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Business As Usual

Communication – Road to Becoming Virtual

This past year 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 ettiquette.  I have found ways to communicate in email with the nuances used in person with body language.

communication, study, dreamweaverI 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.

And then, there’s 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 in my blog to add to.  Maybe I’ll write a book!  I’m sure there’s an app for that…

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.virtual executive assistant

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 internet connection. Remember when it cost around $3 an hour to connect to AOL and 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.


High Praise from an Amazing Veterinarian!

lohaniMADHUKAR LOHANI, DVM, MVSc, MS, ECFVG, PhD of Atlanta West Veterinary Hospital recommended me today on LinkedIn.  I retired from Atlanta West Vet in February 2016.  Dr. Lohani is such an accomplished doctor that this is truly high praise!  I thank him from the bottom of my heart.  By the way, he and Mrs. Lohani are having a baby girl tonight!  Please keep them in your prayers!

MADHUKAR LOHANI, DVM, MVSc, MS, ECFVG, PhD has written you a recommendation on LinkedIn for Practice Manager at Atlanta West Veterinary Hospital.

“I am pleased to write in warm recommendation of Ms. Carla Smothers. I have known Ms. Smothers since the Fall of 2014, when I started working in Atlanta West Veterinary Hospital, Villa Rica, Georgia. Ms. Smothers is a friendly, adaptable, action-oriented Practice Manager. She has an excellent ability to understand complex situations and provide rationalized solutions. Client communications is one the important aspects of veterinary practice. Ms. Carla’s oral and written communication skills are excellent. Furthermore, she continuously hones her management and communication skills by attending various meetings and participating in group discussion. In fact, most of our clients and staff members are extremely impressed with her communication and managerial skills. Ms. Carla is dedicated to her work, deadline conscious and a sociable person. She is an intelligent and well informed about so many different fields inside and outside of veterinary practice. As an individual, she is easy to work with; a generally calm outlook and a quiet sense of humor make her pleasant to be around.”