Have you been hearing a lot about being a virtual assistant? About how you can work for companies at the comfort of your home, and maybe earn more than what you’re earning now?
Is it getting you curious, to the point when you’re just about ready to hang your gloves from your 9 to 5 job?
Well, I can tell you that those things you heard were true.
I have been in this business for 4 years now, and for a mother of 4, shifting from a 9 to 5 job to being a home based virtual assistant, is one of the best decisions I’ve made, and I never looked back.
I earn more than what I used to earn, and I am now one of Upwork‘s top rated freelancers. I can say that the decision to shift has indeed worked for me.
But wait, before you throw the white blanket, and bid your company “adieu“, I would also like to assure you, that being a home-based virtual assistant, is not a walk in the park, it’s not even close. It also has two sides.
To help you get off the fence of indecision, let me share with you a list of pros and cons of being a home based virtual assistant.
It gives you work – life balance
Since you’re working at home, you can still oversee and have a hand on your household.
If you have growing children like me, you don’t get to miss seeing them so much since you’re there, and still get to do little things for them and with them.
You get to know their needs firsthand, and not hear it from your housekeeper, or read it from the notes on the fridge, as the case when you leave home for work.
Of course, this nature of work will still require you to get extra help at some point, especially when you’re already catering to a number of clients, and since every task needs focus, it would be advisable not to do everything on your own.
No more traffic and no more OOTD (outfit of the day) worries
Since your workplace is your home, you don’t have to fight your way out of traffic, to get to work. You don’t have to worry about rushing to get your make up done, or decide what outfit to wear to the office. You can even work on your pajamas!
That sounds comfortable, right? But, it’s still good to wear something that will get the working vibe on, to avoid getting slouchy.
Putting on a collared top or a nice shirt, can also come in handy, when you suddenly have to go into a video call or meeting with your employer.
Doesn’t hurt to be caught dead wearing something presentable, besides, staying pretty will give you that extra boost of confidence and professionalism while you work.
Allows continuous growth
Your work as a virtual assistant will require your use of the internet most of the time.
This will give you exposure to all sorts of information, programs, applications and platforms. Maximize this opportunity to feed your mind.
Also, you learn something from working with employers in different parts of the world. Every task becomes a window to a new information that can win you new opportunities.
It allows flexibility
Some assignments will be on what I want to call “as needed basis”, meaning the client will only get in touch with you if and when they need your services. You can identify this type of work, on the job posting.
It’s my advice that if you have extra hours to burn, turn it into cash, by taking these types of tasks. They may not amount to much, but get to it for the learning, and for the experience.
The unlimited opportunity to earn more
Now this depends on your experience, skills and how much time you’re willing to dedicate. Some jobs are paid by the hour, some by fixed price amount. It may be hard climb at first, but it’s worth it.
So if you’re a newbie, start by building a reputation first. Get your hands on as much jobs as you can, and learn the tricks of the trade as you work.
Consider every client a credential, and you’ll need to work in creating a positive experience for each.
Once you establish a good reputation, you can now sell your services at a higher rate, just make sure to make it reasonable.
You can work anywhere
Well, not really anywhere – but anywhere as long as you have access to good internet connection.
This is an advantage, especially during out – of – town trips, or in the event of sudden power interruption in your area. Just bring your laptop with you, and go to a place where there’s internet access, and voila!, you’re back in business.
Now that we’ve covered the advantages, let’s check out the other side of the coin.
Prone to distractions
I think that virtual assistants like me, will agree that this should go on top of the Cons list as a home based virtual assistant.
Especially if you have kids at home, or your area is susceptible to outside noises which can certainly drive you out of focus.
Tip: If the distraction seems too much, it will help for you to pause for a minute or two, to regain concentration and catch up on your ideas.
No employee benefits
Since you’re working at home, you don’t have the medical or sickness and disability coverage that a company offers their employees.
13th month pay or holiday incentives are on your employer’s discretion, but most does not have this when employing a home based virtual assistant.
Certificate of employment and records of income
Since you’re working for different clients with varying rates, these documents can be hard to secure.
Tip: Upwork can provide you a certificate of your earnings for a specified working period signed by their SVP of Operations.
Working at home comes with rewards and consequences, as with everything. Knowing what to expect will give you a more solid standpoint, in deciding what road is best for you to take, in your career.
It’s good to keep in mind, that wherever your decisions take you, may it be keeping your 9 to 5 job or working home based, the success of its outcome will require hard work, discipline and determination.
Feel free to post your questions and comments below.