Virtual Assistant: Why Giving Up Should Not Be in Your Dictionary
Alright, I admit that being a virtual assistant is no mean feat. It is, after all, more than just answering emails, scheduling appointments, writing blogs, inputting data, and all that stuff.
But one of the most important qualities of a VA is perseverance. To never give up. You have to be patient, determined, unwavering and always willing to learn, no matter what.
I am saying this because I want you to learn from one of my experiences.
A few months ago, I was hired by a client to be his VA. The initial tasks were keyword analysis and writing blogs for his website. So yes, I readily agreed. Not to mention that this client hired me without any interviews. he just relied on Upwork’s recommendation. I just received an offer and boom! New job at a double digit rate.
He also hired another Filipino freelancer for Ad Sense. Sadly, their relationship did not prosper. The Pinoy freelancer was not using the time tracker per client’s instructions (he did manual hours), made the client look dumb (I was included in their message thread so I read their conversations), and did work as opposed to what the client wanted. Result? The client filed a dispute.
Now back to my story. After a couple of articles, the client changed his mind. He no longer wanted a blog. No communication from him whatsoever, so our contract was paused by Upwork.
After two months, the client contacted me again. He asked me if I’d be willing to work as a time-keeper of sorts for his company. It’ll be a regular gig, he said, for twenty hours a week. Okay, I said.
It turned out that the job was not just time-keeping. They use Humanity’s ShiftPlanning, which, to this Youthful Granny’s app dictionary, is alien. AND it is the company’s first time to outsource. The job was originally handled by medical scribes within their area. In other words, they did not have an actual system for training freelancers like me.
The training went on for a month. Sometimes, I was not able to accomplish the tasks as efficiently as possible because I am not a medical scribe, so abbreviations for medical groups and practices looked like codes from another planet. Since they did not have a system yet, some of the steps or processes were skipped, causing errors in the output. I also had internet issues – I depended on my two pocket wifis for connection. To top it all, the Operations Manager (OM) is strict. Even though we live in separate parts of the globe, I had that weird feeling of her watching me behind my back. Scary, right?
Especially when I was not able to attend a meeting due to my poor internet connection. Look at this email from the OM:
I felt inefficient, unwanted, untrainable. I felt like giving up, especially when I made mistakes repeatedly. I began to doubt myself. Maybe this old brain is not capable of learning stuff like this? Maybe the job just isn’t for me?
Well, well, well, I am not a quitter! I am a fighter! I wanted to keep the job, not because of the pay, but because I knew it was something I could do well. I’ve never quitted a job just because it was difficult. When I accept a contract, I make sure I do it as best as I can.
So I opened up to the OM. I told her what I felt about the job, that I was taking my job seriously as opposed to what she believed. I tried to learn as much as I could, practiced a lot, bombarded them with emails to get answers to my questions, spent more time than what was allowed in our contract. Yes, for tasks I have difficulty with, I turn my time tracker off because I feel it isn’t fair to my client to pay me for those.
And guess what? I got some respect from her! She even defends me from arrogant scribes who question my efficiency. She also became less aggressive towards me, and even became patient in teaching me.
The moral of the story?
Never give up. Some jobs may be too much for you to handle, but with patience, persistence, discipline, determination, and eagerness to learn, you will learn it. If this granny can do it, so can you!
And probably enjoy a double-digit rate too!
P.S. I am now on my third month, and I’ve been getting some praises from the OM and my client. He has also offered me a long-term contract!