Most of us recall a time not so long ago when people built a life around getting an education, acquiring skills, getting a job, and spending their entire life with that one organization. They progressed through various positions and sailed quietly into retirement, having collected 5-, 10-, 20- year badges along the way.
The times they are a-changin'
As Bob Dylan crooned, things have been changing. We still aspire to ‘grow up and become …’, but how we manage our lives has altered significantly.
Education has begun to mean acquiring a single, specific expertise. Generalists are slowly becoming a thing of the past. When an organization needs a job done, they now often look for just that skill.
The investment in infrastructure around workspaces was traditionally a large part of managing the labour market. Organizations invested in offices, technology, and physical facilities; and employees made the commute to work there. But in recent years, organizations started re-evaluating the ‘ROI on the workspace.’
As office space and infrastructure became expensive, the technology to communicate remotely became cheaper. We now have high-speed connections and all kinds of collaboration tools across multiple platforms. We Air Print or join video conversations wherever we are, across different time zones. We no longer have to limit our job search to our own geographic areas. Remote work is here to stay.
Starting a remote ‘gig’ career
In my life’s journey, I travelled the accepted route: school, job, family. A few years ago, though, I began to feel the need to make choices regarding the work I took on and the time I spent on these. I didn’t want to get off the treadmill, so to speak, but to adjust its direction and speed.
I was done with eighty-hour-weeks and felt the need to have more control over my life. I hadn’t given this a name, but it fell somewhere along the continuum of wanting to take on ‘project-related’ and ‘subscription-based’ work.
I did some research and saw that there were a few options. There were a few popular platforms where I could promote my skills and experience and hope for the best.
I tried some platforms, but for me it was a bit of a nightmare. I had to do the ‘soup-to-nuts’ for each project: market myself, compete on rates (not quality!) and deliver when all I wanted to do was provide the service. I didn’t want anything to do with marketing, billing, and collections.
Finding the right fit: Virtual Gurus!
I continued with my research and came across this interview with Bobbie Racette. What she said resonated -- Virtual Gurus offered a platform where I could promote my skills and find part-time project-based work, while not having to worry about haggling on price or chasing down contracts or invoices.
I reached out, and the rest is history! I’m thrilled to be part of the Virtual Gurus community of virtual assistants. It really is the perfect option for anyone who wants to capitalize on the trend towards remote, part-time work.
If you are looking for an additional voice, you can also read about another VA's perspective on the rewards of a virtual assistant career here.