Businesses that outsource some of their tasks grow more quickly than businesses that do everything in-house. It is predicted in 2019 that businesses which outsource grow 7 to 9 percent faster than other business. One of the most outsourced jobs is that of the virtual assistant. With so much demand for an individual who can fill that position, there is a whole world of opportunity to grow your career there and make a lot of money to boot.
Below are the critical skills you need to cultivate in order to be a good virtual assistant.
Enhance Your Communication Skills
Cultivate Your Project Management SkillsAs a virtual assistant, you will be responsible for executing tasks as required by your boss. These tasks need to be undertaken within a specific timeframe. You will be given a brief of what you need to do and it will be your job to prioritize what needs to be done. Tasks usually cascade into one another and getting the order of priority right in the first instance will prevent loss of time and minimize mistakes going forward.
If you rely on just instinct to get things done without a plan, you will wind up overwhelmed. You will be unable to finish the assignment you were provided and this will affect the business very negatively. Most of the virtual assistants who have been sent packing by their employers did not plan their time well. If you want to avoid such a fate for yourself you need to have sort of structure to guide your actions.
Breaking down the tasks into smaller and actionable tasks with strict timeframes should help give a direction to focus on. Make a sort of checklist of these tasks and chalk them off as soon as they are done. When you chalk off many of the scheduled tasks, you not only get the job assigned done but you get to feel a sense of accomplishment. This boost in confidence will cascade into the next assignment and give you a positive outlook.
Project management is not one off affair where you can apply it to one task and neglect to apply it to another. It is a skill you must practice even as you manage your virtual assistant business yourself. Do it so much that it becomes second nature. You not only become a better time manager, but also get to improve the quality of your work as well.
Choose A Virtual Assistant AreaThere are virtual assistants in virtually every field you can imagine. As you start out, take stock of what area you are good at. Be honest with yourself about this. If you choose an area you are not well versed in, you will be quickly found out and fired. The substandard quality in your work will show and you will be punished for it. Your brand will be tainted by the stains of incompetence and dishonesty. These tags might not be shaken off easily and might be with you all your working life if you decide to pursue virtual assistance as a career.
Most companies looking for virtual assistants have moved from looking for people who are good at tasks to a more role based criteria. This basically means that they will choose people, in part, based on the roles they can fill in relation to the business tasks themselves. In nutshell, you must choose an area and learn it, inside-out.
By narrowing down on a specific area, you position yourself as an expert who can handle the various tasks in that role with ease. This way you can bring recognizable value to your boss, which means more work your way.
Strive To Maintain A Great Attitude On And Off WorkWork can get a little stressful and overwhelming. If you are not careful, the stress will manifest in your work. Snappiness or lethargy in how you deal with clients interested in the business will show and it will put of the people who you are dealing with. Once an employer notices you have a terrible disposition, it will affect your relationship with them. When this relationship is fractured beyond repair, they will have no choice but to let you go.
Maintaining a lively disposition on and off work is essential. Today, there is a lot of emphasis of work and life balance, especially with how people deal with stress. You must work tirelessly to keep your energy levels up, sounds like an oxymoron, does it not? Well, it takes considerable effort to put life’s stresses in the backburner but the pay off, in terms of positivity are worth it.
If you feel good, you will work well and the results will be good. Good results, more or less equal a happy boss. Therefore, you must find ways of decompressing. Choose one that works well for it and work on it.
Be A Good ListenerListening is a skill. How can that be and I have been listening all my life? You ask. There is a major distinction between listening and hearing. Listening is something you choose to do, whereas hearing is the perception of sound via the ear. Listening is a valuable skill to virtual assistants because it makes the difference between executing instructions flawlessly and making dire and irredeemable mistakes with far-reaching consequences.
It is your job to hone your listening skills. You must strive to pay close attention to your boss and the instructions they give you. Show genuine interest in what they are saying and do not interrupt them, if you are in conference with them. If any parts about the instructions, ask for clarification. This is essential in avoiding unnecessary confusion.