A Sudden Change in Plans:
I found out late in 2015 that my position as an HR Manager and Executive Assistant was being made redundant. A friend approached me and asked if I would consider going freelance as a Virtual Assistant specialising in HR. My first reaction was, “Me? I could never do that!” but when I actually started researching the profession, I realised it WAS actually an option, and a very attractive one!
So in January, I made the decision that rather than looking for a new job in a new location, I would set up my own company working as a VA and HR consultant.
I set about reading up all I could. I made myself a lengthy to-do list - the most daunting to do list I have ever had. I mapped out what I needed to do first, what equipment I would need, what I would need to do administratively to set up my own company, and I set about doing it.
The first step was creating my own website using Wix, which is still very basic. But, considering I had NO idea of how to create one when I started, I still feel proud that I have done it. Actually, that is one thing that has been consistent with my VA journey, I have found myself constantly doing things I have never done before, and that I am not comfortable with, and it is a great feeling. I can push myself and accomplish things I didn’t think I could do!
Next, I spent a few days analysing what my skills are, and what I wanted to do. I decided to offer four types of services: virtual assistant, event management, writing and editing and HR consultancy services. As I grow my client base, I expect these to evolve, but this is what I felt comfortable doing. I would never offer a service I didn’t feel I could do to a high standard.
Once my website was in place I moved onto to updating my Twitter and Linkedin profiles, and started networking like mad. I had a lot of connections from my previous roles so I set about messaging all of them and anyone else I could think of, and was amazed by the responses I got!
Following advice from other Virtual Assistants, I joined numerous HR and Small Business groups on Linkedin and started identifying and connecting with potential clients (I aimed to connect with about 50 potential clients per week). I also attended local networking events. Again, this is something that doesn’t come naturally to me but I was always amazed by the positive experiences I had. I have now been a VA for almost four months and already have eight clients!
How it has all paid off!
The thing that I really love about being a Virtual Assistant is that it allows me to work around my life and not try to squeeze my life around my work, which is an incredible feeling. I have a seven-year-old daughter, and being able to be there for her at the start and the end of the day is the best feeling. The day you realise that you are actually in control is an amazing feeling of freedom, and for me, outweighs any other fears.
I love having the satisfaction of knowing that no day will be the same and I will carry on learning and growing.
All in all, I would say that being in control of my destiny, and doing what I want, when I want, is the most amazing feeling, and I would urge anyone who is thinking of being a VA to just do it! What have you got to lose? And if it works, you have an awful lot to gain.
- When One Door Closes… My Journey to Becoming a Virtual Assistant - March 15, 2018