Skill Development For Virtual Assistants
Omage of a desk with a clock on its back and pencil on a curriculum vitae with the text underneath saying: How can a neurodiverse individual effectively prepare for a jon interview/meetig

One of the many reasons people love working as a virtual assistant is the freedom – the freedom to choose which areas and tasks you focus on.

Ideally, as a VA you should be working to your strengths. But what if you want to develop those strengths? How can you be sure you’re reaching your potential?

The answer to these questions is in skill development. To put it simply, skill development is one of the best ways you can grow your business as a VA. Your personal development shouldn’t ever be something that ends. It should continue and grow as you do.

The skills that you perfect will help you in all sorts of ways – not just in terms of your business but hopefully your confidence too. If you’re not sure where to start, read on to find some areas for skill development that you could explore.

Once you establish your business and have gotten things up and running, it might be an idea to expand your horizons and learn a completely new skill. This doesn’t have to be a skill that you decide to even continue using – the point is just to try out new things. You might discover a hidden strength you didn’t realize you had!

Local community centers often have courses, or there are thousands of online classes you could consider taking. If you don’t like the idea of taking a structured course, you could try to learn something from a friend, a book, or an online video. At worst, you’ll have new background knowledge that you can utilize should you ever need it. At best, you might discover a new specialism you’re really interested in!

If you’re thinking about undertaking a certification in being a virtual assistant, we also have a blog post about whether a certification is necessary to work as a VA. Click HERE to read it!

Having new skills will keep your business fresh and allow you to market yourself to new clients. It will ultimately add value to your business.

Business coaches can help you view your business from a different perspective and identify ways you can be more efficient or move forward. Business coaches don’t just have to be for those who are in dire straits. You can approach a business coach simply with a view to developing your skillset.

Ask your family and friends for recommendations. Research your chosen coach thoroughly to find testimonials to make sure they will be a right fit for you.

If finding a business coach isn’t feasible for you, perhaps try looking for a local group of other business owners (either online or in person). These are typically either free or low-cost, and can still provide you with a completely new perspective on your business as a VA. You might even stumble across a new client!

Reading up about your field or learning new skills doesn’t have to involve trawling through dull textbooks. You could read magazines or blog articles in short bursts while in waiting rooms, train stations or on your lunch break. E-books that you can download onto your phone mean that you can fill any spare five minutes with a chapter or two!

If you struggle to dedicate time towards reading, perhaps you could listen to podcasts or audiobooks while cleaning or travelling. The point is to dip your toe into different subjects so that you get inspired.

Your comfort zone is a great place to be, but it won’t necessarily move you forward or develop your business skills.
Examples of stepping out of your comfort zone could be attending an event that would normally seem too busy/overwhelming, approaching a job or client that intimidates you, or take a course or class in something you’ve always wanted to do but thought it too hard.

This risk doesn’t even have to pay off necessarily – just by taking a small risk you will hopefully open yourself up to more opportunities and gain confidence in yourself that you can handle anything.
If trying something completely new seems too overwhelming, try breaking it into smaller tasks or enlisting the help of a friend for moral support.

Now that you have some ideas on how to develop your skills as a VA, you can expand your business and evolve with it. Skill development is a commitment that will pay dividends – both in your business and your personal life.
Go and explore the areas you never have before – your business will thank you for it!

I always knew I wanted to be my own boss one day, but the right time never seemed to present itself.

On a camping weekend, I hurt my ankle badly and I simply couldn’t drive, the mega Corp I worked for as an Executive Assistant were surprisingly sympathetic and rather than just be off work sick, they arranged remote access to work from home, happy days, no commuting. Eureka!! I could do this on a permanent basis if I took “The Risk.”

I handed in my notice and started building my business, sourcing associate work to tide me over until I had my own clients.

One unremarkable day I had a query from a potential client who literally changed my life, she explained that she was Neurodivergent, (something that I’d had a little bit of experience with within my former corporate life) and could really do with a VA that could cope with her particular way of working. I finally realised it wasn’t just the commuting I struggled with, it was the whole corporate world that I didn’t want to engage with, my passion has always been to try and help/assist wherever I can.

Neurodivergent clients are simply the best, no one client is the same as the next and the feeling of accomplishment when I know I’ve actually made a positive difference can’t be beaten.

So if you’re a Neurodivergent business owner, take that “risk”, arrange a call with me, join my Facebook group or take out a membership and see how me and my marvellous team could give any assistance needed.

