Category Archives for "Exceptional VA Life"

Is Working From Home a Dead-End Job?

I saw this video from WSJ Live a few weeks ago. The video is about Yahoo! employees who work-from-home being reported back to work.

Yahoo! employees reporting back to duty is actually good. According to the interviewee,If a work-from-home person wants to get promoted in his company, he must go back to the office and be seen – literally. Staying at home to work is a dead-end job.

Here’s the video: Working From Home Is a Dead-End Job

Are you in favor of working from home as a dead-end job? Let me know by placing your comments below. Just be nice in commenting!

Becoming a VA means isolation? Not for me!

This is my dream home office. I have this in my dream book and computer wallpaper. :)

This is my dream home office. I have this in my dream book and computer wallpaper. 🙂

Recently, published an online article on how to solve top pitfalls of working from home. In the article, four pitfalls and solutions were identified. One of the pitfalls was virtual assistants may bring “inevitable sense of isolation.”

Well, I’m going to be honest: one of the reasons why I want to work full-time at home is because I can no longer stand office politics and getting along with people who, for reasons I don’t know, are born negative. I believe in the saying, “you are the five people who you hang out everyday,” and so I try to either be positive or hang out with positive people. But the office really IS a corporate jungle – one really can’t find a lot of positive people around (I’m sorry to all the companies where I previously worked, but it’s true). I actually envision myself standing on top of my office table, with red high heels and red lipstick on the last day of work for my grand rant. Ok, I’m kidding on that last sentence.

On the other hand, I also thought of the “isolation” idea. I thought of what life would be working alone – just me and my computer, working on the outputs for the day, then checking Hollywood gossips and stalking at Facebook friends during the break. Interesting thought, right?

I know I can work well with others and alone. I have tried and tested myself on that after 11 years of working. But life would be utterly boring going solo. So when the isolation idea occurred, I immediately listed down things that I would do to fight loneliness:

1. That running club in Alabang every Thursday that I’m so raving to join? Hah! That would be a great Thursday night run with new running friends!

2. I’ll be the official events organizer of every circle of friends that I have. I’ll make sure we will meet once a month.

3. I’ll buy another computer for Skype, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest break during the day.

4. How about tutoring kids after school? I’d get to earn and learn with children at the same time!

5. I’ll enroll in Spanish Language Class and Cooking Class – that another set of new friends!

6. I’ll visit my former office mates for a short chat and let them see how great it is to work from home.

7. I’ll burn the phone lines and Skype. No SMS, just pure calls.

8. I’ll do once-a-month seminars for my church. That’s a great set of people.

9. Get to know the neighbors one by one (honestly, I don’t know some of my neighbors ever since I started working).

10. Oh well, I could sing my heart out loud in the house and sing “it doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone!”

So, is becoming a VA means isolating myself from the universe? Not for me!

Goodbye, Posterous.

My Virtual Assistant mentor, Jomar Hilario, that Posterous is closing on April 30. Check Posterous’ official blog post here.

I felt sad when I learned that Posterous is closing because I started using it last year and it was a great blogging and autoscheduling tool. I have linked my social media accounts in Posterous; I even bookmarked how to schedule a post using e-mail because I always forget how to.

Oh well, such is technology. Change is inevitable.

Anyway, if you have a Posterous account, you have to do back up before you lose your data.

I’ll miss Posterous.

Water everywhere

Water everywhere.

That’s how I describe the past few days in our country, particularly in the upper island of Luzon. If you’re a Filipino VA like me, you may have call the events “unli rain,” Waterworld, whatever.

I was supposed to report Tuesday night for my client. But then, non-stop rains came pouring as early as Monday night. I’m blessed because despite of the heavy downpour, floods did not reach our house. Getting my family (and the stuff) safe was my priority, so I deferred working.

Today, I sent an e-mail to my client. I sent my apologies, including links to YouTube and new links.

I sent this e-mail to my client. As VAs, honesty is important.

A few hours after finishing my work for client, I opened my other e-mail. I learned that ODesk has been monitoring what’s happening in my country.

I never thought ODesk would do this. It made me realize that people (and systems) do care.

We still have water everywhere, but Filipinos are resilient. We will get up from this challenge and stand up strong.

I rock.

My client’s latest e-mail made me feel like a rock star.

Honestly, in my 10 years of working (commuting to and from work; that meant getting up early even if I didn’t want to), I have never experienced somebody appreciating my work by telling me that “I rock.”

I feel like a rock star today.

That is why I work not only for work’s sake for my client. I work for the glory and respect that is given to all Filipino VAs.

So, when do you decide to be one of us?

A new friend in Owl

Hootsuite! Loving it!

I got a new friend – it’s an owl and it has a website called Hootsuite.

During my pre-Internet marketing, blogging, social media, and virtual assistant days, I knew of a former boss who loves owl collectibles. The former boss, who’s very intelligent, sees owls as her animal of preference because of its ability to see clearly in the night and to turn its head up to 180 degrees. And oh, I could never forget that in the Harry Potter book series, Harry’s pet-slash-messenger-slash-adventure-companion is an owl named Hedwig.

As a member of Jomar Hilario’s Marketing Mastermind Insider program (he’s my mentor), I got to know about the use of Hootsuite. The site aims to make a social media being’s life easier by posting your status or tweets or pings to your Facebook, Twitter, and Pingfm, among others, respectively.

But due to the webinars, audiobooks, e-books, and physical books that I had to read, I was not able to study Hootsuite that much.

Then my new job came.

My client, after a day of logging work hours for the company, assigned management of Pinterest and Google Plus pages to me. Easy, I said, as I do have accounts on the said sites.

After a day, the client gave me Twitter administration. The next day after our Skype chat, I received an administrator notice for the Facebook management. The client gave instructions to post tweets and status on different times, so the need for Hootsuite.

Yay. My bad.

I immediately took out the PDF files of “How to Use Hootsuite for Facebook and Twitter” for a quick study. After a few minutes, I saw myself scheduling tweet by tweet, status by status.

When my client told me that the Share click doesn’t seem to work on Facebook statuses sent through Hootsuite, I re-read the PDF file again and did experiments. Upon learning that the Share click works, I gave my feedback to my client through the work report e-mail that I sent. The client replied thanking me for the studying it.

Today, I signed up for my Hootsuite account.

Lesson learned: study what is given to you. Do not wait for tomorrow.

Yes, I got a new friend. And it says “Hoot! Hoot!”

Constant Communication

Communication is important in being a VA.

With the new job at hand, I had to make sure that I would deliver what’s expected. As a Social Media Marketer, I have to look at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus as tools to make my client’s business a success.

Wow, talk about a 360-degree turn of mindset.

Still, if this ain’t a cool job, I don’t know what is.
For a start, I studied my client’s website. Side by side the windows of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome were the social media sites and web sites.

In the past week to my new ODesk job, I had every day emails to my client. The client has been very hands on with the work that I do; I always get a reply on my questions.

To add, we agreed to talk to each other via Skype every two weeks. Moreover, I decided to create another Gmail account for the work that my client is sending.

These past few days were non-stop exchange of questions, answers, feedback, and replies.

What am I trying to point out here?

Constant communication is very important for a virtual assistant. It is essential for your work to, well, work.
Don’t get tired of asking questions, feedback, questions, suggestions, and more questions.

It matters. And it will pay you big time.