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Virtual Assistant: The New Career In Outsourcing

Jan 20, 2008
The Internet is truly a wonderful thing. Outsourcing has become a buzzword recently, but did you know that even the job of an assistant can be outsourced now. It may be weird but true. There are now businesses and individuals who are looking for assistants who can perform the job without even being physically present. As long as the job gets done, it does not really matter.

A virtual assistant provides administrative services to organizations and businesses outside of the premises of the office of the organization. Because of the availability of phone lines and of the internet, a huge number of virtual assistants now are serving out of the office premises of the organization they are serving. In fact, some virtual assistants are even thousands of miles away from their clients. The Internet has made this possible. Hence, a virtual assistant located in the Philippines may be able to deal with clients located in the United States or in Europe.

Unlike some freelancers who charge on a per project basis, most virtual assistants peg their rates hourly. Based on the agreement of the client and the virtual assistant, the bulk of work done within a given period will be paid by the client. The beauty of this arrangement is that the virtual assistants are free to choose the working hours that they render. They can even arrange their own office inside their own home. The negative side is, of course, the distractions, that can be generated by house chores, by family matters, and even by the bedroom. But if you have focus and you can easily shut off the distractions from your mind, then youre in for a big business.

There are different types of virtual assistants. There are those who provide support in the administration of a business or an organization. Hence, their services include transcription, encoding different pieces of handwritten communications or notes, editing of manuscripts, proofreading, the creation of documents and communications, as well as the organization of files and tasks of the same nature. Because these tasks are usually routine ones and does not require extensive knowledge and expertise, the pay rate per hour is usually at the bottom end. The hourly charge is between $10 to $25.

There are also virtual assistants who are proficient in the Internet and take care of posting articles in blogs and websites. They can also maintain and update the website of the organization. Furthermore, this kind of virtual assistants can develop auto responders, and any other technical matters required in running an online business.

The hourly rate for these techie virtual assistants is usually between $20 to $40 per hour. Understandably, their rate is higher because the level of expertise that they possess is higher than that of the administrative assistants. Lastly, there are virtual assistants who manage a greater part of the business such as managing projects and events of the company as well as communicating among different levels of the client. Because of the extent of work done by this kind of virtual assistant, the hourly rate begins at $50 or more.

If you are planning to embark on a career as a virtual assistant, you should invest on your skills and your knowledge on the Internet and the different functionalities available.

Furthermore, you should learn the tricks of the trade by conducting research. Of course, being proficient with the computer is a necessity. You have to know how to use office programs as well as other software necessary in doing the jobs of a virtual assistant.
About the Author
James Stinson is Owner and Founder of Global Sky Inc. He employs a team of 50 in a high quality call center facility based in the Philippines. For more info on outsourcing your project visit:
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