Virtual Assistants (typically abbreviated to VAs) are entrepreneurs who provide professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office. They usually work for other small businesses and consultancy groups. It is estimated that there are as few as 5,000-8,000 or as many as 35,000 Virtual Assistants worldwide; the profession is growing in centralized economies with "fly-in, fly-out" (FIFO) staffing practices.
Common modes of communication and data delivery include the Internet, e-mail and phonecall conferences, online work spaces, and fax machine. Professionals in this business work on a contractual basis and a long-lasting cooperation is standard. Typically 5 years of administrative experience in an office is expected at such positions as executive assistant, office manager/supervisor, secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, legal secretary, real estate assistant, etc.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A VA is an independent contractor who works remotely in his/her home-based business, usually from his/her home office, performing secretarial, administrative, creative and many many other tasks. With the use of e-mail, Internet, fax, phone and mail, a VA is more than able to offer valuable support to large and small businesses who can get on with growing their own business, while outsourcing administrative tasks.
Clearing up some misconceptions about Virtual Assistants
A VA does not have a work at home 'job', but a work at home business, nor is a VA an employee or an employed telecommuter. As stated above, a VA is not an employee, but a contracted service provider.
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