How do Virtual Assistants Work?
As Virtual CEOs, entrepreneurs of the world and high performers we often tend to hire other people such as Virtual Agents and Virtual Assistants to help us organize our work. It is essential for us to do so in order to become as productive as possible. Most times these Virtual Agents are in a different country and a different time zone, but they are such an important part of our team that it is almost as if they were ubiquitous. They seem to anticipate our every need, they understand what we do and why it matters to us, and they connect with our company emotionally. Have you ever wondered… how do they actually do their work? How do they care and perform so well for a company without actually being there?
As a Virtual Agent myself I want to embark on this journey, and try to explain to our readers what actually goes on in your head once you start working for a company without actually being there. At first, it seems a little odd to be connected all the time with people all over the world who need your specific skillset and want you to be part of their team. After a couple of days you manage to be on all platforms the company uses and you understand the culture of the institution, it is here when things get interesting.
Once you become part of a powerful team, as a worker with companies that thrive to create a better world for their clients you develop a consciousness about the work you do. Many times we seem to ignore the value of our work, but once you get to be part of a place with a purpose, with individuals who understand the world differently and want to be part of the change you start to transform as well.
The first thing I noticed that made me realize I was part of something bigger than I thought was the fact that I started thinking in a different time zone. It’s a small detail, but it is here, when you find yourself thinking in NYC time zone you realize your life is changing. You move your lunch time to match the one of your company (even if it is in a different country) and even your work hours switch from the 8 to 5 standard to the ones the startup uses.
After that, when you notice your work and the value it has you become more and more engaged with the company itself. You begin to understand that the fact that you are not actually present makes your work your actual evidence of your character. And so deadlines actually become very important, you understand that others depend on your ability to deliver what you are supposed to deliver right on time and without any issues. Likewise, you understand how other’s attitudes and work habits towards the company directly affect you, and when the whole team, including yourself finally synchronizes and works in unison it is one of the most enjoyable work experiences you might have.
It is fantastic to be your own boss, to actually manage your time without having someone looking over your shoulder constantly while you become a successful team member. Being independent and yet being part of a community with purpose is pretty much what any individual wants. So, as a Virtual Assistant you understand that you are the one who needs to push yourself beyond your limits, because your client is not just a person at the other end, it is an opportunity to do things differently, to be your own boss, and find success both as an individual and as a team member.
That’s how we do things as Virtual Assistants; the secret to appear to be ubiquitous is to actually care. Of course nobody can be ever present, or anticipate other’s thoughts. The secret is really quite simple, if you love what you do and care about the place you are part of your work is more than a job, it is purpose, it is passion, it is transcendence.
5 Keys to finding the best Virtual Assistant for your company
Don’t focus on their work only: Many times when we are hiring new people to be part of our company we focus so much on their credentials that we forget to actually look at who they are as person and if their values align with ours. Drop the resume for a minute, and focus on asking them what they actually love doing, understand where they come from and if they are on the same wavelength as you are. It might take more time to do this process, but doing so will allow you to work with someone who cares about your work, not about a paycheck.
Focus on emotions, not only logic: When a candidate applies for a job he or she tends to focus on showing a skillset more than emotional abilities. However, the best workers for any company are those who are actually emotionally involved as well as skilled. So remember, try to understand where they are coming from and if they are a good fit that will balance or add something valuable to your company.
Make sure they have the technical skills: You might be so delighted by meeting your first Virtual Agent that you might let go of details such as the phone call dropping or the glitchy videoconference. Make sure they have the right tools that your company might need; from a proper internet connection to whatever software and skillset that is essential for you.
Look at several options: Don’t just get the first option you see right away. There are a million different Virtual Agents out there. Some companies tend to hire the first person they hear about instead of the one that might be the best fit for them. Take your time, do your research.
Make sure a Virtual Agent can do the work you need: This one seems obvious but it will help you a lot. If you require someone who might at some point need to be present in your workspace then a Virtual Agent/Virtual Assistant might not be the best option. At times some VAs actually meet their clients in person, but if you foresee the need for a meeting like this to happen in a near future considering a different option might be important.