If you’ve always liked the idea of working from home in your pyjamas and having a balanced work-home life, then maybe it’s time to big goodbye to your 9-5 job and consider a few other feasible options instead. ‘Virtual assistant’ which was a term that was practically unheard of before, is now a word that is used freely within organizations. Gone are the days when a secretary or a marketing manager had to be physically present behind a desk in order to work; now all one needs is a PC with an internet connection and a phone connection. From an organizational point of view, hiring a virtual assistant is not just highly cost-effective but they also get to hire fantastic talent which is not constricted to a particular state or country. As a virtual assistant, there’s no limit to the kind of work you can get as well as of course, the value of the cheque you get to encash every month.

So what are the must-know tips to keep in mind if you are serious about exploring the possibilities that becoming a virtual assistant can offer?

–       The first step is to do a bit of reading about what a virtual assistant actually does as well as the pros and cons of becoming one. If you are serious about giving it a shot, remember to keep your mind open about possible challenges that lie ahead.

–       Decide what your competitive advantage is and hence the kind of services that you will be offering. As a newbie, it’s best to stick to one service and after you get the hang of the responsibilities involved, to diversify further.

–       You also need to decide how many hours you will be working for from home. Some clients prefer to employ virtual assistants who are in the same time zone whereas others may not have any such concerns. However, be honest about your working hours with any potential client.

–       Prepare a resume that stands out and use your social networking connections to spread the word about your new ‘job’. If your prior job experience is an added bonus factor, don’t forget to include that too.

–       Spend time in establishing new online connections and interacting with potential clients. It is best to take up jobs which are easy to complete and which you are fully confident about. Once you have a few such small jobs on your resume, you’ll stand a better chance of getting bigger projects in no time.

Remember patience does pay. Here’s wishing you luck on your new big venture.