Virtual Assistant Job Description Explained
Looking for a virtual assistant job description?
I’ve got your back, boo.
I remember the first in-person networking meeting I ever went to.
My stomach was in knots. My palms were sweating.
I was going back and forth on the decision to eat snacks or not when I got there.
What if they have snack mix!?
What if said snack mix makes my breath smell like garlic!?
All the feels, y’all.
But I went. I conquered. AND I got asked the SAME question over and over.
“So… what is a virtual assistant?”
Even though virtual assistance is growing in popularity, I still wouldn’t say that it is a “common” profession.
For that reason, it’s important that you have your “elevator pitch” ready for when you get asked what it is that you do.
Table of Contents
I thought I would take the time in this post to answer this question and give you a real-life example of a “day in the life of a VA”.
Maybe you’ve been looking up Virtual Assistant job descriptions and you can’t really find anything.
That’s probably because there is no one “job description” for what you will be doing.
That’s actually the cool thing.
This is a business designed around YOUR life and YOUR expertise!
I like to call Virtual Assistance a “lifestyle business,” because you can have your business fit around your life and not the other way around.
Business hours…Your choice!
Tasks…You get to decide!
Work hours…Totally up to you!
Wearing pajamas to work every day…All day!!!
At its core, a Virtual Assistant is any type of remote assistant who provides administrative, creative, or technical support services for online or brick-and-mortar business owners.
If you’re still curious about what a Virtual Assistant is, you can watch my video in the link below, where you can check out a “day in the life” of a Virtual Assistant.
I didn’t want you just to have the textbook answer for a “virtual assistant job description” though…
You need an inside look.
With that said…
(isn’t she perdy?)
I’ve asked Rachel, one of our SavvySystem students and the Executive Assistant to The Virtual Savvy to give you a sneak peek into her life, and what it looks like on a daily basis to work from home as a Virtual Assistant.
Take it away, Rachel!
Have you ever wondered what it looks like in the day-to-day life of a Virtual Assistant?
My name is Rachel, and I am currently the Executive Assistant at The Virtual Savvy. I’m a wife, a mother of three littles (ages 8, 5, and 18 months), and I’m also the CEO and proud owner of my own Virtual Assistant business, RAD Virtual Support.
One of my favorite things about owning my own Virtual Assistant business is that I get to make the decisions. I choose who I work with.
I choose what services I’m going to offer.
I choose how much I’m going to charge for those services.
I even choose WHEN I’m going to work, and completely owning my schedule is my favorite thing about being a Virtual Assistant and owning my own business.
Now, every day does look different—your day may look different than my day—but I am giving you a glimpse into what my days look like in general. I’ll give you as much information as I can and spare you the minor details.
Let’s jump in!
VIRTUAL ASSISTANT JOB DESCRIPTION
What does your day look like? How does it start?
Nowadays with a toddler, it’s pretty dependable that I don’t need an alarm clock. My toddler usually wakes me up around 6-6:30 every morning. I get up with him and get him settled. If I’ve had my coffee (and I’m able to), I might check some of the email inboxes that I’m responsible for just to see if there’s anything urgent. If so, I make sure I put it at the top of my to-do list.
It’s not always guaranteed that I’m going to get something done right away early in the morning before my other kids get up and start getting ready. I get my kids up and ready for school, and they get on the bus.
When does your day “officially” start?
My day kicks into high gear around 8:30 a.m. I start working from the top of my to-do list (which has urgent and/or high-priority tasks first) and work down, checking tasks off as I go.
During this time, I’m in my office, which is located in my kids’ playroom. My toddler is usually busy playing (sometimes getting into things!), but I’m able to sit at my desk and watch him while I get some work done.
I’ve also started utilizing a great resource in my community, which is my local YMCA. I’m able to go there, take my laptop, and check my son in for some playtime. At the YMCA, I can sit down and focus on some work. As a bonus, I sometimes even get a little workout in as well while I’m there! I love utilizing that resource to get work done.
Nap Time = Game Time
After we eat lunch, I put my toddler down for a nap. My older kids are still at school, so this time is precious. Nap time is when I can put my head down and really focus on what I need to get done; this is my prime working time.
