Introducing: Virtual Assistant Skills for Newbies


Virtual assistants are becoming popular nowadays especially for growing businesses.  If you are a newbie in the world of virtual assistance, or if you are just starting to consider becoming one, you may get overwhelmed with the whole idea.  It can be mind-boggling to think of interacting and communicating with foreign clients or employers.  It can be confusing where to start.  It can be scary to think about committing to an assignment and not be able to deliver.  And a lot more to be anxious about.

So how do you get on with your plan to become a virtual assistant?  What virtual assistant skills do you need?  What readiness is required?

Ready Your Character Traits

Working online as a virtual assistant is no different than working in an office.  You have to ready yourself with the best positive traits needed to perform effectively.  The only difference is that you are working remotely and that you are in the confines of your room or a designated space at home or in your place of abode.  You have to bring with you the most essential of all traits: patience, honesty, professionalism, organization, and congeniality.

  • Patience is a virtue, so they say. As a virtual assistant, you will need a lot of patience.  You have to be patient in dealing with foreign clients – with the language barrier, with the contrasting beliefs and opinions, with the different work methods and approaches, etc.  The challenge maybe lesser if you have an employer who is a fellowman but still you will need to have patience as a virtual assistant dealing with an online boss.
  • Honesty is the best policy. Even if it looks appealing to tell a lie to save yourself, strive, to be honest.  It will take a lot of guts and skill to tell a perfect lie so just be honest.  It is worth everything when you are working as a virtual assistant.  It reflects positively when you do and say things honestly.
  • According to Julius Irving, ‘’Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them.” This is the exact idea about professionalism.  As a virtual assistant, you may be faced with conflicting schedules but you have to deliver because you have committed to a work or assignment.  It can be challenging to meet the deadline but you do it anyway because you need to.  For a newbie, this can be exasperating but this will test your character.
  • “Organize, don’t agonize,” says Nancy Pelosi. If the job assignments start to come in fast and simultaneously, do not worry how you will be able to meet them all.  Instead, organize everything by jotting down and establishing a plan how to deal with them.  But first, be calm.  You are a budding virtual assistant.
  • You are not aiming to win the Miss Congeniality award. It is a requirement for a virtual assistant to be congenial.  Being warm and friendly, you will win over everything, including clients.


Equip Yourself with Skills and Tools

In any battle, you have to equip yourself. After bracing yourself against the challenges ahead, you need to sharpen your skills, you need to supplement yourself with knowledge about some tools that you need as a virtual assistant.

  • Learn new skills related to your current abilities and talents. If you plan to be a social media assistant, you may need to research on how to improve your skill in generating buzz for your client’s business outfit.  If you want to be a blogger’s virtual assistant, you may need to hone your writing skills for the needed blog posts. Or if you want to be a general administrative assistant, you may need to improve your organizational skills.  The key is you have to be persistent in learning.
  • Acquire the tools you need to become an effective virtual assistant. This is the most challenging for the part of a newbie because the endeavor will require you to shell out money for the online peripherals like a personal computer and a dependable internet connection.  Some tools are free though like setting up an email account, a file sharing app like Dropbox, a free telephone service like Skype, an online payment service like Paypal, and a project management app like Trello.

As a new virtual assistant, the challenges are high in number.  It is a sea of opportunities that awaits you but the players are many and are growing in number.  It is not an easy feat but it is always worth it to bring home the bacon thru perseverance.

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Maria Narissa Aranzanso is a content writer and blogger who can produce a wide variety of content for the web and for online consumption. She delivers work with integrity, objectivity, confidentiality, and competency.

Maria Narissa has a day job as internal quality audit head, and document control in-charge, too, for the QMS of a manufacturing company in the Philippines. As IQA head, she is in charge of the internal audit program and audits, which is one of the organization’s tool for quality control. The job as document control in-charge, on the other hand, entails a lot of writing and includes creation of system procedures, work instructions, guidelines, and other related documents.

She has a passion for new technologies, too, which she believes can help a lot in the digital nature of the work. She researches, writes, and edits web content from scratch; writes web content based on material supplied by a client; and/or edit web pages for on-screen readability.


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