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How Do I Become an Online Personal Assistant?

Personal assistants may be responsible for scheduling appointments.
Some personal assistants are organizers who help people better manage their personal time and energies.
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  • Written By: Hillary Flynn
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2014
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With so many technological advancements in recent years, many administrative professionals are now opting to leave company jobs to become an online personal assistant. Duties for this type of job include answering calls, making appointments, managing a calendar, providing customer service, working on web design projects, and preparing documents and forms. Basically, anything that is done in an office can now be done from home. This situation is often more cost-effective for small businesses or individuals without the budget or need for full-time staff.

There are many options available to anyone who wants to work as an online personal assistant. Some may choose to work for an employment agency that places online workers on a temporary or one-time project basis, some may work directly for one company, and some may choose to start their own business and work for several small businesses or individuals.

For those who are new to the field, the best route to become an online personal assistant may be to start with an employment agency. Agencies often require testing on basic office software, however, so it's a good idea to brush up on common word processing and other business software before applying. Jobs in this category are usually paid by the hour, and assistants often work a few hours a week for several different businesses on an as-needed basis.

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For those who want to work directly for one company, online job postings are usually where the jobs are found. Keywords to search for would include online personal assistant, virtual assistant, virtual office, and work from home. It's important to be careful with these job listings as well as the listings for online employment agencies, however, because there are many work from home scams on the Internet. Just remember that you should never have to pay for a legitimate work opportunity.

More experienced administrative professionals may choose to work as an online personal assistant so that they can run their own business. In this situation, an assistant would create his or her own website and market the business to find clients. Often, online personal assistants, or virtual admins, will have several regular customers who keep them on retainer, as well as customers who use their services on an as-needed basis. A retainer is a fee paid to reserve the assistant's services for a certain number of hours each month.

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