realised I had far more potential. It is at this point that I “started” again. I found VA Connect!!!! Now let‘s get down to serious business.
I know my strengths and I need to utilise them to the fullest. I want to be able to have that feeling of satisfaction for a job well done and I want my clients and potential clients to have the same, knowledge and comfort that their work is in very capable hands. Working in harmony with VA Connect can give me that. Let’s not kid ourselves though, working from home is fantastic and the only traffic I want to deal with is the cat and dog down the passage. I can do this, I will be disciplined, I will be accurate, I will be professional (slippers and all) and I will deliver to each client’s expectation. My new journey has begun and I am excited, nervous, anxious, confident all at the same time.
I look forward to new challenges, learning new businesses and new courses on how to better myself in the world of being a Virtual Assistant.
My Journey as a Virtual Assistant by Michelle Wilbraham
I recently joined the team at VA Connect as a Virtual Assistant and in the short time I have been with them, I have really enjoyed the experience thus far.
I started my career as a Medical Secretary and gained 10 years of experience and knowledge in the government sector. After the birth of my son, I resigned as we decided that the early stages of a child’s development are crucial and I was privileged to stay at home with him for 4 years until he started day-care.
After this I returned to work and had been working as a personal assistant/office manageress for the past 17 years, basically ending up running the office for the company that I was last with.
I was working in a half day job which suited me at the time as I had a school going son. They decided to make the position full day so I had no other alternative but to resign, so that I could be there for him. He has since left home and I now found myself having so much more time on my hands and suffering a bad case of empty nest syndrome.
I was searching for something that I could do from home and by chance came across Tammy Nortier on a facebook page and she mentioned VA Connect to me.
I have been working for VA Connect for a week now and am absolutely loving it. I have gained so much valuable knowledge and skills during this short time and been exposed to many new software packages and applications.
Working as a VA gives me exposure to new clients and and I am currently working for a USA based company which despite the time difference is easily manageable and a great opportunity.
I love working from home and don’t miss the daily commute to work like everyone else.
I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with both the client and VA Connect.
Technology in the Virtual Assistant’s world by Rene Blanc
Now a days technology is improving faster than ever before. In the past, we had to communicate with each other either via a pigeon or a messenger on a horse. Today we can communicate with each other at the push of a few buttons or by tapping the screen of our cellphone a few times. It is even further made easy with apps like WhatsApp, email and Facebook.
At the beginning of the internet everything was slow to get around but as time went on it just gets faster and faster. On a normal telephone dialup connection, downloading a 20Mb file took about 2 hours, today you can download a 20Mb file on your cellphone in seconds.
You can also share more between people than just text messages. You can also send pictures of family and friends or even of projects, you can even send video clips of the cat getting scared of a cucumber or the precious moments of the birth of a child on the other side of the world or even your favourite love song.
For the Virtual Assistant, all this is great news. We can communicate with our clients over WhatsApp, email and Skype to name just a few. The secretary no longer has to sit in the same office as the client and can still do all the same work as the average secretary. Documents and spreadsheets are easily set up and sent to our clients in a matter of seconds. Video calls over Skype makes instant meetings a reality from anywhere in the world.
Through apps like WhatsApp, we can communicate with our clients and or customers communicating our clients’ wishes to them, collect outstanding debt or even sign up new potential clients/customers.
Thanks to technology we now have better control and input over every aspect of our lives. From finances to the wellbeing of friends and family through social media. Social media apps like Facebook and Twitter allow us to not only share in the love and lives of our friends and families but also allows us to promote ourselves as Virtual Assistants to people who have never heard of or never considered something called a “Virtual Assistant” and thereby increasing the amount of people making use of a Virtual Assistant.
I have only been a Virtual Assistant for a short time but I have enjoyed every second thereof and being able to help my client to expand and increase his business. Since starting with my client I have received a great recommendation from him and helped his company grow by implementing new procedures and steps to assist in collecting outstanding debt from customers.
Being a Virtual Assistant has opened my eyes to an entire new world of possibilities and is helping me to reach my full potential. I have always enjoyed helping people and doing this job has given me the ability to achieve more than I have in the past. I only wish I could have become a Virtual Assistant earlier.