Taking a risk could mean leaving that job you’ve hated for years. Maybe you’re dreaming of starting your own business or thinking about going back to school because the degree you got the first time just wasn’t the right fit. Or perhaps, it’s about finally saying NO MORE to always trying to make everyone else happy.

To really grow—both personally and in business—you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Do you have the courage to take a risk?

What’s holding you back?

Are you stuck in the “what ifs”?

Are you just surviving or feeling stuck in your comfort zone, struggling to break free?

If you’ve been thinking about making a change but fear of failure is stopping you, it’s time to ask yourself: What part of myself am I losing because I’m afraid to take a risk?

Only you know what needs to shift for you to move forward.

When I started my own business in 2018, I had those same doubts and fears. Leaving a secure, full-time job with no clients lined up was a huge risk. But looking back, I have no regrets. It was the right move for me, and it’s paid off in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

Now, I wouldn’t tell everyone to just quit their job. It was a decision that took a lot of planning and careful consideration. I was lucky to have a backup plan and the support of my husband. Without that, I couldn’t have made the leap.

Back then, I was stretched thin, working over 70 hours a week at a demanding full-time job. I realised I couldn’t give my all to both my job and my personal aspirations. The thought of continuing on that path, neglecting my own dreams, was fast becoming a non-option.

Leaving a steady salary behind was scary, especially with no clients lined up. But staying in my comfort zone wouldn’t bring the fulfilment and success I wanted. So, I decided to take the risk.

My boss thought I was crazy and even offered to let me stay on part-time, working 20 hours a week. For some, that might have been a good compromise. But for me, it wasn’t just about the money. I pride myself on giving 100% to whatever I do, and I knew that splitting my time would mean I couldn’t give my best to either role.

So, despite the uncertainty and scepticism from others, I chose to just DO IT and take my own path. By no means was it an easy decision and on my last day at work I felt physically sick!  As I walked out of the office for the last time and got in my car, for the 1000th time, that day I had doubts and what if’s running through my head!  What the bloody hell had I done?  And more importantly, now I was on my own, where do I start?  There was no one to tell me what to do and I was seriously thinking of going back and asking for my job back!

Now 5 years on, I can confidently say it was the right decision. It hasn’t been easy, and there have been moments of doubt, but the freedom to pursue my passion has been worth every challenge and sacrifice.

I love what I’m doing!

Taking risks can be inspiring, enjoyable, and help you grow in so many ways. Embrace it!

What are the potential rewards of taking risks in life?

Sense of Accomplishment: Taking risks is scary, but it leads to self-discovery. Many people I know had no idea where their journey would take them, but the sense of accomplishment and pride they feel is incredible.

They feel alive for the first time, I know I did!

Personal Freedom: Imagine working with people you like and doing what you really enjoy – this is your path to personal freedom.

Letting Go of the Past: Challenging old routines and assumptions can be rewarding. By taking risks, you can disprove old beliefs and free yourself from negative thoughts and “what ifs”.

Self-Discovery: This is a biggie; risks help you learn about yourself, your values, and what drives you. With new experiences, you can find what truly makes you happy. My journey from being an employee to running my own business has been a profound experience of self-discovery.

Increased Confidence: Each risk you take builds your confidence and makes you more flexible and a better decision-maker.

New Opportunities: Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to new opportunities, both professionally and personally and it’s so exciting when this happens and I LOVE meeting new people and learning. No more stuck in that 9 to 5 waiting for someone to leave before you get the opportunity to get promoted.

Resilience: Risks teach you how to handle setbacks, building resilience and the ability to navigate challenges like a pro.

No Regrets: If the risk works out, fantastic! If not, it’s a valuable lesson that makes you wiser. We learn from our mistakes.

 

For those who are neurodivergent, taking risks can feel daunting, but it can also lead to incredible personal development and success. Using a Virtual Assistant can be a game-changer, providing essential support and helping to navigate uncertainties.

Starting to take risks can be scary, but that’s okay. It’s natural to want to stay safe. Trust me, taking risks can be fun too. There’s a whole world out there with endless possibilities. To figure out which risks are right for you, just go with your gut. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Even if something doesn’t go as planned, you’ll learn from it and grow.

Curious about how Virtual Assistant support can change your risk-taking journey with a business that understands what it’s like to run a successful business. Schedule a FREE consultation with me—no risk here, I promise!

 

Ps. Yes, that’s me jumping out of a plane for charity!

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