Don’t panic if you lose your job and working as a Virtual or Home Worker is suddenly thrust upon you because you have lost your job or you need a second income, all is not lost. I started that way in 2000 and am still working via the Internet though spending more time helping others get started in the current climate. I hope the following will help you get going – all you need is a PC and some good office, PA or secretarial skills. Any extra skills such as translation, medical or legal knowledge will get you there even faster.}
Planning your way out of disaster:
You may well be in a panic, running around not knowing what to do or who to pay next. Sit down with a sheet of paper and write down everything you are good at. If you have ever had or looked after children, organisation should be at the top of your list. Use that knowledge to organise a skills sheet and who you know who could use those skills.
There are many sites that have been set up to get Virtual Assistants started but make sure you don’t spend hundreds of dollars before you even start. In debt is not a good way to start. A useful free site on how to become a Virtual Assistant is http://www.iceni-it.co.uk/becoming_a_va.htm Although based in the UK the 4500+ members come from all over the world.
Here is an example of how you should be thinking and acting:
If your only skill apart from organisation is copy typing – well find your nearest college or university and advertise that skill. Put up flyers with your phone number on tear off strips at the bottom. You will probably get your hand bitten off. If you can do transcription, phone the organisation and ask if you can send in a resume of your skills and abilities and if possible arrange a meeting. Holidays and flu will be arriving soon so they may well need extra help and someone local that they know can do the work could be a life saver
Repeat the above example for every skill you have. You may only get a maybe but the more maybe’s you get increases your chance of getting work soon.
Non traditional Home Worker Jobs:
Having a lot of experience is important but in the beginning you may find that it is hard and slow to get work. Whenever I am having work problems I write articles and put them on the Internet. I get paid a small sum if they sell or not but a good sum if they sell. Now how do you learn to write articles? You go Google and do a search for article writing or how to write articles and you will find masses of free information.
Many people say that these firms are not safe. Well I have been doing this for some time and have found that I can earn enough to get by and enjoy the change. A review of this type of work can be found at www.webcolleagues.info. There is also a home typing scheme attached if you enjoy copy typing.
Doing the dirty work:
This may seem a strange heading but in many cases you will be given the work to do that no-one else wants to do. Most Virtual Assistants decide early on that they would do anything they could, that was legal to earn money to pay the bills. These times do not last long as you prove your worth to the person paying you. Think ahead and try to be pro-active. Don’t just do a boring job with a frown on your face and wish you were back in your cubicle. You have the advantages of the freedom of working for yourself so a little bit of downside is not the end of the world.
Getting paid for the work you do – ensure you have a booking form or contract:
When you start working for clients, make sure you have a signed and detailed booking form or contract. Not everything always goes to plan and you want to ensure that you get paid for what you do. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied and always. Always. think of your safety if you are asked to go and meet clients. It is best not to meet them in your house or theirs. Choose a nice open area or a hotel reception and have the meeting there.
Organise your business from the word go:
Part of your organisation skills should include your finances. Work out how much it will cost you per hour to work before you make a profit. Go along to your nearest government Small Business centre and talk to them. Get your booking form or contract checked out and see if there is any money that you can get for starting up. You may also be offered courses on taxation, health and safety and in some areas complete courses on using standard software.
New Times Ahead:
Things are changing rapidly in the world of work. You must be professional as you will be up against Virtual Assistants and Home Workers who have been working from home for many years. A recent estimate was that this recession could last another 5 years. Start as you mean to go on. Professional and hard working and you will build a business that will keep you now and in the future. This is the era of the Small Business and they all need flexible versatile support to help them achieve their success.
I hope I have inspired you to check out how to become a Virtual Assistant and get a job working from home. Running your own business and being your own boss can give you a terrific feeling of freedom, as well as a higher income.
Keep looking forward.
Di Chapman is a multi Award Winning Virtual Assistant. She has also spent more than eight years helping others to work Virtually. Di also runs Wanna Be A Virtual Assistant A club which can also provide SEO optimised websites for VA and SME businesses.