An interesting observation I’ve made as a virtual assistant is that there is a variety of personalities that make up the title. As I have traveled through my career, I realized the difference between an “executive assistant” and an “administrative assistant.” More responsibility and experience is the difference. One who goes the extra mile in resolving whatever task is before them. Now that doesn’t mean the title is always true. I know a lot of admin jobs that have expectations of excellence but the EA takes on more of a manager’s tasks which frees up time for more important things.
I have picked up a number of skills along the way. QuickBooks in 1994 was an application along the line of MS Money. It wasn’t free but the software was quite simple. I worked for a large CPA firm in the late 90’s, and I was the only person in the firm who knew QuickBooks (and I was an EA, not a CPA). Now it’s a requisite to an accounting position. Web design is another skill I picked up. Most of we seasoned computer nerds remember when AOL was the only kid on the block when it came to internet connection. Remember when it cost around $3 an hour to connect to AOL and Monster.com was a freebie that only catered to tech people?
I worked for a local District Attorney which provided me with legal secretary experience. I went on to work for some of the larger firms in Atlanta as a temporary legal secretary so that I could see the difference in responsibilities. The money was great but the work was not challenging to me. So I continued in my career of an accomplished executive assistant.
As I have experienced working as a virtual assistant this year, I find much of the same. A lot of virtual assistants just want the job to work from home for whatever reason. And it’s a wonderful opportunity that we have now. So that makes me a hybrid. I’m a work from home person who still wants the satisfaction of being a true executive assistant.