Transitioning to a full-time virtual assistant can happen as fast or slowly as you want it to. Choose a pace that’s comfortable for you, but always remember that the key is to keep at it
Many people dream of owning and running their own business, but if you’re like most of us you are already working a full-time job. So how do you find the time to completely shift gears in your career and become a full-time virtual assistant? That is the big question, and one that we’ll hopefully shed some light on in this article.
There’s a lot of work that goes into building your own business. If you are currently unemployed and don’t have any family to take care of, you can dedicate yourself fully to the task. However, almost no one has the luxury of total freedom. Nearly everyone has at least some commitments to juggle.
Audit your skills
Everyone has marketable skills whether they know it or not, yourself included. Maybe at your last job, you did a lot of administrative tasks and worked with spreadsheets or office software. Many people become adept at all kinds of programs without even really noticing.
Maybe this would be your first job and you think you have no employment experience to lean on. Again, this does not mean you have no skills. If you’ve spent hours on Instagram or Tik Tok, you know how marketing works, likely more so than someone who went to school for marketing but has no experience on those platforms.
Dig deep—what are you good at? Now is not the time to be shy, really try to truthfully ask yourself what it is you do better than others. Being a full-time virtual assistant often means working in a specific niche. If you need some help choosing one or just some general inspiration. The possibilities are endless.
Ease into it
One of the things that is so great about a career as a virtual assistant is that you don’t need to dedicate your entire life to it all at once. Working as a virtual assistant can allow you a lot of latitude in how you structure your hours, meaning you can schedule time around your commitments. Some people aren’t necessarily looking for full-time work, they may just want a side hustle. The trajectory is basically the same either way— accumulate clients until you’ve found a number that suits you.
Break it down
Like any large undertaking, try not to dwell on the whole thing, but attack it in bite-sized chunks. Break down what needs to be done into manageable bits that you can work on when you get the chance between your existing obligations. The goal is to really focus on one step at a time and see it through to its completion.
If you find yourself stuck on a particular step, temporarily shelve it and work on something else, though bear in mind that that can be a slippery slope where suddenly everything gets set aside. As much as possible see tasks through to completion, even if it’s just a rough version of what you’re trying to accomplish. You’ll likely find that the tasks are never quite completely done. Revising and tweaking and fine-tuning are just the necessary parts of a process that’s never quite finished.
Done is better than perfect.Sheryl Sandberg
Some people, myself very much included, like to work from lists. I’ll write down everything I can think of that needs to be done into a series of tasks. Breaking it down helps you see and manage all of the little things that need to be done without them becoming overwhelming and will also help make sure that things don’t fall through the cracks.
Another advantage to a career as a virtual assistant is the ability to take on as many or as few clients as you want. You may find that one, two, or three clients are all that you need to get you where you want to be. Though if being a full-time virtual assistant is the end goal, you can continue on the path and keep onboarding new clients until you’re at capacity.
Though it may be demanding, while you’re building your clientele, you may need to continue to work your old job. Over time the goal is to scale that back and eventually eradicate it completely in favor of full-time virtual assisting. Just remember that it can be a gradual thing, building slowly and steadily to achieve your long-term goal of becoming a full-time virtual assistant.
Don’t give up!
It’s important to remember that this can take time. Don’t be discouraged — you can do this! If it doesn’t happen all at once that is okay. In fact, it’s a common and likely scenario, and actually has the benefit of allowing you to slowly acclimate to your new career. Understand that a lack of instant success does not equal failure, and remember that everything can be a learning experience that will only make you smarter and more capable in the future.
Matthew Ogden is a Minneapolis-based copywriter and content writer and editor. He’s written for national retailers and lobster roll companies alike. When not writing he can be found nose deep in a book, writing and performing music, or nerding out about guitar tone.