Starting out as a Virtual Assistant
So, you have made the decision to leave the world of mono-employment and move out into a new realm, the exciting world of Virtual Assistants – congratulations, you have taken the step towards an exciting and gratifying career. You have your decision made, your big ‘Why’, your ‘What’ and your ‘How’ sorted. You know you have so much to offer as a VA and can’t wait to get started.
In considering your ‘Why’, you would either have come across this career path, personally known someone, or even have been following the career of one who has chosen to be a VA, and his would have struck that chord within you that made you sit up and take notice of this being the path you want to be walking. So, what’s next – have you considered finding a Mentor?
What does it mean?
The word Mentor conjures up different meaning for different folk. A Mentor is basically someone that has more experience, skills beyond those which you currently possess and from whom you can learn and benefit.
During your work career you would have had some Mentorship along the way, even if it was not an officially appointed Mentor as such, there would have been those who were showing you the way, teaching and guiding you in your work career. Perhaps you didn’t perceive them as Mentors at the time, but they were there.
When is the best time?
There is no specific point or level in your career that is ‘best’ in having a Mentor, neither is there any limit to the number of mentors that you may interact with. There will ALWAYS be a benefit in having a Mentor, ALWAYS something to be learnt, shared or emulated. Some will help and strengthen you in one area and others in a completely different area. It is all about the learning, the teaching and sharing of knowledge, the interaction and the paying forward of skills and expertise learned from another.
Choosing a mentor
Mentors come in all forms and do not necessarily need to be in the exact field in which you operate. You will already possess a great toolbox of skills in which you have experience and expertise, however, there is always space for honing them and adding a new sharp edge. Look for someone that displays the same values that you have, possesses some of the skills you would like to add to your own toolbox and is willing to listen to you, guide and direct you, but mostly, someone that you really admire and inspires you to succeed as they have. Approach them. Tell them that about your admiration of their success and ask if they would be willing to act as your Mentor. Many would be honoured to be exactly that.
As VA’s we should be constantly learning and evolving, so, the old saying with a twist here is ‘Learn Smarter, Not Harder’ and what better way than with someone who has already walked the path successfully.