Carving Out Virtual Career
finds projects in other time zones to enhance future
light glowing in another window in the city would most likely
mean that someone's home relaxing after a day's work.
in Vonetta Booker-Brown's apartment that glow probably means she
is working for a client in Chicago, San Diego or some other part
of the world.
is making the promise of the Internet a reality as she works as
a virtual assistant from her home after putting in a full day
at another job. She calls her company Right Hand Concepts.
people haven't heard of virtual assistants, according to Booker-Brown,
but that may be changing.
"I think in the next five years it's going to blow up,"
she said. "It won't be, 'What's a virtual assistant?' It'll
be, 'Who is your virtual assistant?' "
offers clients word-processing, mailings, Internet research, desktop
publishing, Web design, copywriting and many of the other services
an administrative assistant would provide. She has a background
in journalism and more than eight years of experience as an administrative
assistant. She also took classes on Web design and graphic arts.
she needed to start her business was a good computer, phone lines
and a few other pieces of office equipment, she said. All of her
office equipment fits in one room of her apartment.
said she is preparing to become a virtual assistant full time
and has three solid clients.
trends over the last few years indicate her new career has plenty
of growth opportunity, Booker-Brown claims.
said because she is a contract employee who usually takes on specific
jobs, companies do not have to worry about payroll taxes, health
insurance or any of the other costs associated with a regular
employee. She pays the taxes herself.
for virtual assistants was so great in the late 1990s that some
of the first virtual assistants in the world formed the International
Virtual Assistants Association, located in California, to support
the growing industry. The IVAA provides certifications for its
members and lists eight certified virtual assistants in Connecticut,
who offer a variety of services.
said much of what she does is what a traditional administrative
not to say virtual assistants will be replacing on-site administrative
assistants, the entrepreneur added.
said small businesses with office space and payroll issues may
start out by employing a virtual assistant until things pick up.
But even after clients hire on-site help, a company could still
turn to off-site assistants for temporary work or special projects.
might be some drawbacks to being a contract worker, like finding
insurance coverage, but Booker-Brown said she will be on her husband's
said she expects to make a comfortable living from her new career
and there haven't been many problems getting started.
only thing you have to get used to is the time differences,"
more information on virtual assistants, visit www.ivaa.org.