This week we had the pleasure to collaborate with guest writer Nayara Soares who wrote an interesting article sharing her experience working remotely as a virtual assistant. You can find her website and social media here.
I like to think that I always have the remote work mindset rooted in my lifestyle, but just in 2019, I started to explore effectively what my possibilities would be in this world. What remote work means to me is freedom of choice and I really love this video from Jordan Carroll. He described very well what remote work is for me nowadays.
One thing that has always bothered me was that even working in front of a computer, with the internet and the online system, it had to be present at the office. And this was something that didn’t make sense at all. So, I decided to study this new work culture and look for coherent alternatives with this new world context. And that would allow me to embrace the lifestyle that I had always dreamed of.
My history with remote work began in 2019 when I started looking for “how to work remotely”, without being in the work field area of technology, marketing, or as a creative freelancer. All my education has always been in the social and administrative sciences, so, I found in virtual assistance, the market that could be the bridge to match what I already had experience in, with the freedom of remote work.
Work as Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistance is a new, innovative profession, that contributes to a new business mindset, of sustainable and happy growth and success. Working as a virtual assistant I can offer a service on a shared and on-demand basis, which can be occasional or recurring activities, in a specialized way, focused on the productivity and success of the client.
It is a business trend that has strengthened in recent years. We can see that in books like Essentialism by Greg McKeown and Works 4 hours a week by Timothy Ferriss. Because of these books, I realized how important it is to discover what is vital, about saying no, how to prioritize and delegate, eliminating everything that is not essential. In other words, working hard is not what guarantees success, but working better, and with that, I could help different businesses in this process. Timothy Ferriss himself is a fan of virtual assistant services, using to outsource all the tasks that can be performed online and remotely and is a bedside book for any virtual assistant who wants to learn how to sell their value proposition.
As a virtual assistant, my main purpose is to support small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to focus on their business and grow. With this virtual assistant service, I help the organization in operational activities, while the client keeps his focus on the strategic part of his business.
Today I work with several niches, from lawyers and schools to producers of digital content, with activities such as administrative support, financial support, customer service, and customer relations.
If you want to know a little more about myself and my work, I’d be glad to connect on LinkedIn.
Transition to remote work
When I started working remotely it was mandatory. With the pandemic, my employment contract was suspended, and I stayed at home working on my virtual assistance project. At that time, the only option was my home office, which was great for me, because I was really tired of the obligation to commute daily.
In this stage of the home office, I had 2 moments: one just working in my business and, later, already working with my new clients. And that was the first part of the remote routine set up.
Also, in the middle of this pandemic, I moved to Portugal and started a new routine of remote work, now I’m in a different time zone from my clients, all the way in Brazil. But I gained a little more freedom to leave the home office and work from other places, like coffee shops or on the train going to a nearby city, and so on.
This transition seemed simple, but truly demands a lot of self-knowledge and self-management capacity. With the new lockdown in Portugal and the obligation to stay at home, the routine will become more tied up again this year. I enjoy working from home, but it is necessary to change the office of the day, eventually, mostly after I figure out how great it is.
And remote work really is much more than working from home. It is an entire world of experiences. In less than a year, remote work has brought me more balance in my work-life, the possibility to travel and live new experiences, brand-new landscapes, without depending on waiting for my vacations, the opportunity to contribute to projects with people who seek to spread remote work in Portugal and the world.
Ideal remote work life
Even though I love to travel and work remotely, I don’t consider myself a digital nomad, but a location-independent worker. I plan to live in a quiet city, even in the countryside, with a good internet connection and access to major cities and the airport to gateways breaks, to be close to nature and with a friendly community. It is also essential for me to have a diversity of cultural activities and tourist attractions available for short trips. That is what I am looking for working remotely as a virtual assistant.
For now, I chose Portugal to be my home and I like to think that destiny also chose it for me. Portugal has huge potential for remote workers who want to live in small towns. There are projects like Madeira Digital nomad village and Rural Move, which helps workers like me who want to move to small villages and rural areas with a good internet connection, community support, and beautiful nature. And it has a lot of benefits for the governments of such places too, to bring in new people.
As a virtual assistant, I can choose this life, or any other that makes sense to me, and for now, that is what makes my eyes shine. So, working remotely as a virtual assistant means flexibility. It is the freedom to choose what brings balance to my life and what makes me happy. The main advantage for me is the diversity of people and projects that we can get involved in, in Brazil or even in the world. It is the kind of job that you never get bored of because there is always something new to learn or to do to improve yourself. Also, you can have total flexibility to choose the best time to work, the best place, define your processes, and guarantee a much more competitive earning than in a traditional job.
About the Author:
Originally from Brazil, living in Coimbra. Remote worker since 2020. Favorite thing about remote work: Work at my home office with my cat assistants and be able to live and work anywhere I want.