During the afternoon, I’m able to focus on my tasks and get things done as quickly as possible. I love making a plan and writing a list. I’ll start from the top of the list and time-block my tasks, then work my way down hour by hour. (I love time blocking!)
I work through my list during nap time. My number one goal is to get as much done as I can so that when my kids get off the bus between 3:30 – 4 p.m., I’m able to close my laptop, kick it into mommy mode, and take care of the evening responsibilities.
What does your evening look like?
Depending on how the day goes, what responsibilities I have, or what projects I’m working on, I may or may not need to jump in during the evening hours to get some work done. If I do, I usually will do this during some downtime after dinner time or when the kids go to bed. Bedtime is also a great time to work because it’s quiet in the house and I can focus on what I need to focus on.
As I mentioned above, I am married. I do have a husband and he is an active part of my business. Even though he works crazy retail hours and often travels or works late, my husband is the best business partner that I could ask for! He supports me wherever and whenever I need help— he might take care of household duties so that I can focus on any lingering tasks I have to, or just give me a break so that I’m able to take care of myself.
However, he does travel often or work late hours when he is home. During those times, I’m on my own, so I just have to find the little pockets of valuable time I DO have to focus on my work and still be present and available for my family.
The key part of being a Virtual Assistant while still being a stay at home parent (or even if you have a nine-to-five job) is finding those valuable moments in-between your responsibilities to jump in, take care of your work, and wrap up projects on time. This is such a critical piece to having a successful Virtual Assistant business.
Actionable Tips: How to Maximize Your Daily Productivity
Tip #1: Make a Plan.
I make a plan every single day for what I plan to accomplish, and I write it down.
Now, I still use pen and paper, but I also use some great online resources. I write down hour by hour what I plan to work on, and I have a great planner I use where I’m able to write down my primary focus for each hour in my day.
Sometimes, depending on what the day looks like or where I’m going to be, I may get distracted during that hour. Perhaps something urgent comes up from a client that I need to address right away. I will stop what I’m doing to address the issue, take care of it, and then I focus back to what I had written down for that hour.
However, writing my tasks down and making a plan for the hours of my day helps me stay focused, especially during the focus time I have during nap time. I can really get quality work done during that time and be efficient because I have a plan.
If you’re not a paper and pen person, there are some great online resources you can use for making a task list and planning your day. You could use Trello, Asana, or Click-up. Even Google Calendar can be your best friend and help you make a plan to get things accomplished during your workday.
Looking for more tips on how to make a plan to actually achieve big goals? Check out “Flip The Switch Goals For Virtual Assistants” here in the blog.
Tip #2: Communicate Openly.
There are two people you primarily need to openly communicate with when it comes to being a Virtual Assistant.
First of all, communicate openly with your clients. Make sure your clients know when and where you are working, what projects you’re doing, and the progress you’re making in those projects. I highly recommend touching base on a regular basis so that you can keep your clients informed.
Touching base regularly may happen through a Zoom call, Slack, Voxer, or through an email. But make sure that you’re keeping an open line of communication with your clients so they keep track of what progress you’re making on your projects.
Second of all, communicate openly with your family.
Let your family know what’s going on in your business. Tell them what you have planned for the week, and what you have planned for the day. That’ll help them support you better in the ebb and flow of the stress levels that can sometimes come with being a Virtual Assistant. You might have deadlines or it might be a launch season. Lots of different variables can happen when working as a Virtual Assistant.
You want your family to know about these variables so that they can support you during the more stressful times. You may not have any family that lives in the same house with you. If that’s the case, let your community know (the people closest to you) about what’s going on in your business so that they can support you, as well.
Tip #3: Take Care of Yourself.
I am very challenged when it comes to asking for help.
I have come to realize that when I am willing to reach out for support, whether it be from a friend, family member, or even a client, I am able to be a better Virtual Assistant. Virtual Assistance is a support role, so you often worry about taking care of your clients and about what you have to get done for them, and you forget about you.
Taking care of ourselves is going to look different for all of us. You may need a walk around the block, or you may need to sit down (to read or to listen to a podcast). You may need coffee or wine with a friend, or to watch a movie and make some popcorn with your family. A massage or pedicure is certainly nice. It looks different for everybody.
