Wondering if you should make the leap into self-employment as a Virtual assistant? Here are ten reasons for your “Pro” column!
1. Setting Your Own Hours
One of the greatest advantages to being a virtual assistant is the job’s flexibility. While this varies by job (for example, if you’re working as a virtual receptionist, you’ll be expected to follow a strict schedule), many positions will allow you to plan your work to fit in the gaps of your life, and vice versa.
Need to take off for a doctor’s appointment or sick child? Simply work when you get home. You may find that your hours involve the “wee ones” on occasion, but it’s a small price to pay for no longer punching the time clock.
2. Income Potential
Depending on the job, most virtual assistants earn between $25-$75 an hour. Let that sink in…
3. Casual Dress Code
Many office jobs require you to dress professionally without a professional’s salary. As a virtual assistant, you can often spend all day working in your fuzzy robe (slippers optional). Of course, if you’re working with Skype or other video-conferencing tools, you might want to invest in a few good outfits, but they won’t be able to see your shoes…
4. Follow Your Passion
If you love crunching numbers, editing books, designing web sites, dealing with real estate paperwork, legal work, the medical world, or whatever floats your boat, you can find a virtual assistant position in that field. While many VA’s find themselves taking every job that comes along for the first year or so, most end up specializing in a niche they enjoy. Getting paid for doing what you love…isn’t that the definition of success?
5. Sole Proprietor or Employer
As a small business owner, you determine how you want your business to grow. Do you want to be the sole proprietor of your own boutique firm or do you eventually want to employ other VA’s as a large service provider? The decision is yours.
6. Childcare Solved!
One of the working parent’s greatest dilemmas is childcare. In many instances, you find your wages eaten up by daycare costs – to the point that you wonder if working provides any financial benefit at all. As a virtual assistant, you’ll work from home most days, making childcare costs obsolete. Every day can be “Take Your Child to Work Day.”
7. Telecommuter Heaven
Do you pull your car onto the beltway just to be parked in traffic for an hour every morning? When you telecommute, the only cars in your way are made by Hot Wheels.
8. Low Start-up Costs
Chances are you have or have access to all you’ll need to begin working as a virtual assistant. This includes a computer, phone, basic software, and a printer. If you need a fax machine or copier but don’t own one, you can find these at your local print shop or library. Keep a record of those expenses since they’ll be tax deductible.
9. Keeping Your Hands In
If you left your career to pursue full-time parenthood, you’re probably familiar with the worry that when you’re ready to return to work, your skills will be so rusty that you won’t be able to plunge back in properly. As a virtual assistant, you can continue to work in your field on your own terms. You’ll keep your résumé fresh and add some new skills as well.
10. Growing and Learning
Most of us need to feel a sense of progress to be happy in our lives. We’re made to learn, to do, to achieve in some area. Many of us crave a certain amount of novelty, challenge, and adult conversation as well. As a virtual assistant, you’ll avoid some of the boredom that comes with retirement, domestic routine, or caregiving. You’ll continue to add new skills and stay up-to-date in a changing field. Plus, the positive feedback you’ll receive, in the form of comments and referrals, will boost your morale (as well as your paycheck)!
Whether you’re a new graduate looking for experience, a stay-at-home parent in search of extra income and intellectual stimulation, or a retiree who wants a new challenge, becoming a virtual assistant could be just what you have in mind!