Saturday, March 25, 2023

I left London to become a virtual assistant from Asturias: this is how I work 6 hour days despite no previous experience

This article is based on a conversation between the editor and Helen Taylor, a 40-year-old virtual assistant living in Asturias. business Insider You have verified your income through relevant documents. The following has been edited for length and clarity only.

I worked in political communications in London for 10 years from 2004.

But when I broke my leg in a mountaineering accident in 2013 and spent 5 days in the hospital, I realized something. My job was great, but I was not happy. life in the big city wasn’t for me anymore,

I quit my job in 2014 and went on a trip with my then partner for a few months. As soon as we left the UK my sim card stopped working and I had no internet on my phone. This helped me change my mindset.

I didn’t want to be a digital nomad constantly on the move: I like to settle down. I decided to stay in Spain permanently.

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He had been there several times as a teenager and as a young man. When I first moved, I went to a place that’s only 40 minutes from where I live now: it’s special to me.

I wanted a place that was not just a vacation spot, but also had mountains, climbing, and a beach. I was passing through the province of Asturias until 2018 i settled in a small town of 10 inhabitants,

What really makes me happy are green spaces, mountains and animals: I have dogs and chickens. If they had told me 15 years ago, I would have been horrified.

I started teaching English. It’s not exactly my calling, and it’s not easy, but it’s a good way to get used to a new country and start earning money.

I thought about various professional options. I remembered that when I was working in London, I loved making sure customers and colleagues had everything they needed at the right time and place.

A friend started Virtual Assistant business in February 2020 and told me about it. i spent 6 months researching

At first I worried that I had never had experience managing a schedule or being someone’s personal assistant. But upon doing some research, I realized that the term “virtual assistant” covers a wide variety of jobs.

I help people write blogs, write content for websites and newsletters, update their websites, and conduct webinars.

In January 2022 I took an initiation course with the Association of Professional Virtual Assistants (APAV) and I started getting clients very quickly.

In that course I was exposed to other virtual assistants who had clients that they could not serve. There are many people who work as aides to other virtual assistants.,

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Aides work for a primary virtual assistant who handles tasks for which they do not have the time or ability.

I have had 2 clients that were recommended to me by top virtual assistants. For example, I work at Canva as an aide to a lead virtual assistant who doesn’t like to design through Canva, but does the rest of the client’s work.

I joined the APAV members group, which provided me with a mentor already established in the business. I had one session with him every 2 weeks. His guidance was invaluable to me: Never be afraid to invest in your own training or your own work tools.

You can have the best skills and be the most organized person in the world, but if you don’t know yourself, you won’t get clients.

it’s uncomfortable asking people to help you or be your customers, but that’s what you have to do,

At first I was intimidated by networking on LinkedIn, but I soon got over it. There are hundreds of virtual support groups out there and on Facebook.

I started by offering clients tasks that I knew I could do. But if I was asked, I was also ready to learn new things.

I felt safe doing anything that involved writing or creating content specifically for an external audience on Canva.

I would never tell someone that I can do something if I don’t know how to do it. But if a customer asks me for something new for me, I gave myself the opportunity to learn how to, I started by familiarizing myself with various project management and financing systems. So I could accept more assignments from my clients.

When 3 people told me my prices were too low, I increased my rate to £5 an hour – don’t sell yourself short.

Once you gain confidence, Little by little you will realize that you can charge more,

On the other hand, it should be taken into account that the self-employed pay their own social security contributions in Spain. I also had to factor into the equation that self-employed people don’t charge vacations or sick leave.

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Now all my packages (5, 10 and 15 sessions) cost £30 an hour, just under 35 euro, after charging £25 for a while, around 30 euro.

They want to buy in bulk for people. i charge 35 euro an hour for this job For: The advantage of doing it this way is that I can organize my time that way. So, for example, if I know I’m going to devote 10 hours to a specific client in a month, I can organize the rest better.

Now I earn an average of 1,700 Euros every month after taxes and expenses. I pay myself between 1,200 and 1,400 Euros. It may not sound like much to someone living in London, but it goes a long way here.

I love my job: I work about 6 hours a day and my schedule is mine, because I establish how much I work

Helen Taylor Grazing Cows In Her Town In Asturias.

I work 4-5 billable hours per day, After that I spend time on administration, marketing and personal reflection.

I start work early so that my clients in London can start at 9am with a clean inbox. I rest early in the morning to collect eggs from my hens. Then I take a break during lunch and sometimes go for a run.

In the afternoon I take my dogs for a walk. Then I work a little later, which helps me stay in touch with my clients.

Classic 9 to 5 hours don’t exist for me. It took me a while to separate myself from my work, but now I really love what I do.

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