Can You Become a VA with No Office Experience?
Being a virtual assistant online is one of the easiest ways to transition into online work. You probably already have some experience in your background, whether it's in a job, a volunteer capacity, or running your own business at some other point in your life. That experience can easily transition you into being a VA.
But one of the most common questions people ask is, “If I've never had any office-related experience, can I become a virtual assistant?”
For my answer, watch the latest video from my YouTube channel, Freelance Freedom, or read on below.
Virtual Assistants Have These Key Skillsets
Virtual assistants do all kinds of tasks across the board. They can do things like managing calendars, managing someone's email inbox, scheduling social media, scheduling and posting blogs on behalf of a client, organizing materials, doing research and data entry, coordinating travel - you name it, there are dozens and dozens of tasks that a VA can do.
And the short answer is no, you don't have to have extensive experience working in an office to be successful as a virtual assistant. Plenty of virtual assistants use skills that they've picked up along the way, including those that have worked in an office before.
But it is not mandatory that you have worked in an office previously in order to succeed as a virtual assistant. You might have some experience from your own personal life -- you're good at organizing things, you're focused on details. These types of tasks really appeal to you because they are something you've done before or they are something you've always wanted to do.
Likewise, you don't have to have any particular type of education to succeed as a virtual assistant. You don't need a graduate degree. You don't need a bachelor's degree.
Most people who are in need of hiring a virtual assistant are disorganized, overwhelmed or both. Your ability to pay attention to detail and to help organize things for them is instrumental in helping them feel less stressed and overwhelmed. This skillset is way more important than whether or not you've ever worked in an office before or whether or not you have a particular degree.
Highlight Your Training, Experience, and Skills
If you want to become a virtual assistant, and you don't have office experience, you can still highlight other training and experience that is relevant to your role as a VA. If you have particular types of training that you've completed, you might mention that with a prospective client. For example, maybe you took a course on social media management. This could help push the client over the edge in terms of hiring you because you have that specific expertise.
Likewise, if you've worked in an office for a long period of time and you've coordinated a lot of projects and had a number of balls in the air you were juggling at any point in time, reference that with your prospective clients. Ultimately, though, they are going to care about the skills and knowledge you bring to the table from your past experience, not the fact that you worked in an office.
Overall, it's these personality traits, a willingness to learn, and an understanding of the position that the business owner or employee is coming to you with in terms of needing a virtual assistant.
Being a virtual assistant is one of the hottest opportunities in freelance work today because the barrier to entry is much lower than other types of freelancing. If you were to start pitching yourself as a graphic designer, you're going to be competing against people who have specific qualifications. For example, you’d need to either know particular graphic design software, have done it for some time, have received education about graphic design or worked as a full-time graphic designer.
Hopefully this makes you feel a lot more confident that even if you don't have any office experience, you can still learn the skills and tasks necessary to be a virtual assistant quickly and easily.
For more tips on becoming a VA, sign up to get free access to my Ultimate Resource Library for New Virtual Assistants.