I am starting a series of interviews with some ninja women who are doing well in their career fields and are willing to share their experiences and suggestions with other women. We will get to know about the various career options available, the challenges associated and so much insider information.
Our first topic is Virtual Assistant. It is a career option in which you offer your services to the client through telecommunications, i.e. internet and tele calls. You sit at the comfort of your home and do the same work as someone else does sitting in office. Many times there are situations in your personal life when you cannot attend the regular working hours of office, but you do want to work and there the world of internet comes to save you. You can provide virtual assistance to your client who might be sitting in some different geographical location and working in different time zones. All you need to do is coordinate and get the basic understanding of tasks and get on it.
Today I am introducing you to Zascha Friis, a ninja working woman who is having complete fun with her work and life too. She runs a blog, According to Zascha, works as a virtual assistant and is a passionate solo traveler. After reading my interaction with her, you will also feel like you too want to do it all, yourself and then feel the freedom of working on your own terms. Zascha has been working as a Virtual Assistant and she can give you a fresh view of the fascinating world of Virtual Assistant. So let’s start, shall we!
Vinny – Tell us about your journey as a Virtual Assistant? Where and how did you start?
Zascha – I started looking into it in Fall last year. I’m starting my full-time travels in June this year and I knew that I would need to have an income that would enable me to stay on the road. So I was like: “How do I go about this?” I started looking for jobs, but it was like a jungle out there. There is so much competition, but luckily I don’t give up easily. I kept applying for VA jobs. I kept getting rejected, but it didn’t stop me. Shortly after, I landed my first VA job and I now have three long-term clients. It’s all about being determined.
Vinny – What has been the most challenging part in your career as a VA?
Zascha – It was difficult in the beginning getting people to give me a chance when I had zero experience as a VA. But all it takes is that one person to believe in you and to give you that one shot and then things will start running a bit more smoothly.
The most challenging thing now is time management. You really need to want this and you need to motivate yourself. When you’re working online you don’t have someone constantly looking over your shoulder, so you need to be able to manage your time properly.
Vinny – Have you ever had a very challenging client? How was the experience?
Zascha – No, I have been very lucky I think. I have a good relationship with all of my clients. And no, I’m not just saying that in case they’re going to read this. 🙂
Vinny – What are the most reliable platforms for a person looking to work as a VA?
Zascha – I have only ever used Upwork and that has worked well for me. Again, there’s a lot of competition out there and especially on Upwork as it’s the biggest freelance platform on the Internet. But it’s reliable and you’re secured in case something goes wrong. And once you get one or two good reviews on there, you will notice that there’s a lot more interest from clients.
Vinny – What are the necessary requirements for working as a VA that client look for? What kind of jobs do you do as a VA?
Zascha – You need to want to sit in front of your laptop a lot!
I think It’s important to be very fast at typing, you need to know how to manage different email platforms, social media platforms, Word, Excel, Google Docs. Basically, you need to know how to do most things. And if you don’t know how to then Google is your friend. Being able to write for the right audience is important too as it sometimes involve reaching out to different people in various companies.
In my jobs I do all sorts of things. No week is the same. I reach out to people on LinkedIn, I write hundreds of emails each week, I respond the messages, I schedule meetings, I go over resumes. And the list goes on. The jobs you do really depends on your client.
Vinny – What are the unsaid rules of VA world?
Zascha – Client confidentiality. I don’t mind telling people about my job as a VA, but I would never disclose exactly what kind of projects I’m working on or the name of my clients.
Vinny – What are the industry standards in terms of compensation for a VA?
Zascha – Good question! Some virtual assistants make $5 an hour; others make $20 an hour. I also think it depends on the location of the VA. I’m not going to say how much I make (sorry!), but let’s just say it enables me to travel around the world comfortably.
Vinny – With so many scam websites for VA work, how can one search for one genuine, authentic one?
Zascha – As I said earlier: Google is your friend! If you’re in doubt, then do research! Only ever use sites that have good reviews and that you’ve heard of before. And when it comes to determining whether a VA job is a scam or not my advice is this: if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.
Vinny – Zascha, tell us about yourself. What do you like the most as being a VA?
Zascha – The freedom! Without a doubt. I am able to work wherever and whenever I want. I can sleep until noon every day if I want to (unless I have a deadline!) and I can go to bed when I please. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rainbow and unicorns, but it is pretty damn close.
I’ve never had an interest in sitting in an office from 9 to 5 and by being a VA I will never have to.
Vinny – You also run a blog, tell us about it.
Zascha – Ah yes, my blog is my baby. I started According to Zascha back in 2014 after a breakup. I wanted to see the world and I wanted to tell people about it. I write about traveling solo on a budget. I give people tips and advice on how to do the same, but I also write personal stories so that my readers can get to know me as a person.
I’ve been traveling part-time up until now, but on the 22nd of June I begin my incredible journey around the world. I start in Italy and then I will be traveling from country to country until I find a place to settle down.
Vinny – Do you have a message for young girls who would like to work as a VA?
Zascha – Go for it! Get started already now. Read guides on how to get started. Talk to people who have already done it. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with a lot of hard work you’ll be able to get there. It will be the best decision you’ve ever made.
P.S – Zascha has also written an e-book about becoming a VA. Go, check it out!