75006_578656995482106_1566570747_nDid you suddenly find yourself out of work?

Retrenchment, bankruptcy, merger, whatever reason your former employer could have to lay you off, the fact remains that you have lost your financial source. Out of job, you will experience frustration for the problems it will cause you. This situation could get you depressed and, maybe, even angry.

What is there to do?  

The solution is at your fingertips. You have your computer. You have an internet connection. And that is exactly all you need. Add some marketable skills like writing, design, and other basic know-how’s, and you’ll do well as a virtual assistant.

This job mostly asks for basic secretarial or administrative skills. You can also add marketing or PR-related tasks to your skills set. And when you do, expect stints in content writing, social media postings, website maintenance among others.

If you are interested in this job, here are some steps that can help you get started:

  • Research – Look for reputable online job platforms that offer skill-based jobs and fair rates. Don’t be fooled by their self-promotions. You should also pull out from web reviews by former clients or employers who have first-hand experience with these sites. This will help you choose the best platform for your new undertaking. And this would keep you from getting scammed as what others may have experienced.

  • Portfolio – This is mostly appropriate for creative-related skills. From all your past works, select the best ones that highlight your skills. Make sure that these samples you choose show creativity, ingenuity, originality, and quality. Then, create an online portfolio since you will more than likely be asked to show one. Your portfolio can help you attract future clients with regards to projects that you can do well.

  • Resume – Check your curriculum vitae. If you have been employed for a long time, your resume must not have been updated. Before signing up on any site or applying for any online job, update your resume and verify that all details are correct.

  • Sign up – Having done all the three items mentioned above, you are now ready to sign up with the site you have chosen for yourself. Create a profile, market your skills, do what is required, and launch yourself as part of the growing population of the online workforce.

  • Caution – In all your dealings make sure to take caution. You also have to make sure that the client posting a job offer on your employment platform has a good reputation and credibility. There are various ways to do this and most freelance sites give you a preview of an employer’s profile.

  • Quality – Establish yourself in your field through quality output and good reputation. You have to make sure you produce quality results that will build your name as an online professional and assure clients they’re getting their money’s worth.

  • Connections – Connect with your clients through social media sites like LinkedIn. Join their network and engage with them. Better if you can have them leave you positive testimonials which their network can see. Word will spread about your service and before you know it, you get a steady stream of projects. Your quality and reputation will get you far in the long run.

  • Revitalize – Keep updating both your resume and portfolio as you go along. Prioritize those which generated the most positive feedback from clients who had commissioned them. People viewing your online profile and portfolio will get their impression of you as a professional and the type of work and skills that you have.

Now that you are equipped with the basic guidelines in building a career as a freelance virtual assistant, try your luck. As you are just starting, it could be hard, but you can minimize the bumps and holes on the road if you have enough guidance.

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Angela is a virtual assistant specializing in content writing, social media marketing, and administrative assistance. Follow her on Google+.