You may be wondering whenever you search for a homebased job, the term virtual assistants usually pops up. You will start to think “Anong ginagawa nila?” or “Wala akong experience for this. I have no idea.” And that notion alone will discourage you to apply. The term virtual assistant is not complicated to understand. The complexity lies on their variable responsibilities.
Virtual Assistant as an Umbrella Term
Simply put, a virtual assistant or VA is any person working and providing their services online that can scale from small businesses to large enterprise and companies. According to Wikipedia, they provide professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. Terms that can also be loosely associated to virtual assistants are remote workers, homebased workers, online workers, independent contractors, or freelancers.
The virtual assistant industry is starting to boost, especially now that the employment process in the Philippines alone is highly competitive. Additionally, once you’re hired, the salary is not good enough to sustain your growing family or if you’re single, hindi ka rin makapag-save ng pera dahil sa dami mong gastusin. We’re actually living paycheck to paycheck. That drives us to leave our families behind and get a job abroad as an OFW.
Virtual Assistant Line of Work
A VA can work in any industry they want under these non-tech areas: administrative, secretarial, medical, legal, and customer service.
For the more tech-savvy ones, VAs in these areas include web development, e-commerce management, and IT-related works.
You can be a VA for a busy company director and manage his appointments and schedules, a VA who can manage an e-commerce site like Amazon or Ebay. Likewise, you can be VA for a small tech startup company and take in calls from clients who needs troubleshooting. The possibility of work areas are limitless for a VA.
The VAs of the Philippines
Hindi lingid sa ating kaalaman na ang mga foreign companies ay nag-a-outsource ng kanilang labor sa iba’t ibang bansa, but they give utmost prioritization to Filipino applicants. I asked my former virtual employers on why they prefer Filipino VAs over other nationalities and here are their common replies:
- They understand the way we speak English more than other nationalities. No offense to our Indian, Thai, and Chinese friends, but Filipinos speak English with clearer accents and intonations.
- Cheap labor. In the US, in the state of California, the minimum wage is $12.00/hr. In Nevada, $10.00/hr. Flying to the UK, their minimum £7.00 or roughly $9.00/hr. Take note, brothers and sister, PER HOUR. Dito sa Pilipinas, it’s P400 PER DAY. Kaya yung mga startup companies, they hire general VAs here in the Philippines because they can pay an entry-level VA of $2.00/hour instead of paying the obligatory minimum wage in their respective countries. VA wages can start from $2.00 to as high as $20.00 per hour for a general VA. Syempre, mas mataas pa if you have specialized technical skills like website creation and management or accounting experiences.
- Filipinos are highly reliable and diligent. Masisipag daw tayong mga Pinoy (applause!) and we never stop until we finish a given project. (but it’s not all praises for us. I’ll tell you in my future write-ups)
However, it’s not all bread and butter as a VA. There also pros and cons on this industry, just like everybody else, which I will also discuss in my future articles.