Kristin Huzyak’s commitment to her job as a Virtual Assistant is truly admirable — it’s not easy to just leave random activities at home just so you can meet a client’s need on the spot. Her willingness to go the extra mile to provide to her clients is something many of us can emulate. Great job, Kristin!
As a wife and mother of four children, Kristin Huzyak always dreamed of finding the right job that would allow her to utilize her skills in a challenging position but also allow her to stay home and raise her children, her way. She always believed that you can do whatever you want in life if you really work for it and that is just what she did. After having her first child in 2005, Kristin decided to leave her job at a mortgage company so that she could stay home full time with her daughter.
She began spending hours upon hours emailing Realtors, Speakers, CEO’s etc. to see if anyone would like to work with her remotely. The first few hundred emails got no response but she never gave up and a few weeks later, she landed her first job as a Virtual Assistant. She has now been working as a VA for twelve years and has had three more children that are now all school age. Being a Virtual Assistant allowed her to remain in the workforce but still be able to raise all four of her babies. She realized that she needed to work, not for the money, but for her mind. Working kept her challenged and made her feel confident, plus, she wanted to be a role model for her daughters and show them that you can work and still be there for your children.
Can you walk us through the duties and responsibilities that you conduct remotely? What are your key strengths?
My duties and responsibilities as a Virtual Assistant include internet research, travel planning, flight arrangements, bill paying, appointment scheduling, calendar management, etc. I would say that some of my key strengths are organization, reliability and time management.
What is a typical day like for you?
The first thing I do in the morning is check my email and prioritize my projects by importance. I like to look at my calendar and see if there are any appointments scheduled for the day. If there is, I will send out email reminders. I will then go through my phone and check my voicemail and text messages and return any phone calls that I need to. I usually have some internet research to do, whether it would be researching the best hotel in a certain area or the best plumber in the area. I will then call and schedule any appointments that need to be scheduled for that day. I go through and complete all projects that need to be completed for the day. At the end of the day, I may make notes and add to my calendar projects that need to be completed the next day. I don’t have typical hours; it varies by the amount of work that I have but I always make myself available seven days a week for anything important that may pop up.
How do you adapt your services to the ever changing needs of different clients?
I am always available and willing to learn new things. Like I said before, if my client has something that comes up after hours or on a Sunday, I am going to make myself available to take care of it. I take pride in knowing that my clients can always count on me to get the job done when it needs to get done.
As someone who has a thorough experience in administrative work, what do you think are the values one should always possess when working remotely?
When working remotely, you have to keep yourself motivated. It would be so easy to watch TV in your living room or do anything else that one does while in their own home instead of working, so you really have to be able to stay focused and motivated so that the work still gets done in a timely manner.
What are your most favorite VA tools and how have these helped you to become productive?
My favorite VA tool would be Google Docs; I love the simplicity of it. I love how easy it is to create a document and upload it to my email to share with my clients. Also, Google Calendar is great and it allows me to easily create events in my clients calendars and gives me access so that I can schedule appointments.
What are the most difficult challenges you have encountered as a VA, and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I have encountered as a VA is probably the time difference. One of my clients is three hours behind me so even though it’s 6pm my time and I’m in the middle of dinner, when it’s 3pm in California and when things come up, I may have to walk away from dinner to do something. It really hasn’t been too much of a problem though and sometimes works to my advantage in other ways.
Where do see yourself and your career in the next 5 years or so?
I am very happy where I am right now. In the next 5 years, I believe I will still be working as a VA but maybe with a larger client base. My kids are all getting older now and I am looking to take on more work.