I once had a great friend tell me, “You can’t be on unless you’re off.”
Isn’t that so good? You can’t be on unless you’re off—just like a light switch. If a light switch has never turned off, it can never be turned on. And as a Virtual Assistant, it’s so important that we turn off, that we unplug our work, take a break, and take care of ourselves. We will be better Virtual Assistants and better support systems if we’re able to do that and make it a priority.
If you need to write ‘taking care of yourself’ down in your weekly to-do list, then by all means, write it down and make it a priority to take care of yourself!
Tip #4: Use your resources.
There are so many resources available to you and around you. You may not even be aware of some of them, or you may have laughed at them before. You might consider some resources as possible laziness. I know I have!
YMCA or other childcare
One of the resources that I have learned to utilize is my local YMCA. I do pay for a membership there, but that membership gives me back a good chunk of time. I can drop my son off for childcare and focus on some work in the mornings, as well as take care of myself at the same time. It’s money out of my business, but it’s well spent to take care of me.
It also saves me time and energy. My son spends his time playing anyway, so why not give him a little bit of social interaction as well as a good and safe environment to do that in? It’s also an opportunity for me to focus on some of the more urgent tasks that I need to take care of.
Another resource is grocery ordering and delivering. When this service first came out, I personally laughed at the idea and thought that getting groceries delivered was just pure laziness.
Now as a mom of three, I order my groceries. I’ve realized that having groceries either delivered or available for pickup has saved me time, energy, and allowed me to get things done I wouldn’t be able to in the time frame I used to need to go to the grocery store.
Now, if going to the grocery store is taking care of yourself (like, that’s how you get away and escape and turn off), then, by all means, please continue to do so. That’s just an example of a resource that’s available to you.
You may feel alone. You may feel that you’re not supported in your business. Maybe your family, your spouse, or your friends don’t get it. They don’t understand what being a Virtual Assistant is and you don’t have a good support system in place.
There are resources available in your community that you may or may not be aware of. Go out and find them.
Think outside the box.
It may even just be an online support group that you can vent to or talk to, but find that resource. Get connected and utilize them.
Looking for a great Facebook Community that is specifically for virtual assistants? Come join us in the Virtual Assistant Savvies Facebook group.
Top Tips Summarized
- Make a plan. Write it down. It could be on paper or in an app. Whatever it is, make a plan and do your best to stick to it. Are you going to mark all those things off your to-do list? Probably not. There’s always tomorrow. Work on your priorities. Work hard, get as much done as you can, and then continue on throughout the rest of your day.
- Communicate openly with your clients and with your family. Keep them posted on the progress of what you’re working on. Let them know if it’s going to be a stressful day or week ahead so that they know how to best love and support you.
- Take better care of you. Turn off and unplug. Make yourself a priority so that you can be a better Virtual Assistant for your clients.
- Finally, find those resources available to you that save you time, energy, and help to support you alongside your business.
Okay, y’all, that’s a sneak peek into my life as a Virtual Assistant. Not every day is full of fun and laughter and completely completed to-do lists. Trust me.
Many times, things don’t get accomplished and they have to wait until tomorrow. Some days are full of tears and frustrations and simply not enough time.
But I am doing something that I love, that I am passionate about and that I have created to be my own. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Does it take hard work?
But you are changing your life and your family’s life.
So will your day look like mine?
Probably not, but that’s totally okay.
Make it yours.
Embrace it, love it, and have a great time.
Now that you know what a Virtual Assistant does, are you ready to get started as one?!
If so, make sure that you download my Virtual Assistant Checklist and Starter Kit. It’s literally everything you need to know step-by-step to show you how to start your own Virtual Assistant business from scratch!
Abbey Ashley is the Founder of The Virtual Savvy. She helps aspiring virtual assistants launch and grow their own at-home business from scratch. She's since gone on to grow a multi-six figure business and retire her husband ALL from her at-home business. It's now her passion to help others start their own VA business so they can taste the freedom and flexibility of entrepreneurship as well.
This free one-hour training combines thousands of hours of research, years of experience in growing a virtual assistant business!
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