I first heard about the Virtual Assistant career way back in 2010 when I was doing an internet research on free trainings for Executive Secretaries or Executive Assistants. Back then as I understand, it’s a secretary or an administrative assistant who works from home. It sounded very interesting but it was only common in the United States and not here in the Philippines. It’s a job that I would want to do but have no idea how to start it, so I just put it on my “future goal list”.
Well, I did not put much attention to it during that time because I was still enjoying my work as a Department Secretary in one of the top telecommunications company in the country and I don’t want to leave my comfort zone, although I was already thinking about my career path back then. The fact that I was looking for free trainings online was already an indication that I wanted to learn new things as an administrative professional. I wanted to improve my administrative skills and abilities which I know I can use for a grander purpose.
After a few years, this drive motivated me to take the job offer as an Executive Assistant to one of the Senior Vice President in the biggest real estate company in the Philippines. My goal to provide executive level administrative support was realized and this was the time I experienced great challenges which gave me the opportunity to sharpen my skills, abilities and most of all, my character as a person. After 22 months, I got another job offer which was my long time dream – an Executive Assistant to an expat Executive Director. I wanted to experience working with a foreigner boss because of their professional work ethics but I realized that achieving this dream job still did not made me happy. I was still looking for a job that I love and enjoy doing while earning at the same time. I wanted to get away from the nine to six job and relieve myself from office stress. There is that urge in me that I can maximize my income potential using my God-given skills and abilities. I wanted to break out of that box!
I decided to resign from my job to take the time to rest, take care of family matters, look into options for a business opportunity and start to pursue a work from home job. I started to look into businesses we were interested in – foodcart and nail salon business but looking at the amount of capital needed, franchise fee alone for a nail salon is at ₱250,000 so your total amount of investment would probably cost more than ₱500,000 which we don’t have. To top it off, the added stress in dealing with government agencies for the business permit and licenses makes me cringe because of their corrupt practices and poor customer service (thinking about my past experience when we put up a small bakery years ago) – we could just not afford it at this time.
So I thought of having an online business that only requires a small capital and low overhead cost. I noticed there are numerous online shopping sites but this is not really my area of interest. I read from several articles that you must start a business that you love to do with a small start-up capital. Then I remembered my interest in working as a Virtual Assistant. To my surprise during my web research, I found out that there are already a lot of Filipinos who are working as a VA for the past years and even companies here in the Philippines which serve as an agency in hiring Virtual Assistants. What’s more interesting, being a VA has different fields of expertise. It’s not only being an Administrative Assistant but a VA maybe a Web Designer, Web Developer, Writer, Editor, Researcher, or any service that you can offer online. Talk about how this industry has evolved in just a few years’ time!
So why am I aspiring to be a Virtual Assistant? As a personal observation, most of the backgrounds of the established Virtual Assistants in the US are housewives who wanted to augment their family income by working from home while taking care of their families, and women who got tired of lengthy commute and office politics. These are the very same reasons why I want to be a Virtual Assistant. I see it as a job that is very beneficial to housewives like me. I want to be there for my family when they need me and still be able to work and earn, right from the comfort of my own home at my own time. I am a family oriented person and would easily give up my job for my family’s sake. I don’t believe in working late hours at the expense of family bonding time. I believe in work-life balance where you should spend as much or more time with your family than you do at work. Believe me, you will see its results by looking at your relationship with your spouse and children.
Additionally, I see that I can maximize my income potential as a Virtual Assistant compared to being an office employee. An Executive Assistant (of a Top Management Executive) can earn an average monthly basic salary of ₱50,000 less the income tax and government deductions. The income potential of being an employee depends on the annual salary increase which also depends on the decision of your immediate superior. You are really lucky if you get a 10% increase but in reality, employees usually get 5% or lower as an annual salary increase. Based on my research, a part-time VA can earn ₱20,000 a month, working 4 hours, 5 days a week and ₱40,000 a month full-time, working 8 hours, 5 days a week. And when you become a highly technical or experienced VA, your income potential can even exceed ₱100,000 a month depending on your desired VA career goal.
So what have I been doing as an aspiring Virtual Assistant? I have been doing self-study online about the skills I need to have and I need to learn, my career path as a Virtual Assistant, and what area of expertise I feel I’m good at so I can maximize my income potential. There are a lot of free resources online (VA articles and webinars) just as long as you are patient and really good in doing web research. I also came across websites of VA gurus who has tips and guides for aspiring Virtual Assistants and offers mentorship programs for a fee. If you are really serious to jumpstart this career, you must be disciplined enough to study all day and organize your daily activities to be productive with your time. I realized that there is so much to learn – new skills and new technology that are overwhelming for me. But thinking about my reasons, my goals why I want to work from home, I can see that it will be all worth it in due time.
And as a non-technical aspiring Virtual Assistant, I chose to invest in purchasing (online) a Virtual Assistant Kit from Jomar Hilario to speed up my learning process, begin to look for clients and start earning online. This kit contains his VA Seminar videos, articles, guides, tips and strategies in being an exceptional and highly paid Virtual Assistant. At present, I am continuously studying these resources while working on my own articles and this blog is one of them. I will post more stories where I can promote my skills as a Virtual Assistant. Yes, there is so much to do in equipping myself for this new-found career but my journey has been exciting and adventurous for me. New beginnings are difficult stages but what is important to me is the experience during the journey. The excitement and the fulfillment I feel with the new things I am learning and the new knowledge I’m gaining which will benefit not only me as an end result, but my future clients and to the readers of this blog who may be another aspiring Virtual Assistant like me.