You might look at this and think they are both the same. A Virtual Assistant and a Personal Assistant in some ways have similarities of the work that is completed, but basically that’s where the similarities end.
Being a Personal Assistant to a Manager, CEO or Managing Director in a corporate office is so different than working as a business owner as a Virtual Assistant. You may ask what is so different? Remember the days back when your manager would ask you to make him/her a cup of tea/coffee, do personal errands and co-ordinate the next upcoming meeting to take minutes. Well for a VA, we work remotely for a start, some VAs do work in an office with a client but 99.9% of the time we work remotely. So making a cup of tea/coffee is definitely out, doing personal errands, yes we can still do this for you, but remotely. Yes we can co-ordinate an upcoming meeting too and take minutes remotely as well.
So what are the main differences, apart from not being able to make that tea/coffee?
The biggest one is you become part of the business. When your working in the corporate world, yes you are part of the business, you get paid each week, you have your lunch breaks, annual leave and sick leave and you do the tasks that are given to you.
But working as a VA, as a business owner, you become part of the clients business. You may not get all the fringe benefits of annual leave, sick leave anymore, but you become an integral part of their business. They involve you, they ask for your input, they ask for your help and advice. You become another wheel to their machine…As a PA who used to work in the corporate world, I don’t remember ever having a manager, CEO or Managing Director that ever asked for my input and if they did, normally it was a nod of thanks, but no more. My contribution or ideas were never considered. I tried many times, but it fell on deaf ears most of the time.
That is why I absolutely cherish working for myself as a business owner and as a Virtual Assistant. Not a day goes by that I don’t pinch myself and think how lucky am I that I have the freedom to work with so many different clients, different people from all walks of life. Clients that actually take on some of my ideas and strategies….. that makes me feel kinda special.
Working within the VA industry has made me realise we are just more than an Assistant, we are what can keep a business together. We are that wheel, that extra pair of hands to help businesses succeed and flourish.
Would I ever go back to the corporate world and work for a CEO or Managing Director again? NO CHANCE…I love working in this industry and enjoy what the future holds for my own VA business and the VA industry itself.
Barbara Burstall - BBMC Virtual Assistance | 0423 182 450 | firstname.lastname@example.org