Friday

Virtual Assistant as a Work From Home Option

Definition from ivaa.org: "A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an independent entrepreneur providing administrative, creative and/or technical services. Utilizing advanced technological modes of communication and data delivery, a professional VA assists clients in his/her area of expertise from his/her own office on a contractual basis."

This legitimate and professional work at home option is one of the first ideas I pursued while looking into how to make money online. What ultimately turned me away, for now, was the corporate feel and intense customer service of becoming a VA. I had just finished an 18 year stint with Corporate America and really wanted to try some other directions. I was impressed with some of the companies I found, and I would encourage you to explore the links below if you are interested in doing some of your own research into this work at home opportunity.

Alliance for Virtual Businesses

Alpine Access

AssistU

Deskdemon VA Index

International Association of Administrative Professionals

Live Ops

Telework Coalition

Virtual Assistants

Virtual Assistant Startups

Virtual Assistance U

West Corporation

Working Solutions

Work The Web

And finally, if you need to brush up on your skills check out Microsoft Learning.

Have you worked as a VA? If so, what have been your experiences?

4 comments:

  1. Most of the companies listed in your blog post have nothing to do with Virtual Assistants. Alpine Access, Live Ops and Working Solutions are call centers, not Virtual Assistant (VA) businesses. West is an employer that allows its employees to work from home; this is known as telework. The Telework Coalition's purpose is to get employers on board with the concept of letting their employees work from home.

    The defintion of a Virtual Assistant is that they're independent entrepreneurs which means that they're self-employed. In addition, the foundation of Virtual Assistance is administrative work, not call centers or telephone operators.

    Under the generally accepted defintion of Virtual Assistance, Alpine Access, Live Ops, West, Working Solutions and the Telework Coalition do not fit the definition of Virtual Assistant.

    If the above companies were what you based your decision on, then it's not a wonder that you decided that being a Virtual Assistant wasn't for you. There's nothing corporate about *real* Virtual Assistance. Because Virtual Assistants own their business and work for themselves, usually from their homes, their work environment can be as corporate, or not, as they want. In addition, *real* Virtual Assistance pays better. Live Ops and Alpine Access only pay $10/hr. Virtual Assistants make three times that much because as business owners they're responsible for paying their own social security, unemployment and workers compensation insurance, benefits (medical insurance, vacation time, sick time, etc.), state and federal income taxes, etc.

    Virtual Assistants are highly trained professionals with administrative and technical experience, usually as secretaries or administrative assistants. A call center rep. would not necessarily decide to make a career change to a VA overnight because a call rep. likely lacks the administrative and technical expertise to be a Virtual Assistant.

    =>Donna Caissie, Virtual Assistant
    ExtraOrdinary Assistance
    dcaissie@extra-assist.com

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  2. I had thought of including Telework in the title of this post, and it sounds like I should have. Thanks so much for your clarifications and corrections. Your comments add a lot more information to the post.

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