Even before COVID-19 occurred many people were working online. Some were working online at home while others did it while travelling the world. Whatever your aspirations are there are many opportunities to work online. This is why I have started a Work Online Interview Series. The aim of the series is to provide you with the information you need to start working online. And as there are many types of jobs you could do online the interview series will interview as many online workers as possible to inspire you to start your own online journey. This interview is with Rachita Saxena a Virtual Assistant (VA).
Rachita, tell me about yourself! Where are you from and what do you do?
I am Rachita Saxena, a full-time traveler that works as a Virtual Assistant to earn money and travel around the world. Apart from my job as a Virtual Assistant, I also have a travel blog named MeanderWander where I share details about my travels and how other people can plan an amazing trip there too.
What does a Virtual Assistant do?
Well, a virtual assistant is an independent contractor that works from home and usually provides administrative services to the clients. A virtual assistant usually has access to a shared calendar where they content schedule, marketing schedule, and other details are shared. So, they simply need to perform their tasks remotely and made sure they are on top of all the tasks assigned to them.
There are many admin jobs a VA can do. They include, but are not limited to, bookkeeping, data entry, customer service, administration work, social media management to name a few.
What made you decide to become a Virtual Assistant?
As someone who loves to travel and has prior experience in social media management, CMS platform, content creation, and so on, this seemed like the best job ever. As a VA, I can work remotely from anywhere I want and have flexibility in working hours as well.
And since I had prior experience of the work, I didn’t have to be trained or anything and could pick up the work instantly.
How long did it take you to get up and running?
It took me around 1-1.5 years to gain experience on different platforms before I could take up the same work as a VA for my clients. After 1 year of failures and successes, I knew what worked and what didn’t which allowed me to help my clients better.
What equipment do you need to be a Virtual Assistant?
Definitely a laptop or computer, Internet access and the appropriate software to be able to get the work done that the client requires. Also a workspace where you can set everything up.
Where do you find clients and resources?
To date, most of my clients are people who know about my past work experience and usually approach me directly. Thankfully, I haven’t had to look for work extensively and was able to rely on these contacts.
Apart from that, I did try finding work on different websites and apps such as Upwork, Fiverr, etc. And a few work groups on Facebook as well.
How many hours do Virtual Assistants usually work?
The number of hours that a virtual assistant usually works depends on the services and the client. Sometimes, you could be working as few as 10 hours a week. While sometimes, you could be working as many as 20 hours a week. It really depends on you, how many hours you want to work. And into that equation will be how much money do you want to make so you can live the lifestyle you want to live.
How much money does Virtual Assistant make?
This depends on your level of expertise and the services that the client has hired you for. If you are a full-fledged virtual assistant who takes care of content schedule, social media content schedule, editing, etc., then you can easily get paid 800 – 1000 USD for a month.
However, if you are working as a VA for just a single platform, then the pay can often be less and comes around to 100 – 400 USD a month.
What does a day in your life look like?
Usually, I start early in the morning with my VA tasks such as editing the content, going through the schedule, answering emails, and so on. Then, I enjoy breakfast in absolute and complete silence. Depending on the plan for the day, I either go out to explore or stay in my room to continue working for the day.
Throughout the day, I take a 30-minutes break after 1-2 hours of continuous work to refresh myself. In these breaks, I usually talk to friends and family members or watch some videos.
That’s usually how my day goes.
What are your favourite things about working as a Virtual Assistant?
One of my favorite things about working as a Virtual Assistant is that I have the freedom of choosing my working hours. I can choose to work 7 days a week or 5 days a week and can even set the hours according to my convenience.
That’s not all, I also have the flexibility to work from any part of the world as long as I have a decent Internet connection. So, I am able to travel freely and don’t have to worry about leaves or pay cuts anymore.
What are your least favourite things about working as a Virtual Assistant?
One of the worst things about working as a virtual assistant is that I always have to be in a good Internet connectivity area. So, I have to choose my travel destinations carefully and cannot often choose places that I would really like to go to.
This can be a huge bummer as my travel options become quite limited.
If you were to help someone to follow in your footsteps, what would you recommend they do?
If someone were to become a virtual assistant, it would be good to get a little experience in the services that they are planning to offer. As I have experience in writing content for different clients and then publishing them on CMS platforms, it was easy to provide these services to others.
So, try to find small work, gain experience, learn what you need to know, and then offer your services as a virtual assistant.
For any readers who might be looking to hire a Virtual Assistant, what services do you offer?
As a Virtual Assistant, I offer various services such as taking care of social media marketing (regular content sharing on these platforms), publishing content on the blog, sending newsletters and marketing emails, managing the content team members, and even creating content in a few cases.
Virtual Assistant Summary
Honestly, being a virtual assistant is a great way to be flexible with your work and allows you to travel as freely as you want. If you have a good rapport with the client and finish up your work on time, you can even take off days to travel in a network-free zone.
Most importantly, you can set the expectations beforehand of when and how you are going to work. If you were to try this in a corporate job, you would be laughed at but the virtual assistant is all remote work. So, you have the freedom to choose your hours and manage your work as you seem fit.
READ MORE: More Work Online Interviews
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