12 essential virtual assistant skills to be successful in this career

Knowledge Development and Upskilling
March 3, 2024
3 minutes
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Remote work is here to stay.

Based on the study conducted by Ladders, remote work will continue to rise throughout 2023. This means that a lot of companies demand for remote workers including virtual assistants will not stop.

So, if you’re a VA, your next question should be: what do I need to do to meet this demand and be an asset to any client?

The answer? skills.

If you’re new to this industry and wondering what virtual assistant skills you should have to get started, be sure to take note coz this article is here to break it down for you:

Important Virtual Assistant skills

1. Tech Savvy

We’re in the digital age and it’s not going anywhere. In fact, technology is improving faster and VAs need to keep up. One of the most important virtual assistant skills that employers are looking out for is tech savvy. As a VA, you need to know how to use various tools, software, and apps to work efficiently and assist your boss or team. Part of the job is to find new tools and make recommendations if you think the tools will help improve how the team works. Sometimes, you become the QA tester and tech support of the team. Being tech savvy means you are able to adapt to new tools and one to give answers when your boss do not have time to tinker on tools.

2. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is about your ability to be aware, understand, and handle your emotions. This is specifically helpful for VAs because you’ll meet, deal, and work with different types of personalities whichever industry you’re in. It is just part of the job. There may even be times when you’d have to be involved with conflict resolution in the workplace. Because of this, you need to be able to empathize, keep your calm when the heat is on, and act professional when you’re in a tough situation.

3. Communication

Another one of the most important (if not the most important) virtual assistant skills is communication. Yes, it is basic and foundational. You can’t work if you can’t communicate effectively. Communication is not just the ability to speak or express yourself well and professionally but also the ability to listen and process what you received.

4. Leadership

If you’re wondering why this is part of the list, well..here’s the thing: as a VA, you’re not just there to assist and be passive. You’re there to help move the needle .One of the many things you’ll get the chance to do is managing people (whether that’s managing up or managing down) and projects and doing this requires good leadership skills. You need to be proactive, a self starter, and competent. It’s about bringing the best in people and knowing when to take a shot and what shots to take.

5. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking as one of the virtual assistant skills to nurture will help you and your company in the long run. Being a VA allows you to get a 360-degree view of the operations of the company that’s why sometimes VAs serve as sounding boards and strategic partners of the executives. You basically have access to information that no one else in the company has. Processing information and data and knowing how to use these require critical thinking skills.

6. Time management

Probably the most obvious skills to have for VAs, but it is for a reason. Time management allows you to work your best and get more done FOR you and your executive. This is what will set you apart from the rest of the team. This role requires that your time management skills is at the top because you’re not just working on your task, you’re also accomplishing the team tasks. The ability to manage your time effectively is a superpower that will allow you to get more things done and will benefit your mental health.

7. Collaborative

It’s important for a virtual assistant to be able to collaborate with a variety of coworkers. This role requires that you wear different hats and that means you get the chance to work with people from different teams and departments. Having this skills is important to accomplish tasks and move the company forward.

8. Creative

Creativity is not just about the ability to paint a flower, it’s your ability to think outside the box, come up with solutions and ideas that are beyond the norm, and implement systems and processes that improve everyone’s work. As a VA, you’re the go-to person when your boss or the team hits a bump or needs help with something. Yes, you’re not here to do data entry. You need to be able to not just resolve problems but also make use of what you have to find a different way to come up with solutions.

9. Social media management

We now live in the age of social media and the ability to manage different social media platforms for businesses is becoming a staple for VAs and is an in demand skill. Many businesses do a lot of their marketing on social media and because tech change really fast, they require someone to help monitor and handle their social media accounts for them. This is so the executives can focus on strategy and client relations. With this skill, the responsibilities would include responding to messages and comments, planning content and scheduling them, moderating comments and discussions, staying up-to-date with trends, some analytics, sometimes even graphics creation, and more.

10. Bookkeeping

Because VAs are usually employed by small businesses and fast growing lean startups, you might have to be involved with bookkeeping, budgeting, and payroll. It isn’t always the case BUT it’s worthwhile skill to have especially if your target clients are small business owners.

11. Writing skills

So much of the tasks as a VA would involve writing. Responding to emails, handling customer support tickets, documenting processes, writing a short article, or creating captions, all this require a good writing skill. Writing is one of those virtual assistant skills that seemed basic but really is one of the top most vital skills to have.

12. Organization

Strong organization skills is another must-have skill for every virtual assistant. What does it mean to be organized? You should be able to own your calendar, know your priorities, make sure you don’t miss any deadline and you’re on top of your tasks.

Being a VA means so many things. You are the glue that keeps things at work in place and together. You fill in the gaps when needed, and trust me, you are always needed.

The role is vital for operations to work smoothly and for your executives to make use of their time in the most effective way possible. And these skills will allow you to be the most effective assistant that’ll leave a good impression to your clients and make you one of the most valuable members of the team.

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I'm Jelly, main writer and owner of TEE, and I've been a VA for more than 10 years now. The Executive Enabler has been created in the hopes to help and guide new VAs in their journey.

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