You would want to become a virtual assistant for many reasons. For instance, in any industry, you need experience. What better way to see the real estate industry in person than become a virtual assistant to a real estate agent or a buyer’s agent?
Still, being an assistant is not just a transitional position. Sure, you can use the skills you develop here to further your career or pursue something else, but you can also be a virtual assistant to supplement your income. This is a great part-time job, which will leave enough room for your work-life balance.
Now, whatever you decide to do in life, it’s paramount that you do it right. So, here are a few crucial skills you need to develop to get the most out of being a virtual assistant.
1. Time management
As a virtual assistant, you’ll be hired by a specialist to help save their time. To do this as efficiently as possible, you need to become better at time management yourself.
Task prioritization is always important, but you must also learn how to assess how much time each task will take you. This is how you make your own schedule.
Speaking of schedules, chances are you’ll be in charge of setting appointments. This requires an incredible time-management ability. You need to visualize how long the appointment will last, ensure a gap between two appointments to minimize the waiting room time, and ensure no overlap.
The better you are at time management, the more satisfied you’ll be with the job of a virtual assistant. This is because you’ll never be behind or in an unfair time scramble, making the job much more enjoyable.
When you’re better at time management, your clients will be more satisfied with your work. This creates numerous advantages, from greater job security and recommendations to potential bonuses.
A virtual assistant is someone whom the employer to get an important job done. They delegate the tasks and consider them completed. It defeats the whole purpose if they doubt it will be finished and allow this fear to occupy their mind or feel like they have to micromanage them. Sure, this is more about trust but trust is built through reliability.
Another thing to understand is that you’ll be given access to sensitive information. You’ll contact the client list, employee information, accounting information, and more. Depending on the size of the enterprise and your own responsibilities, you could get access to information that could make or break the entire organization.
This is why you need to be both trustworthy and reliable. Sure, you’ll sign a contract warning you of getting penalized if you mess up. You’ll also potentially sign an NDA, but none will matter if you’re unreliable.
So, how do you become more reliable? It’s simple, really; you just think about the long run. Think of this as a chance to gain a reputation as someone trustworthy and reliable. A unique chance to obtain one of the most valuable assets in the industry.
You’ll often have to do multiple things simultaneously as a virtual assistant. Sure, these usually won’t be high-skill tasks like the ones that your employer is performing, but they will be taxing, time-sensitive, and best when done simultaneously.
This is why you need to get better at multitasking. The biggest problem with multitasking is figuring out how to do it without making too many mistakes.
First, you need to learn how to prioritize. Not all tasks are as important. By identifying the first task, you can focus on it and dedicate most of your mental capacity to its resolution. Ask yourself, what would it be if something happened and you had enough time to finish just one task today? This way, you’ll know your priorities.
Another approach is to split your work into smaller chunks. This way, you’ll avoid procrastination and learn to handle large tasks and projects adequately.
Most importantly, you’re already split into two sides; at least try to minimize distractions while you’re at it.
Most of the tasks you do throughout the day are going to be, in one capacity or another, tied to outreach. This is why you need someone communicative and great at what they do. This affects everything from clarity in task execution to collaboration and teamwork. Not to mention that it could have a direct impact on client satisfaction.
To become better at communication, a virtual assistant needs to figure out formal and semi-formal forms of communication. They also need to learn how to express themselves unambiguously and develop a habit of asking when they’re not clear about what something means. Most importantly, they need to learn how to actively listen.
There are many different forms of communication, and a virtual assistant needs to figure out how to get the most out of each discourse. This takes practice and experience but also an innate empathy.
5. Attention to detail
As a virtual assistant, you’re expected to have a knack for picking up small inaccuracies and be a perfectionist. A conventional assistant may have to pick up the coffee for their employer or walk their dog, which takes much memory regarding personal preferences.
While the virtual assistant job is much different, some of these principles still apply.
First, you need to better remember the people you do business with. If you’ve ever had a semi-personal discourse, you should be able to pick up on the conversational topic from a while back.
Remember, you’re honing the skills you will use later in your career, regardless of the turn it takes. Also, you want to bear in mind that people often see attention to detail as the ultimate form of professionalism.
The best thing about developing these skills is that they’ll benefit you whatever career path you choose later on. They will ensure that you establish a great reputation with anyone you work with, which will help you establish a reliable network of contacts. Also, once you start hiring your own assistants, you’ll develop a far better understanding of this line of work.