8 Crucial Tasks of a General Virtual Assistant

General Virtual Assistant

Do you know what’s the best way to start a career online? Especially if you don’t know about computers or you’re less tech-savvy and you need a job as soon as possible?

You bet, it is to become a general virtual assistant.

That’s where I got started. Because I thought it’s the best way to start with no advanced knowledge of any tools and computers online.

More specifically, I did not have time to master a specific skill to be a good freelancer.  My goal was to get as soon as I can to keep feeding my family. I lost my offline job at that time. 

Luckily, I succeeded with my plan. I’ve made the right decision.

Now, here’s the most important question you should ask, “What are the jobs of a general VA?” It’s crucial to ask this question. 

It all boils down to this: 

If you don’t know the job responsibilities of a general VA, you’ll likely bound to fail. You can’t apply for a job when you don’t know its primary duties. When you don’t know how to function as one.  When you don’t know its crucial jobs.

It’s pretty clear: You have to know THE job. Just like any offline job.

Being a VA generalist,  the jobs almost have no boundaries.

But, it has its common denominators based on what clients are posting online. It’s categorized on these eight notable tasks.

Let’s get started.

Top 8 Tasks of a General Virtual Assistant

1. Administrative Work

What exactly an admin work is? It can be both clerical and non-clerical jobs. You’ll do the same task as an office secretary. 

Some of your jobs are: 

Keeping records, answering phone calls, book travel, calendar management, email management, etc. 

Admin work is broad.

But don’t worry, clients usually define your admin jobs once you’re hired. Something like what you will do on a daily basis. 

What’s your next step? Learn how to use online office applications like Google Suite or office 365 and Skype. They are the primary tools used by most General VAs today. 

There might be some other tools a client want you to use. But these are the tools you have to start with.

Do you like admin work? If yes, welcome to the club.

2. Personal Tasks

You don’t expect this, do you? Do you think it’s only pure business to assist a client?

Nope. 

Sometimes, you will help a client with personal stuff. 

For instance, you’ll book an appointment for a salon time. Find someone to take care of her dog while away she’s away (I do this. Promise.). And a lot of personal tasks she’ll request you to do.

At first, I couldn’t believe it I’m doing personal tasks for my clients. It’s too personal sometimes. 

Well, I’m a general virtual assistant. General means universal. And personal stuff is unfortunately included. I have to swallow this fact.

For as long as I’m doing things not against the laws, that’s fine. For as long as she’s not telling me to break my moral principles, doing personal stuff is not a problem.

Above all, for as long as I’m well-paid, it’s a non-issue at all.

3. Content Creation

Are you good at writing? 

content creation

Content creation is one of the toughest jobs of a general virtual assistant. Why? It requires you to read stuff in order to write good stuff.

But what exactly content creation means? 

It’s writing any content for your client. It can be a blog content, social media content, or a sales copy. Or anything a client wants you to write something for her business.

In other words, you’ll be contributing ideas to grow her business. 

Your creativity and writing skills will be tested.

It’s time to shine. Impress your client with your content creation skills. 

4. Manage Finances

Some clients will entrust their personal and business finances to a virtual assistant. No, they won’t give you access to their money! 

You’re there to help a client track and manage her expenses and cashflow. You’re her personal finance manager.

This type of information is too sensitive. Handle the data with care. Protect it with all your might as if your family’s future is at stake.

One simple mistake, it’s goodbye.

Be careful. Be meticulous. Excel on this job.

5. Social Media Management

This is one of the most popular online jobs today.

If ever you’ll become a general virtual assistant, expect this will be part of your cardinal job as a general virtual assistant. 

It’s essential you know basic social media skills. To update a social media account of your client.  Most of the time, they won’t train you. You will have to use the available resources on Google or Bing.

I’m lucky.

My client is not giving me a task to manage her social media accounts. Though she asks me on rare occasions to update her FB account. 

She’s highly aware. There are more crucial things she wants me to focus on. That she set aside social media tasks for me.

I don’t like social media management. It’s tedious and boring.

I’d better write content for me.

6. Online Research

I can’t help but thank Google every day. It’s my savior. I turn to Google when I don’t understand my tasks. When I need answers to my questions. When I need to fix something for my clients.

Of course, the goal is the please my client. And I also need to move fast.

Online research is the daily grind of a virtual assistant. I’m not sure about others. But this is my primary function every day.

I can’t live without a search engine. Based on the nature of my job being a general virtual assistant. 

Search engines like Google and Bing are my partners to solve my client’s business problems a lot of times. 

For example:

Whenever I have problems with my tools or to get a vendor’s background, I google the information.

I am highly dependent on search engines. It cripples me when my browser hangs.

I found online research was kinda difficult at first. When you’re new and your client asks you to find research-based information, it’s challenging to look for it.

But you’ll get better overtime doing it every day. When you get to know how to use the right keywords, you’ll begin to like the job.

7. Customer Service

Oh, no, voice account! 

You don’t like calls? Don’t worry. For a general virtual assistant, calls are not many. If a job entails a lot of answering calls, a certain client wouldn’t hire a virtual assistant. 

Customer-Service

Instead, they will hire a customer service agent. As a general virtual assistant, part of our jobs is to answer and receive calls. A few calls won’t hurt our mouths, right? 

Are you okay with this kind of task? Not a big deal, right? Especially when your client pays you well.

If yes, you’re ready to go.

8. Email Management  

This is one of the main jobs of a general virtual assistant. You’ll manage a client’s emails. With two clients, I back read a lot of emails and respond in the first hour of my work. 

Between hours, I responded to a lot of critical emails. 

This job is not easy. Though it looks like that way. However, I can’t be complacent. I have to be extra careful with my words before I click the send button. I can’t take back my words once sent.

Clients are keen on hiring people who are good at responding to emails. There will be a test before they hire you.

That’s why, it’s good you learn basic email management.

Final Thoughts 

This is not a complete list.

You may do beyond what I have mentioned here. It always depends on your clients and your agreement with them. 

But I can definitely say, these are the most crucial tasks you’ll perform. When you become a general virtual assistant.

Be prepared. Study those jobs. Learn relevant tools.

You don’t need to be a techie to start a general virtual assistant job. What you need is a teachable attitude, hard work, and persistence. 

Please remember:

If I can do it. You can do it too.

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Marleo Enobio

Marleo is a work-at-home father. He blogs about his journey towards learning how to code and some online opportunities and tech news. When he's not working or doing anything online, he spends time with his family and serve a Christian community. He lives in General Santos City, Philippines.

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