In the day and age of remote work, everyone’s daily work tasks are mostly fulfilled digitally. We send emails every day, schedule Zoom meetings and conference calls, attend events, and manage travels – all from the base of our home office! As convenient as that sounds, working in such a setting alone could be very limiting, especially if you have no one else to rely on. Often it reaches a point where we have to give in to accepting help from a virtual executive assistant just to keep everything in check!
Ideal for busy individuals such as CEOs, growing business owners, persons with disabilities or disease, and the like, virtual assistants are the key to maintaining a work-life balance. Their general tasks are to fulfill the administrative services, such as managing schedules, arranging meetings, and dealing with customer support, among many others.
Of course, availing of virtual assistant services comes with a price. After all, they save you time and prevent stress levels from rising, all while effectively helping you prioritize tasks daily. However, to get your money’s worth, you must look out for your chosen VA’s excellence! Although nobody is perfect, there are certainly people who may pass or fail your standards.
Now, let’s explore the top five qualities you should look for in a virtual assistant.
Quality #1: Existing Educational Background
Education is an excellent foundation for conquering the real world, especially for virtual assistants who regularly face different situations. Looking into the background of an applicant may be helpful to find a match for your needs.
However, their completed bachelor’s degree doesn’t have to be in your field; their education must be meaningful enough to understand basic business principles! However, you can also most certainly hire someone with a master’s degree or a Ph.D., if necessary. Moreover, an impressive educational background can also give you a glimpse of their computer literacy!
Quality #2: Work Experience
Work experience doesn’t have to be full-time employment. Work experience includes internships, workshops, and volunteer work. We include this at the top of the list because we believe that anyone can definitely build solid work ethics in anything as an internship. And yes, a great VA would have to be impressive in terms of how they view and fulfill their work—regardless of what that work may have been.
Quality #3: Internal Motivation and Discipline
This may transpire over time, but you must note that virtual assistants should work with minimal to no supervision as early as the application process! With the nature of their work, they have to be internally motivated to get things done as soon as possible, and in an orderly and proper fashion, at that.
In addition, they must have the discipline to fulfill their duties even if you don’t ask them to, including timing in and timing out accordingly! Remember, a VA is supposed to help you, not cause you even more stress.
Quality #4: Positive Attitude
Many people overlook this quality, and the thing is: you shouldn’t! Trust us when we say that a VA with a positive attitude makes for better work culture. You want to hire someone who can help you get creative, look outside of the box, and bring light energy into the most complex and most routine tasks. Even the slightest ounce of positivity can make a heavy workload so much lighter!
Quality #5: Quick Thinking and Decisiveness
A great virtual assistant has the instincts to make the right call. VAs may often have to stand as your right-hand partner in some instances, meaning they have to foresee issues, troubleshoot problems, and make effective decisions.
It may seem like a heavy expectation, but the suitable VA for you won’t be inadequate to meet it. Through unexpected situations, you’ll be able to determine what makes a great virtual assistant.
Quality #6: Honesty and Openness
Clear communication and transparency are what we believe make for a long-lasting relationship with your virtual assistant. In this type of work, it’s essential to get a little personal now and then, as openness is an element that will work for you both!
An effective VA should be able to tell you when things aren’t working when they’re unable to fulfill the work or meet your deadline when they’re upset, or even when they feel that boundaries are being crossed and they’re uncomfortable with certain aspects of the job. And at the same time, they should also be open to feedback and constructive criticism from you!
There should be confidence in such honesty from both ends. These are all a part of having a healthy VA and employer relationship. Moving forward, note that there could be negative consequences without honest communication!
Quality #7: A Thirst for Learning
We’ll say it again: there is no perfect VA—especially right off the bat! No matter how excellent your virtual assistant is, knowledge has no threshold. It’s important that they ask questions, clarify information, and seek more challenges from time to time. Having additional curious and inquisitive brains in the team allows for an expansion of growth and culture development – because, in the end, everyone wins!
They should be open to learning new things, trying out new methods, and making a few mistakes. A VA who welcomes opportunities will continue to succeed on their own and with you.
The work dynamic between a boss and their virtual assistant is not always easily measured or defined; however, certain positive elements must be present, such as openness, trust, and communication. And, sure, there will be hierarchies and authority figures in every team—but in working with a group, or a partner, or a virtual assistant, it will always be a two-way street! So, as a future boss, you must also be wary of setting the tone.
So, when hiring a VA or multiple VAs, find individuals who will not only complement your work and your work ethic but are excellent contributors to your business. Always remember that the goal is that everyone reaches the goal together! Nothing and no one should be left behind. Whether you’re someone looking for a virtual assistant, or if you want to apply as a virtual assistant, take note of the qualities indicated in this guide!
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