Friday, March 13, 2009

Please Hire Me!

Lately, I've been noticing a lot of new Virtual Assistants looking for work. Virtual Assistant's have been emailing their resumes asking to work for me. They've also been posting on the forums saying things like "Hi, I'm new and I want a job. Please hire me."

The amount of new Virtual Assistants on the scene has been growing like crazy over the last year. I'm guessing this is because of the way the economy is. People are losing their jobs and saying, "hey I could be a virtual assistant". What some people don't understand is that being a virtual assistant means you are a business owner and not an employee.

Like Candy of OffAssist, I've been getting a lot of requests from new Virtual Assistants wanting work or information and I feel I haven't been responding to them as much as I could be. I am thankful for Candy's new vlog: 2 Minutes With a VA. I now direct people here who contact me for information.

2 Minutes With a VA is filled with some great resources for new VAs.

The request I get most often from new VA's is: How can I become a subcontractor? A great way to get started as a VA is to be a subcontractor. However, to be a subcontractor you first need to find a VA willing to try you out. Lanel Taylor has a great answer to the question: How does a Virtual Assistant become a subcontractor? You can listen to the answer here:
http://2minuteswithava.com/2009/03/how-does-a-virtual-assistant-become-a-subcontractor/

6 comments:

Nickey Hollenbach said...

I hear what you're saying, Sally.
And thank you for restating that this is a business, not a job. If you want a job, subcontracting is fine. I am always looking for subcontractors to have on hand, and the first question I ask is, do you have professional liability insurance? The answer is almost always "no." If you're serious about becoming a subcontractor, show me the insurance! It's not that costly to buy it, but it sure could be if you don't. Another great source for VA's starting out is VAnetworking.com. Through the site and forums and teleclasses, you'll find everything you need.

Thanks again, Sally, for the great post.

Candy said...

Thanks for the mentions and ABSOLUTELY. If you wanna be a subcontractor, you have to do the work and take the time... it's really that easy. (and hard!)

Jennifer said...

I think the kicker of a virtual assistant business that is different from other businesses is that even though you are a business owner...you're an assistant. So it's that weird middle ground where a BUNCH of people with the assistant mindset (who probably aren't business owners at heart) don't know what to do and marketing is, at best, a dream they hope to understand someday.

It makes me sad to see so many VAs asking for work, but honestly, at least they're asking SOMEONE. If they could aim those work-seeking questions toward potential clients rather than other VAs they'd really be on the right track to success!!

Sally Kuhlman, Virtual Simplicity said...

Jennifer - I have to admit I had a really hard time with the word "assistant" in the beginning. I started out calling myself a Virtual Business Manager exactly because of what the word assistant conjures up. But I soon realized, yes the word "assistant" is a challenge but it is your mindset that is most important. If you think of yourself as an assistant with a boss that is what you will be. If you think of yourself as a business owner who partners with other business owners to assist them in the success of their business well then that is what you are.

As a business owner it is your responsibility to set your own rules and boundaries. You tell your client what you do and when you will do it. If a client wants a project done 3 hours from now it is up to you to say yes or no.

Over the years I have been tweaking my client agreement form to be very detailed with information such as the hours I am available (ie. don't call me on a Saturday), expected turn around time, preferred form of communication (I prefer email over phone), etc.

Actually, this doesn't just apply to Virtual Assistants. An assistant in a corporate office can be seen as the bosses partner in success.

It's time to embrace the word assistant and take away the negative connotation that goes with it. As we all know assistants are what make the world go around in the corporate world. It's time that Assistants get the respect and pay they deserve and that is not going to happen until Assistants step up and demand it.

Jaime Lee said...

I had someone call me on the phone to ask for a position with my company. I hate that very much but I tried to be nice, and asked what her specialty was. She paused and said she could do email checking and word documents and stuff. Hmmm. In this day and age with SO many VAs around, you have to know what you're good at, even if you're the best generalist ever.

Also, when I told her to go ahead and email me with more information, she actually asked me what my business name and email address were. When that email did come - Delete! If you're going to cold call me, Lord above have my business name and email address written down somewhere.

Network, network, network. Don't just ask for work - show me you're great. Please? :)

Tracey said...

Great post. I have noticed this increase in 'job requests' as well - I have gotten more in the last six months than ever before.

I tell them all the same thing - go to VAnetworking.com and network. Get your name out there, get to know people, let them learn about what you do.

It's not as simple as asking; it's hard work, and it does take time.