5 Tips On How To Survive A Virtual Job

I have been slacking on the blog for the past week and it really frustrates me. I have been very busy and still adjusting to my new VA role. Anyway, it’s Friday once again and time for another #FridaysFive!

It has been more than two months since I have quit corporate, and yes, I am still counting. Well, not that often now but…

I have taken on some part-time jobs just to pass the time off – some writing stints, a part-time virtual assistance for an offshore client and some marketing consultancy on the side.

I have realized that the world has become so technologically advanced that there are a lot of things that you could do despite not being in the realm of cable wires, servers and other things you have to deal with when you are in a traditional office setting.

However, there are some things that you also need to do to make things easier as you take on a virtual job. Here is a little rundown of the five things I have learned on how to survive a virtual job.

1. Equip yourself with the basic tools – good internet connection, good laptop, an email account, office software and so on. 

Have a credible email address for your clients to contact you. You might want to get rid of that akoayseksi@blahmail.com. Most clients would require an internet speed of 1.5mbps and would usually require a speed test profile. Also, make sure your laptop is reliable so it does not conk out in the middle of doing your work.

2. Update yourself with the latest apps or software that could possibly make your life easier. 

Before I go on, can I just say that Google is awesome!? There is a wide variety of business tools that one can use to make a virtual office as efficient as it can be. Google Drive with all the Google documents that you need, Google Calendar, Google Hangouts for video-conferencing! Everything! It is sooo uhh-mayy-zing!

I just recently discovered Canva and I use it everyday. Now, I don’t have to open Photoshop and do my layouts there all the time unless it needs to be a high-resolution file or something more complicated. Canva is so easy to use and gives you some inspiration on how to create interesting images for your online requirements may it be a blog post or a social media feed.

3. Manage your emails well. 


Back when I was in corporate, I drowned in the number of emails that I received per day. It followed the Pareto Principle still. Only 20% of those emails were really for me, while 80% were just for my information or where I was only copy furnished. Sometimes, I missed more important emails just because of the sheer volume of the other emails that I was receiving.

What I learned recently is to let go of my chronic email checking. It is so easy to fall into the trap of waiting for emails from your clients. This creates unnecessary stress — the wait and the immediate need to reply.

I have set two time slots per day to check my emails — one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I have also set up an autoresponder (Yes, you can do this in Google!) to inform the people who email me that I cannot respond immediately and should there be any urgent concerns, they can contact me through my mobile.

4. Take breaks every hour.

Working at home is actually more engrossing than working at the office. Why? Because you are at your comfort zone. No one calling you for a meeting. No one popping inside your cubicle for something. No unnecessary telephone calls.

I have read though that for one to be most efficient, you need to work in spurts. Take a mandatory break (I set an alarm for it) and go take your dog for a walk.

5. Plan your time. 

Every day, I still create my to-do list. The good thing about virtual assistance and these other online jobs is that the projects are results-oriented and are time-bound. There are no rush items (at least, not yet) and you are usually given a lead time (the minimum I had was at four days). This gives you ample time to prioritize and plan your days and weeks ahead.

So there! All of these are still new to me and these are my own learning from the new role I have started on just two weeks ago.

How about you, loves? Can you share any other tips to a noob like me? 



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