Since starting my virtual assistant business in March 2009, I have encountered a similar question from many people when I mention what I do.
When I proudly announce, “I’m a Virtual Assistant”, I'm often met by quizzical looks and slightly confused expressions.
However, once I start to explain my place in the business world any questioning looks quickly turn into ones of nodding and understanding.
This is only because many New Zealanders have never heard of the term ‘Virtual Assistant’, and although we already have a number of VA’s throughout the country, it is still a relatively new concept in Godzone.
So, for those that are still a little unsure, I thought I’d start off my first blog by providing a definition of a Virtual Assistant (as defined by the Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce).
“A Virtual Assistant (or VA) is a solopreneur who specialises in providing ongoing, one-on-one, collaborative-style administrative support.
Like other professional service providers, Virtual Assistants operate remotely from their own places of business and utilise today’s technology to deliver their services and communicate with clients.
Virtual Assistants are first and foremost administrative experts. Virtual Assistants sometimes offer additional, separate specialties that fall under creative and/or technical services.
Virtual Assistants come from a variety of business backgrounds, but the single most important qualification the industry expects of its peers is at least five (5) years administrative experience earned in the real (non-virtual) business world working in upper-level capacities such as administrative assistant, executive assistant, secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, legal secretary, real estate assistant, office manager/supervisor, etc.
From this level of experience, a Virtual Assistant is expected to possess the skill sets, training and business knowledge which are the hallmark of a truly qualified Virtual Assistant.”
I hope that clears things up!
(Definition from the Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce.)