Emma’s work and life principles are truly admirable – maintaining your integrity in all your dealings is something not all virtual assistants can do. Her experiences before venturing into virtual assistant work have given her a great deal of wisdom in handling clients and managing employees. Great job, Emma!
Emma Bautista is currently working as a social media manager and virtual assistant for an Australian firm. Loving the independence and freedom of working remotely, Emma wants everyone to see that having a satisfying career can be done outside carpeted floors with cubicles. She enjoys being independent and staying active within the virtual assistant community.
I see that you worked in the call center industry before shifting to virtual assistance. What eventually urged you to work remotely, and what are the main differences of call center work in contrast to working virtually?
Working in a BPO industry is fun! It’s a dynamic working environment wherein you meet a lot of people and learn skills along the way. The reason I ventured into freelance home based work is that the graveyard shift was taking a toll on my health. Working at night for a long period of time is not the lifestyle that I would like to continue.
What is a typical day like for you?
I mostly cater Australian clients for the reason that they have the same working schedule with Philippines. I do yoga or running as soon as I’m awake and prep myself up before logging in to start my work. The eight-hour work is usually composed of creating social media content, ad hoc requests from clients and bathing the dog during break time and tending to my mini herb garden when I need a dose of inspiration or fresh air when the day is too hectic.
You’ve also had managerial and mentoring work. Give us your thoughts on coaching, training, and managing people remotely. Is it more difficult? If so, what measures do you put in place to ensure that the employees’ performances are maintained at a high quality?
Mentoring people remotely is hard work. As a coach in a virtual setting, you will know if an employee is not doing his job with the quality of work that is being submitted. No matter how hard they try to hide it, the results will not lie. I make sure digital tools are utilized to ensure transparency while working virtually. Also, works are QAed so immediate feedback can be done.
What do you think are the most common errors virtual assistants commit when trying to advertise and sell themselves to clients?
Virtual assistants tend to say YES, I CAN DO THAT a lot even though they can’t. They want to impress or ensure the client that everything can be submitted on time when in fact, they need more time or they need training with a certain tool. Honesty is still the best policy.
What philosophy do you follow when it comes to management, and in your virtual assistant work in general?Integrity is not something you brag about to others. Click To Tweet
I pride myself in working with integrity. As a virtual assistant, your clients cannot see what your day-to-day activities are. It’s one of the values that I focus on when working with clients and life in general. Integrity is not something you brag about to others, it is actually how you work or behave when no one is watching.
Can you tell us one thing that you have learned from a client? How did it impact you?
That you can say NO when the project is not in your belief system and it is still okay. It taught me that there are certain principles that can be violated when working with projects with clients but you can still say NO and they will understand.
Some VAs would really like to have a fulfilling long career working remotely. What advice would you like to share to them?
Build a good track work record and maintain a business-friendly relationship on, during and after the projects. Also, be in the loop on the most updated tools you can use as a VA – it will make your work more effectively and efficiently. Lastly, create a work space or an office. It will set you in a work mode and will get things done easier. It won’t hurt to take advantage of the work-life balance that remote work can offer. It’s a luxury these days. Wallow in it!