I’m a Hybrid Virtual Assistant!

Virtual Executive Assistance…I’m a Hybrid!

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.  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 an 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 my career as an accomplished executive assistant.

As I have experienced working as a virtual assistant this past couple of years, 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 wherever I’m traveling person who still wants the satisfaction of being a true executive assistant.

Communication and the Road to Becoming Virtual

Communication – Road to Becoming Virtual

This past couple of years has been a whirlwind of opportunity, (and yes) disappointment, experience, new software and an understanding of the difference between physically working in a corporate office and bringing that corporate persona to a home office.  Communication…it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Lots of new software and apps for communication in a virtual environment. There’s always something new to learn.  That’s the fascination of being virtual.  It helps to have grown up with the internet because you have years under your belt of learning email etiquette.  I have found ways to communicate in an email with the nuances used in-person with body language.

I built my first website in 1999.  LOVE HTML!  Finally, I realized I was going to have to learn new software although it was not nearly as much fun as good old HTML.  Adobe Creative Suite 3, Dreamweaver.  I found this picture that looks exactly like what I did to learn it in 2 months.

Even the big binders and crumpled up paper LOL.  I would study until I couldn’t hold my head up and would fall asleep at my desk LOL.  I learned that when you add a couple more monitors to your system, you don’t need to use paper.  I am using Creative Suite 6 now.  After all, every website must be responsive!

And then, there is social media!  Reminds me of basic HTML, you can post everywhere, but using a software like Hootsuite makes it so much easier! They have a free trial, check it out!

There are so many differences when you’re completely virtual.  I think this will be a new menu item on my blog to add to.  Maybe I’ll write a book!  I’m sure there’s an app for that…