My regular “day job,” if you please, is as a personal/executive virtual assistant. A lot of my friends have been curious what my work entails and why I love it, so I thought I’d share. This goes along with this week’s re-launch of Ocipura.com, and serves as a chance to kind of re-introduce myself to you all!
I’d love to hear from you if you also have an amazing job (online or offline) that you’d like to share! Or maybe you have some more questions about my work? If so, leave a comment below!
What Others Think I Do – What I Really Do
I hate being asked, “So what do you do?”
It’s hard to give a simple answer! When you hear that I work from home as an online assistant, you may think that what I actually mean is that I spend all day on Facebook and Reddit. Not so. I have real work, and I have real clients, and I get real money for it. In essence, what I do is manage my client’s lives, to one degree or another! Here are a few examples of tasks that I complete on a daily basis for my handful of clients:
- Schedule meetings, doctor’s appointments, car maintenance, home repairs, coffee dates (and manage super-busy calendars!)
- Book/purchase flights, rental cars, train tickets, et cetera
- Make reservations for hotels, restaurants, retreats, dog-walkers, et cetera
- Shop for and purchase gifts, home necessities, cellphone or cable plans, concert tickets, et cetera
- Research (examples below)
- Competitive analysis of hiking websites
- Options for payroll management
- How different companies manage/maintain great customer service
- Things to do/see in Buenos Aires
- Restaurants to try in [city]
- Incorporating a business in [country]
- Run payroll
- Send invoices
- Track expenses
- Send money / Make recurring payments
- Email management
A Day in the Life of One VA
I am a self-employed contractor, meaning that my clients hire me for my services, but I’m not their employee. As a VA, my schedule can be as flexible or rigid as I choose to make it, but you know me: I’m all about routine and predictability.
I’m working on making my workday a balance of regularly-scheduled work times intermixed with breaks.
Here’s an idea of what a day in my life is like with a full client load:
0615 -0745 – Wake up, walk with the dog, take care of personal hygiene
0745-0830 – Quiet time & Bible reading, planning to-do list for the day
0830-0900 – Begin going through my email, prioritizing client tasks, responding to emails
0900-1100 – Client work + break (for breakfast, to relax a little, & to work on some chores)
1100-1130 – Writing time
1130-1330 – Client work + break (for further writing, lunch, chores, & relaxing)
1330-1530 – Client work
1530-1630 – Break time
1630-1800 – Client work (finish early and head to the beach, maybe???)
1800-2100 – Time with Marty, Dinner, TV/games/whatever
2100-2300 – Personal time, journal time, get ready for bed, etc.
Why I <3 My Job
Why do I love my work? First of all, working from home and communicating primarily via email works perfectly with my introverted, Aspie nature. I can handle a small office setting, but interacting with more than a couple co-workers in the same space stresses me out. And, let’s face it, I’m not great with face-to-face interactions. I don’t always get my facial expressions or tone of voice just right. Nope! Communicating by email is where it’s at.
Secondly, I’m utilizing my strengths! Writing? Organization? Technology? Spreadsheets? Emails? All things I’m great with!
Third, I love my clients, and I love helping them out. I take many tasks off their plates so that they can focus on the things they’re great at. It’s satisfying to help people. It’s satisfying to see my clients become more successful and more productive because of my actions.
Finally, I have to bring up the flexible schedule. If I need a day off, or an afternoon off, I’ve got it. No problem. No saving up vacation days. If I want to work from the poolside, I can. If I want to take a break in the middle of the day and hit the beach, I can, and I have! If I want to get all my tasks done in the morning and finish up work early, I can. If I want to go back to school and take classes in the middle of the day, I can. If I want to work from my RV and travel across the country, picking up wi-fi where I find it, I can. Seriously. It’s hard to get any better than this.