It was early in 1996 when the world noticed that a new job role had come to town – the Virtual Assistant. First, they were home-based secretaries. Eventually, with little improvement, they became known as Virtual Assistants.
Through the years, as more and more companies realized they could do their businesses virtually, they came to rely heavily on the services of Virtual Assistants.
Suddenly, the Virtual Assistant has become a sort of superhero for online businesses like accounting firms, real estate agencies, recruitment agencies, and lots more.
In Canada, the Virtual Assistant can be anything, from an event planner, a secretary, a brand ambassador, or almost any job that can be done remotely. With the right attitude, knowledge of the laws guiding remote employment, and
Virtual Assistant in Canada
A VA in Canada is someone who operates outside the physical office and provides administrative services to clients. He can operate from a home office but he has access to all the documents he needs to work effectively for the client. These documents are shared remotely with the client.
In order to work effectively, a VA works remotely using a computer, a phone, and any other means to communicate with his employer.
In most cases, a VA is either a freelancer or works in an agency.
Duties of a Virtual Assistant in Canada
The duties of a VA are specific to the needs of the employer and the condition of the employment. There is so much a VA in Canada can do, and it all depends on the level of trust and how much his employer depends on him.
The following are some of the functions of a Virtual Assistant in Canada:
- Handles clerical and bookkeeping tasks
- Prepares invoices
- Does general accounting
- Plans and handles travel arrangements
- Schedules appointments
- Enters data
- Stores files online
- Business support services
- Customer service
- Handles online purchases and payments
- Content writing. Posts regular updates to social media or articles for a blog
The list of tasks that a Virtual Assistant in Canada can perform, is endless. This is because the VA industry has a general pool of people who are experts at different sets of tasks. Therefore, the duties of a Virtual Assistant would depend on the needs of the employer.
Become a Virtual Assistant in Canada in 7 steps
If you are ready to become a VA in Canada, consider these necessary steps:
Step #1. Identify the services you want to offer
There are lots of services a Virtual Assistant in Canada can offer, from making travel plans, creating online content, scheduling appointments and meetings, to customer service. Others are data analysis, social media management, and consulting. The list is endless.
In addition, the beauty of this profession is that you do what you enjoy doing. Also, you do a job you are good at. For instance, if you are not good at content writing, it would be wrong to take a job as a content developer for a website. Unless you are willing to learn content writing, it is advisable to choose any other task from the pool of tasks that a VA can perform.
Step #2. Equip yourself with the right tools
You need some tools if you plan to be an efficient VA. Here are some of the tools you need for your job:
- Steady and efficient internet connection
- Stable power supply
- Computer or laptop
- Visual communications for video calls
- Computer applications like Microsoft Office
These are some of the tools you must have before you can consider yourself ready to be a VA in Canada.
Step #3. Study to become a Virtual Assistant in Canada
You can study online or in a classroom. Some colleges offer short courses that teach how to become virtual assistants, and there are certificates at the end of the programs.
However, you can take online courses with the same results, and it’s even better because you choose your time. If you’re lucky, you’ll find some online courses that are free, and equally effective. But if you will settle for online courses, please choose a program that will give you a certificate at the end of the study.
You can also borrow books from libraries or download E-books to read on any subject that you wish to specialize in.
Step #4. Get the required licenses and certifications
Although there are no specific licenses for the job role, there are some employers and provinces that may require you to be certified. This also depends on the area of Virtual Assistant you want to specialize in.
For instance, if you want to become a VA in the area of pharmacy, you may be required to get a license from the provincial or national licensing board after studying pharmacy in an accredited school. Again, whether you require licensing or not, depends on the area of VA you want to specialize in.
Step #5. Equip yourself with the right skills
No matter the field of specialization, there are some general skills that a VA in Canada should acquire, in order to be able to carry out most tasks.
Good communication skills: A VA in Canada is in constant communication with his clients. Therefore, he should be able to express himself fluently and politely.
Good writing skills. He will be required to send reports, reply emails, write minutes or make presentations. All these need some form of writing, and he has to be above average.
Computer skills. This includes typing skills and data entry. Also, a Virtual Assistant should know how to use the computer, and how to use the internet.
Time management skills. He should manage his time well so that he can meet deadlines and be on time for meetings.
