Whilst I was still preparing my Virtual Assistant business and wondering if I really had the courage to do what I knew I wanted to do, my therapist set me the task of writing about it as if I was already doing it, what that would look like, feel like etc. This piece is exactly that. My imagination of what a day in the life of a virtual assistant, with my longed for dog, would be.
My Life As A Virtual Assistant
My name is Helen and I feel so blessed to have the best job in the world. Having taught for over 40 years and worked in ever more stressful and pressured environments until even my health eventually suffered, I finally took myself in hand and started planning what is now a successful online, work-from-home business and I have not looked back.
One of the biggest improvements in my life is that today it is Sunday afternoon, the dog is curled up beside me on the sofa, the rain is pouring down and I feel at peace and happy. It is the type of hibernation I have always longed for. There are no more lost Sundays where anxiety about the imminent and dreaded Monday has hit the second I wake up; no more feeling overwhelmed in the face of a whole working week ahead.
So what DOES my life consist of now? As a virtual assistant I have a really interesting mix of jobs that keep me busy and engaged. On the one hand I follow and support a number of indie artists for whom I advertise up and coming gigs, post about any and every success or mention they get anywhere and run their support/fan groups on Facebook.
I post both as myself, their VA, as it looks good that they have reached a place where they need a VA, and as them when they need their presence to be seen but are unable to be that in person. I use Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Instagram for the advertising and generation of engagement.
I help some artists with their travel arrangements when they are touring, researching best routes, prices and following their journey with up-to-date information such as how many and what stops there are on their journey before they must change trains, what platform they will arrive on, what platform do they depart from for their onward journeys.
I let them know if things are running on time and how much time they have between each train. If they need bus or other public transport information as they move around I find this for them, usually texting or messaging and staying with them until they have found what they need or as long as they feel like being accompanied – usually as long as their phone battery lasts. Where needed I order taxis to get them from their performance venue back to their accommodation.
Another part of the job I love is joining in with the radio communities of which I am apart. I know all the DJ’s and am a full member of the show’s chat rooms which I join for the duration of the show. Sometimes my artist is also there which is fun but often they are busy, on the road or the time difference is wrong for them. I put in regular play requests for them as the more airplays they get the better, for reasons of exposure, popularity and the small fee they get for each spin. I send out new music to the DJs and set up interviews which happen either in the studio if on their travel route, or over skype or recorded if not.
The joy of being able to work as I do is that not only am I able to structure my own days but I am not bound by location. I can go away, and often do, and my work life just continues. I spent a great week up on Orkney with my brother and his family just recently.
There I was, in Orkney, with a breath- taking view of the sea and the fish quay and passing boats. Just one example of the many beautiful ‘offices’ I get to work in.
People said I would get lonely, miss being around people but I haven’t. When you have a dog people always want to stop and talk to you both, well mostly the dog but I do get included eventually. If I feel the need for an injection of social energy I take my laptop to the nearest local café that has WIFI. That’s all it takes to change mood.
So taking this step to create what has become an extremely healthy working life for me and one where I enjoy everyone I interact with and the faithful companionship of my furry boy, has been the very best and bravest thing I could ever have done.
I had enjoyed everything I had done before this, too, but physical and mental signs had let me know that it was time for a change. That I found this working world and the new kind of colleagueship has been the very best change I could have ever hoped for.
Helen Bee works in her own Virtual Assistant business 'Hey Helen!' helping sensitive and empathic solo entrepreneurial women to achieve a better work/life/family integration, manage overwhelm and get back to the aspects of their business that they love by supporting their admin, research, social media and organisational needs.