Updated October 2020.
I am often asked about my freelance career as a virtual assistant. I went from a 15-year job in retail to walking away to begin my own business. No one expected that from me – an assumed ‘lifer’.
I love just about everything about my job. I love the people I get to work with. I love the colleagues I get to talk to and ask for advice from. I love the freedoms it’s afforded me. Overall, I just feel so fortunate.
I talk about my transition to becoming a VA in my About page, which you can read here. I talk about being with a company for a very long period of time and coming to the realization that I outgrew my position there. When I stumbled across the VA world, I was instantly inspired and excited to start a new chapter in my life.
I was researching work from home options on Pinterest, and virtual assistant came up often. I just happened to click on one that caught my eye, and I’ve never looked back.
Joanne Munro is based in the United Kingdom and shifted her VA career to empowering others to take charge of their lives and become virtual assistant business owners. When I found her website, I soaked up as much info as I could, returning to her site daily and reading all of her blog posts.
If I were to pick a demographic that this line of work would be perfect for, my mind automatically goes to stay-at-home moms (or dads). As a mother myself, I can’t tell you how guilty I felt when I had to leave work to tend to my sick child or scramble for childcare in the event of a snowstorm. Fellow moms know what I mean. Owning my own business meant that I was free from that guilt. It meant saving money on childcare and summer camp. It meant not asking for permission to take vacation or time off for appointments. This has done a world of good for my motherhood.
So, if you are reading this, I want to introduce you to your future. Are you ready?
The VA Handbook – This website will change your life. Jo’s blog posts talk about everything from working in the cold winter months without your hydro bills skyrocketing, how to get around naysayers, how to raise your rates and keep your finances, what happens at networking meetings and answers to every worry you have. If you’re serious about becoming a virtual assistant, this site offers tons of useful tips and advice.
The VA Handbookers FB Group – You’ve never been in a group like this one. There are thousands of members, and they range from aspiring VAs wanting to take the leap, new-ish VAs who are learning their way, and of course, veteran virtual assistants who’ve been freelancing for long periods of time. The diversity and participation of this group is what makes it tick because whether you’re new or old, there are always questions, and with varying time zones, there’s almost always someone around to answer them.
If you’re feeling as inspired as I was, you might be asking, where do I sign up?
First of all, being a virtual assistant, or freelancer is not necessarily easy.
- The work isn’t always steady
- The work will not come to you (unless you’re just really lucky)
- You don’t have to accept all the work that comes your way
- You’re often working alone
That being said, the work is extremely rewarding, and there’s no feeling in the world like being your own boss.
Moving along to become a virtual assistant…
If you’re still reading and feeling confident, I’m excited to tell you about the course.
Joanne offers a DIY VA Course. How long it takes you to become a virtual assistant is dependant on you and how long you take to complete it. You could be running your own business in a couple of months or less.
Her course is designed to take you from the beginning stages right through to getting your first client. Don’t be tempted to skip chapters and skip sections. Do the course in the order given, and use the FB group to ask questions.
My only regret is not starting sooner.
Good luck and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me, or ask in the FB group!