Can you tell yourself…Hey, you’ve done a great JOB!

Most Filipino VA’s have difficulties in appraising their own work. Most do tasks the way they know how, submit it and pray that the client will like it. What are the ways for you to improve on this mindset? How do you develop the skill to evaluate your own performance? How important it is for you to understand how much worth you can deliver to the client?

It has always been my practice in the real and traditional office set-up whenever I start working for a new company or boss to always ask how they want the reports to be presented. Ask them what and how they want the work to be done, information, notes or comments needed to be included. In this manner I would have initial idea on styles they prefer.

More often I prefer to present some alternatives and let them choose. Then we come up with an agreement and that’s the way I am expected to do and deliver the job. Well that’s in accounting but we must also remember – especially when it comes to writing articles or graphic designs, we have to take note of the personality and ideas of the person we work for.  Be comfortable and confident to present your work and trust your skills and ability but bear in mind that these concepts can depend more on the personality and outlook of a person.

As the saying goes, BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER.

Are you ready to team-up with Foreign Clients?

Before plunging into the world of Virtual Assistants or working online, there things and situations that you need to consider: First and foremost you have to remember that you will be dealing with foreigners; Second, the contract or agreement; Third, what special skills and experiences can you render and share? Fourth, Can you work independently or less supervision?

1.    On foreign clients: What were your initial feelings when you thought of working for someone virtual: someone who lives on the other side of the world, who can only be reached by email or Skype and who speaks a different language? What do you feel of accepting foreign clients now?

Working with foreigners is not new to me. Locally I had the experience of working with Taiwanese, Chinese, German and the latter Australian. The only difference is working with them in the same place and environment making communications easier and faster.  Virtual employment now is even easier with modern technology both parties can communicate and be in contact anywhere and anytime. There are so many available softwares and apps online to complete and support business needs and undertakings. The key is constant, open communication and cooperation on both sides.

I find offshore clients more open and appreciative than local employers. In local employment you will encounter more competitions within the organization and workplace while working with offshore client you do not compete, you are a team. You compensate and help each other in order to reach the set goals.

2.     I’m special: Whether you are a newbie or veteran in this industry,  How do you assert your value to the world as a professional?

When I had my first job, I agreed to a minimum wage rate but it did not take long for me to achieve the salary I thought I deserve. With the years of experience and abilities I’ve learned and acquired   and held administrative position in different companies I am aware of the basic pay rates locally. I’ve also some ideas on foreign wage rates like that of Australia. Knowing my abilities and experiences I do set-up a salary range that I am willing to accept depending on the scope of the job.

More often, the evaluation on the quality and quantity of work that an employee or contractor; has already been established by the client or employer. The employee or applicant has the chance to show his/her ability to fulfill the job requirements during interviews but of course in addition to the resume that has been previously submitted. 

3.   Reviewing contracts: In your opinion, what are the items that a job contract must contain aside from the job description and salary?

All contracts need the scope of work to be done, time and length of fulfillment and submission. There should also be clarification regarding softwares, apps, communications, deliveries, etc. on who will provide and some limitations if applicable. It can also include the time and manner of reporting and meeting schedules. It is also important to include statement and agreement on Trust and confidentiality since you are given the access to important and sensitive information.

If there provisions or statement in the contract that might appear unclear or something that one could not understand in the contract, it is not a crime to ask for clarification and inform the other party that you are not amenable on certain situation or provision.

4.  The keyword “team member” is always mentioned in the Professional Development tutorials. Differentiate a typical employee from a team member? What are the things a team member responsible for? How does being a team member help the business and your career as well?

Organization composes different teams such as departments or division. Every employee is a part of a particular team: the administrative, sales & marketing, productions, operations, logistics and even the group of managers. “Typical employee” is just concern in fulfilling or accomplishing the specific job or activity assigned to her/him and does not care whether some of her/his co-workers needs assistance, help or guidance. That doesn’t make sense, because an employee whether she/he is a manager, a supervisor, rank and file or labor –she/he is a part of a team. As member, each has to contribute to the accomplishment and success of the business. Yes, I could not discount the fact there are certain task that requires great deal of independent work and research while somewhere team effort is most effective.

Team effort always makes challenges lighter and easier to face and conquer. Team members compensate, inspire and help each other. Good communications brings harmony and camaraderie and can lead to friendship, trust and confidence.

The VA’s World

When you come across the word “virtual” what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

I had so much confusion so I looked-up the meaning of virtual in the dictionary and here are some examples:

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:
  1. Existing or resulting in essence or effect though not in actual fact, form or name.
  2. Existing in the mind, especially as a product of the imagination.
  3. Computer Science Created, simulated, or carried on by means of a computer or computer network.
Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, 11th Edition
  1. The definition of virtual is something that exists in the mind, exists in essence but not in fact or created by a computer.
Webster Dictionary:
  1. Potential; having the power of acting or of invisible efficacy without the material or sensible part.
  2. Being in essence or effect, not in fact; as the virtual presence of a man in his agent or substitute.

Taking into consideration the above meanings and definitions – which do you think exactly described the word “Virtual Assistant?

If you ask me, not one – Virtual Assistants are real. They are not just essence or effect nor existing in the mind or production of the imagination alone. Neither are they computer generated and simulated nor just potential having the power of acting or of invisible efficacy without the material or sensible part.

Virtual assistants are professionals who are capable of doing diversified jobs and projects. Most of them have various experiences in the traditional or real office environment. They have college or university degrees and specialization, raging from administrative, sales & marketing, finance & accounting, research & encoding, SEO & social media, article writing & blogging, web & graphic design and a lot more as long as it can be done online or as they say “virtually”.

Virtual assistant may offer to work for a client full time, part time or per contract basis. I can be a group of individuals or a single person. Charges vary according to skills, abilities, qualification and the amount of work or job to be done.

Virtual assistants work at home employees servicing or working for organizations, companies or individuals on the other parts of the world.