My Journey with VA Connect by Melissa Nicholson
“Some people don’t change only a direction in our life; they change everything in our life.” – Christelle Salameh
I started my Virtual Assistant journey in 2014, a journey that is very scary and extremely difficult at times to take on your own. A VA entrepreneurial journey is simply not possible alone without the help of mentors and people who have been there and done that previously. Having an idea on your own is great, but a mentor can identify and see areas in you where improvements are necessary for your own personal growth.
In January 2017 I partnered with VA Connect, not knowing how this partnership would change me as a person and also affect my entrepreneurial path. Working alongside the co-founders and serial entrepreneurs, Karen Wessels and Albert van Zyl has changed and impacted my journey profoundly. Not only have I learnt and watched how they nurture and take care of their clients, but how they have made it their life’s journey to not only positively impact everyone they come into contact with, but how they strive to motivate and uplift every single person around them.
We live in a world where people are put down and broken down according to their net worth, education or their abilities and it is very seldom that you come into contact with people who stop and listen to what you have to say and diligently seek to reach down deep and pull out from the core of your being what your strengths are and encourage you on a daily basis to be all that you were meant to be, weaknesses and all!!! That is who Karen and Albert are, and the basis on what VA Connect is built on, uplifting, entrepreneurship, assisting clients to the absolute best of our ability and harnessing a person’s skills until you become the absolute best you can be.
I distinctly will never forget a VA Connect team meeting we recently had in August, Women’s month, where the sole focus of the meeting was to get every single one of us out of our comfort zones and reflect on who we are as people and how to do everything we can to be the best we can be. There is nothing more uplifting in this world than hearing that as a person, you are valuable, you matter and that you can be anything you desire to be. It’s just not something that happens often enough.
I have seen and learnt so much in the last 7 months, that I as a person no longer question my abilities and what I am capable of. I am much more confident in my work on a daily basis and absolutely believe that I can be everything that I was created to be. Thanks to VA Connect, the word “can’t” no longer exists in my vocabulary.
I believe in life certain people cross your path for a reason and I am truly thankful that mine has crossed Albert and Karen’s otherwise I would not be where I am this day. I encourage every Virtual Assistant to identify mentors like this in your VA career path who will help you to do the same.
Things that have helped me make my life easier and more productive as a Virtual Assistant by Melinda Pennells
In my previous blog I discussed my journey as a Virtual Assistant. This month I want to discuss how to make your life easier and how to be more productive when working from home. As I said previously it was really daunting at first, I knew that I would have to “sort my life out” in order to be able to handle whatever was thrown my way and in turn make it a success.
I thought long and hard about what I could do, I am already by nature very “OCD”, I thrive on structure and being organised. When I feel organised I know things will get done, that is why I knew I had to bring my “OCD” into my Virtual Assistant position.
Here are some things that helped me and hopefully could help you too:
My work day rules
We have the luxury of sleeping in a little when all our friends are stuck in traffic but make sure you start work the same time every day. It is also important to set your hours of work same as if you had a desk job, if you would leave the office at 5pm then do the same when working from home.
Set up your office space so that everything you need is at hand, and make it beautiful, it really does help if your surroundings make you happy.
Take breaks, take the dogs for a quick walk, sit outside in the sun for 5 minutes. It is so unhealthy to work straight through the day, no matter who you are or what you do.
Organise, Organise, Organise!!
In this environment, it is so important to be organised and know what you want to do during your work day, it’s way too easy to get ahead of yourself and have everything crumble around you. Make lists if necessary, nothing fancy just jot it down on a piece of paper (preferably in a note book as little pieces of paper always go missing) and try your best to stick to it. Obviously, you will have days that “don’t go your way” but there is always tomorrow. And by having your list it won’t fall through the cracks because chances are you’ll forget to do it.
Communication is Key
When you are sitting alone at home working it is so easy to go into your own little bubble. So, it is vital to communicate and to do so often. If you don’t understand something that you have to do, ask the necessary questions. Some might think it’s best to keep quiet but that is definitely not an option when working like this, or in that matter any work environment. If you communicate everyone will be on the same level and you will understand what is expected of you, this makes your life easier and you will naturally be more productive. An added bonus is your work will be immaculate and your clients will love the work you are giving them.
The most important thing when working from home is making everything around you benefit you and make you happy and comfortable. If you are happy and organised you will automatically be more productive and life will be easier.
These things have really helped me on my Virtual Assistant journey and I really hope they will help you too.