I was on an extended (16 month) leave of absence after my last child was born, and I knew I wanted to try to make some money from home to supplement my husband’s salary so I wouldn’t need to go back to work full-time. I began looking for work in January, without much luck. I considered signing up for writing jobs on Elance or oDesk, but I was discouraged by the low pay offered. One job I saw only offered $2 per 500 word post! Instead, I gathered more experience by writing guest posts on several big blogs. I had not planned on doing virtual assistant work, just writing, but the virtual assistant work fell into my lap, and I am very glad that it did.
In February, a blogger put out a call on Yakezie for someone to submit his posts to weekly carnivals. I did so, and he very generously mentioned me to all of his blogger friends, some of whom then hired me to do the same work for them. I typically can submit four bloggers’ posts to carnivals in one hour. This business has grown, and it now takes me about four hours a week to submit posts to carnivals for the bloggers who have hired me.
Another one of the bloggers who I submit to carnivals for expanded my role and hired me to do his weekly link round up and his weekly newsletter. As of now, that is the extent of my virtual assistant work. It takes me about 5 hours a week, and the work brings in enough money to pay for my son’s private school education.
I was lucky in that the first blogger who hired me (hi, Evan!) frequently recommended me to his friends. Through his word of mouth referral, several other bloggers hired me. Then some of them told their blogging friends, who then hired me.
I came to virtual assistant work through a non-traditional manner, but once I obtained my first job, it became fairly easy to find more work. You may find your first virtual assistant job through an assignment site like Elance or oDesk, or you may find the job through a friend. Honestly, I don’t think the method of finding a job really matters. What matters is that once you have the job, you do your best work possible. If that client is satisfied, she may refer you to her friends and business associates, who may then hire you. After you are hired by a few people, you will find the jobs coming to you much more rapidly.
I enjoy my work as a virtual assistant, and when my youngest child goes to preschool in a year and a half, I intend to expand the work I do. However, right now the workload is comfortable, and I can schedule the work around my children’s naps and after they are asleep for the night.
If you are looking into becoming a virtual assistant, you will want to come back here and visit again next week as I will have an interview with a virtual assistant and a giveaway for those of you interested in becoming a virtual assistant. (I know I promised the interview and giveaway this week, but what can I say, the VA has to put her clients’ work first, and I completely understand. 🙂 )