Knowledge of the internet. He needs to know how to use the internet to share files and manage passwords in order to secure important documents.
Step #6. Search for VA jobs
There are various ways you can search for Virtual Assistant jobs.
- Search online. There are websites that advertise Canadian jobs. Use available search engines to concentrate on your area of VA specialization.
- Attend seminars and events. At events, introduce yourself as a Virtual Assistant and make a good and lasting impression.
- Talk to your inner circle. Surely, you have family and friends that you may know of companies recruiting Virtual Assistants. Let them know you are available.
- Try a recruitment agency. The good thing about recruitment agencies is that often, clients prefer to contact them to hire VAs so that they can be assured of a trustworthy VA.
Step #7. Apply for jobs
When you find the job you are interested in, the next thing is to send in your resume. It is important to create a resume that is not only truthful but fits the requirements of the employer. You can create an online profile to market your services.
Tips necessary to become a Virtual Assistant in Canada
Although there are no formal qualifications needed to become a Virtual Assistant in Canada, there are, however, certain skills that are required for a VA to be good at his job. They are:
1. Be dependable
Employers need to know that they can depend on you. This is more important than being qualified or affordable.
2. Avoid mistakes
It is true that mistakes happen and are sometimes unavoidable. However, it is important to avoid simple mistakes by being very careful with your work.
3. Avoid plagiarism
Integrity is necessary. Do not steal intellectual property. This could cost your clients.
4. Set a time frame
If you agree on a delivery time, stick to it. Don’t delay in the submission of your work.
5. Be friendly
Having a friendly relationship with your employer will go a long way. Always remember that he is your employer, no matter how he acts.
6. Be knowledgeable
You are of great value to your employer if you have knowledge of the work you are required to do.
7. Be innovative
There are so many Virtual Assistants out there but what makes you unique is what is in your head. You should be able to come up with ideas on how to improve your employer’s business. If you can do this, you will become an important member of the work team.
8. Finish set tasks
When you have a task to perform, finish it. Don’t leave any task undone or uncompleted.
9. Give each job your full attention
Focus on your client. Don’t give him the impression that you have a lot of jobs to deliver for other clients. Every client likes to think that he has your complete attention. This will work well for you when he has future tasks.
10. Be confident
If there is a problem, don’t show it. Don’t let your client think you cannot handle a tough situation. Always give the impression that you are on top of the situation, and work hard to solve the problem.
11. Ability to take on other tasks
It is possible to have more than one client but it all depends on how you manage your time. The role of a Virtual Assistant is actually all about time management, organization, and efficiency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Virtual Assistants in demand in Canada?
The demand for VAs in Canada is increasing, just like in many developed countries. This is one of the best online businesses you can do, and it does not require much training.
Besides, organizations have discovered that it is cheaper to hire VAs than to employ staff who will require office space.
What is the salary of Virtual Assistants in Canada?
In Canada, Virtual Assistants are paid according to the roles they play. The average hourly salary of a Virtual Assistant in Canada is $20.94. Yearly, it is $62,554.
What are the benefits of being a Virtual Assistant in Canada?
There are so many benefits of being a VA in Canada
- You can choose your hours. This gives you room to do other tasks you have.
- You can work from home. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to earn a living. This also means that you can save on office space and other expenses.
- It is simple to start. All you require are a few skills and you do not need special qualifications to be a VA in Canada.
What degree do I need to become a Virtual Assistant in Canada?
There is no special program to become a VA in Canada. However, what you really need are the skills mentioned above, some of which are good communication skills, good computer and internet skills, and time management skills among others.
Why do people hire VAs in Canada?
There are 2 main reasons why companies in Canada need Virtual Assistants:
- Because they don’t know how to do something
- Because they don’t have the time to do something
This means that the VA is expected to be the saviour that the client needs. For this reason, he should be sure that he is an expert at the task that the client is expecting him to perform.
There is so much that a Virtual Assistant in Canada can do, with the right skills and the right opportunity. However, he needs to invest his time and effort into placing himself at the top of the ladder.
The Virtual Assistant has become a household name and a one-stop for all organization’s needs. It is therefore correct to assume that it is the most important profession of the 21st century!
The future belongs to the Virtual Assistants of Canada, and if you are not already a VA in Canada, now is the time to take that bold step.