Every time I introduce myself to a stranger and would ask me what do I do for a living, I proudly answer “I am a Virtual Assistant”. I usually get a lot of raised eye brows. Here in Aklan, not a lot of people know what a virtual assistant is. Community here is still very conventional, people and women have conventional office jobs. Most of the women population are either teachers or office workers.
I was the very first virtual assistant in our town.
When I got my very first project, my family was less supportive. For one, they are afraid I might not get paid and secondly I might be doing something “illegal”. I was laughing inside everytime they would sarcastically comment about my work. And I never listened to them. In fact I was more than enthusiastic to prove them wrong.
After a month, I got my first pay check. I was able to treat them out for lunch.
Its been almost a year since I started as a Virtual Assistant, I have surpassed my monthly income as a Senior Assistant Manager for Operations. My virtual assistance business has provided me the financial stability that I have been looking for. And my uncle? Well he’s my fan now. He’s very much proud of me and what I do.But
Aside from the financial stability, there are numerous benefits of becoming a virtual assistant. Constant Learning. I have become more and more internet savvy day after day. I learn a new skill and knowledge at every task. And I continuously improve my skills.
I am able to help. During Typhoon Frank, I was among the very first (if not the first) Aklanon to post some updates and pictures about the typhoon. I was able to disseminate the information to the readers, OFW’s and fellow Aklanons about how hard we were hit by the typhoon. I was able to help a few families communicate with each other. It made me very happy. I got a lot of responses from Filipinos here and aborad and it was so overwhelming. I have learned that there are a lot of people who cares, and that Filipinos can unite in times of trouble. I realized how powerful the internet is. I was able to give help to my team too. I guess that was the best thing that ever happened to me this year. I found hapiness despite a sad moment.
After all these months, people here in the town of New Washington, knows what a Virtual Assistant is. The word is slowly getting out. Well to some, I was tagged as a “mini-call center”, online secretary, virtual secretary and etcetera. Good thing about it is that, they no longer think this is “illegal” and best of all, I have earned the respect that virtual assistants deserve.
We may not have a decent office, we may not wear business attire, make up or high heels but Virtual Assistants work isn’t an easy job. We are entreprenuers and experts in our own fields of expertise. We are the CEO’s of our business. It is just but time to give the respect due to us.
I am proud to be a Virtual Assistant and I am proud to be Filipina.