Lessons from a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant who does the work:
I meet so many over-qualified women who are nervous about going back to work and re-entering the workforce after a long absence.
No matter what your reason…children…spouse…medical, it really doesn’t matter. It was your decision to take a career break and that does NOT mean you aren’t hireable.
But you can still feel nervous after being out of work so long.
“I’ve been out of the workforce for too many years.”
“It’s too fast-paced; I’m so far behind the online marketing ball.“
I’ve heard this many times over. I get it. I’ve been there. As a military wife, we move a lot. And that made it really difficult to keep growing in my own professional career. But I was ready to support my husband’s career, and our family’s needs. So once we had kids, I was happy being a stay-at-home mom. Then, this digital media business opportunity almost fell into my lap, and it turned into so much more.
In hindsight, I wish I had been more intentional starting out. I began just by playing on Pinterest for a client about six years ago, for $10/hour. That wasn’t a lot of money, but it was extra money that boosted our budget every month. It gave me the opportunity to put our kids in piano lessons, or take a guilt-free date night with my husband.
Now, my VA business has grown by leaps and bounds, and helps make up for the income I gave up in my full-time job. With my online job, I can comfortably max out my IRA, boost our savings, or add a monthly car payment for a new car. We can do things that are important to our family, like splurge on a vacation getaway or cover the rent in a neighborhood we love.
Doing This for Ourselves
And let’s be honest. I like having my own income and independence. Now I don’t feel guilty about indulging here or there on something that is important to me. I don’t have to worry about my basic needs if something were to happen to my husband. And if he chooses to retire from the military in a few years, my online business could support our family in his retirement.
Working professionally, even part-time from home, is a big confidence boost for me. It gives my brain some challenges to grow. Now I get balance between being a mom/wife, and being me as my own person. This work has motivated me to be more intentional and balanced in all aspects of my life, from my health to my work in my community. And sharing successes with my clients feels rewarding and affirming in a way that I missed more than I realized.
Planning for the Future
Like most of you, I don’t know exactly what my life might look like in 10 years. There are so many opportunities and unknowns, especially in a military family.
I can definitely see my digital media business continuing to grow and expand. But on the other hand, I am confident that I could also choose to return to work in a traditional career position.
My business management experience, professional networking, online marketing portfolio, and growing tech skills from my VA business are huge assets on my resume. My online work from home in digital media is very marketable in a variety of fields and job positions.
I no longer feel “stuck” in a world where I am entirely dependent on others. And I did all of it with baby steps. Want to know how?
Here’s what I suggest to women afraid of going back to work and starting a new career as a VA:
- Take one bite at a time.
- Go through all the information you can find about online marketing and ask questions.
- Take online courses like my Digital Media VA Crash Course and join Facebook groups to see what types of work is in demand.
- Find your area of interest and focus on that first. I started with Pinterest!
- Offer your services to friends with businesses and non-profits. Assist, impress, get experience and earn those referrals!
- Remember many clients would be happy to have any help just with the basic admin tasks and online help. Just get your foot in the door and grow from there.
- Tell your circle of friends what you are doing. Everyone has a friend who owns a business who needs help. Talk about it.
- Find Facebook groups with business owners and offer to help with the thing you’re good at.
- Don’t underestimate your current assets. Skills may seem the most important thing, but really it’s more about motivation, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and willingness to learn.
Don’t let your fear and intimidations get the best of you. (You can read a lot more about my big fear and how it drives my own “why” in this post). You can do this. I know you can, because I’ve been there, too.
Still not sure? Take a look at how this military-spouse nurse busted into the biz post and how this teacher changed up her career to read some of those success stories. In fact Deb, a VA who helps me, said:
“When I started working for you, I had been out of the workforce for almost 10 years. My main skills were photography, writing, and how to run my former brick & mortar biz – grooming dogs. Nothing about online marketing! My biggest fear at the time was failing to be helpful. At times I did fail. So what? No one died! I then learned what to do differently for next time so really it wasn’t a lost effort. I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned in the last few years which only happened because I moved beyond my limiting belief of not being smart enough. I took a chance and said YES.”
So are you ready? Ready to take a chance and say YES?
I’m looking for a new group of go-getters to join my VA Crash Course when it opens again very soon. In only five weeks, you will learn everything you need to know to get hired as a digital media virtual assistant.
Even if you have been out of the job world for years, you can translate your previous work experiences and skillsets into something brand new. Working from home and supporting your family doesn’t have to be a vague dream.
Make sure you’ve also joined my Facebook group for wanna-be VAs, too. I posted a video there where I talked about my life has changed after becoming a VA, plus I give a sneak peek into some fun new things I’m working on:
Check it out right here!
Trust me – you’ve got this!
-Emily, Digital Media Consultant (and Virtual Assistant …)
“I WILL MAKE AN ARMY OF VAS WHO CAN HELP THESE TRIBE PEOPLE!!!”
I have a Facebook community for digital media VAs. Come join us! –> https://www.facebook.com/groups/1651635074935415/
Where to Get Started Online
I have a list of 10 virtual job tasks for you here…. this will help you get started in the online space and let you in on exactly what clients coming to me are asking for help with and willing to pay a VA for… take a look!
If you’re interested in learning more about what I do as a social media manager, digital marker and virtual assistant helping small business owners remotely, please fill out this form here and I’ll tell you more.