A Day in the Life of a Virtual Assistant
I’m forever being asked by inquisitive acquaintances what it is, exactly, that a virtual PA does. Prospective clients, curious friends and potential employees all take an interest in our ‘virtual’ world.
Well allow me to open the doors on Mi PA and give you a glimpse of all we get up to. Here is a day in the life of a Virtual Assistant…
Rise and shine!
Client support starts early at Mi PA. The phones switch over at 8am so a member of the team is always in by 7:40 to set the office up for the day – tidying up and switching on computers, printers and opening various programmes.
By 8am, we’re ready and waiting, reviewing client emails and inboxes to see what needs answering and prioritising for the day.
A taste of the work
“This week I’ve been organising travel details for several clients – finding, booking and altering flights and sorting visas” says Caroline, a Mi PA virtual PA. “For clients, this can be a dreaded task when they’ve got a lot on their minds. We dedicate uninterrupted time to it and offer perspective on what needs to be booked when, alleviating the pressure that often surrounds travel arrangements.”
Shauna has been talking to a client who’s in Barbados just now. “He was giving me a step-by-step account of his holiday – I think he was trying to make me jealous! But that sort of conversation really helps me understand his lifestyle and priorities.
“Sometimes that bigger picture allows us to deliver extra value because it influences things like the timing of a catch up phone call or the tone of an email” says Shauna. “We put a lot of effort into customer relationships for all these reasons.”
Mi PA works for a recycling company. We take care of the service from beginning to end so this week, for example, the VA’s assigned to this account have been organising purchase orders for shipping lines and containers, and organising trailers for transportation.
“It’s really enjoyable to work across so many different industries” says Charlotte, another core member of the team. “We pick up skills from each area which helps turn our hands to many, many tasks.”
Such as researching the famous! A client recently asked us to search for ways to contact Richard Branson and Nathaniel Rothschild. This included their likes and dislikes, the name of their PA and ideas to grab their attention.
We’ve also been looking for rental options in Westfield shopping centre where a client would like to open a juice bar. “I’ve been speaking to agents and organising rental surveys,” says Laura, “just another diverse day in the life of a virtual PA!”
As standard, each team member is continually organising and prioritising their workload for each of their clients. At the beginning of the week, we’ll discuss what’s going on and support one another with tasks as needed. The work is incredibly varied and changeable, so being able to prioritise is a key skill among the team.
The Mi PA team spirit
The team spirit at Mi PA is very special. We’re positive, organised and exceptionally good at multi-tasking but crucially, we all love what we do and make sure we nurture our upbeat atmosphere.
We have a team meeting once a week and as you can imagine it’s never dull! There’s a good level of banter and fun at Mi PA.
Once a week the boss buys us lunch – Subway, Martin’s or pizza – and we often celebrate a Friday evening as a team, too.
We take part in charity and community events, most recently for our adopted charity Forever Manchester, a community foundation for Greater Manchester. We ran the Colour Run to raise money on their behalf – so much fun!
You need to know about Ralph
Ralph is our office mascot. He’s owner Emma’s adorable Cavidoodle – that’s a Cavalier King Charles Poodle for the unaffiliated.
Without a doubt, Ralph has a very therapeutic affect on the team and we all dedicate some time throughout the day to entertain him (and ourselves) with a walk or game.
The only person Ralph doesn’t like is the security guard, who he sees every single day and yet never fails to bark at.
Depending on the mood, we’ll be dancing at our desks to Gaydio or have Key 103 on in the background. We’re on the phone throughout the day, so the music is never very loud, but it’s another mood-setting essential at Mi PA.
The Mi PA Way
I asked the team for three things every virtual PA needs to succeed in the role. Here’s what they said:
- Be as helpful as possible – even when taking difficult calls or dealing with last minute or urgent tasks. We take responsibility for every task and see it through to the end.
- Be organised – you have to roll with the week and be able to re-prioritise at the drop of a hat.
- Show a willingness to learn – in such a varied job role, there will be different challenges every week. A virtual PA needs to be up for that challenge and keen to take on new skills.
If this day in the life of the Mi PA team has left you longing to know more about the sort of things we get up to, please get in touch with a call, comment or Tweet.
And if you’re thinking about becoming a Virtual PA, we’re always on the lookout for new talent. Drop us a line with your CV.