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Virtual Assistant: Not Just a Side Hustle, a Dream Gig

This time last year, I was preparing for what I believed to be the opportunity of a lifetime. I had a signed contract, and I would be journeying across the ocean for a new adventure in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. 

As a Kiwi-American from New Zealand who loves to travel, I was over the moon. But like so many others, my career fell victim to a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Having already sold our home and most of our possessions, and now finding ourselves jobless, my husband and I were quickly scrambling to formulate a new plan. 

Knowing we were still more fortunate than many, I chose not to dwell on our misfortune. After a short period of panic and uncertainty, I moved forward with a positive mindset, assessing what I have and what I want. What I have is more than twenty-five years of experience in business administration and a genuine passion for helping others.

Career Change

What I want is the flexibility to utilize my strengths, as a creative problem solver and expert communicator, from anywhere with more control over my time. Now all I needed to figure out was how to achieve this. I had previously considered becoming a virtual assistant (VA) as a side hustle. A way to boost my income and gain experience working remotely. Maybe this was still a possibility. Maybe it could turn into something more. I revisited this path with fresh eyes.

I had only a vague idea of what it was all about to be a VA. I figured I would probably just be assisting with somebody’s bookkeeping, email, and calendar from a remote location. While I have enjoyed doing this as a part of the many roles I have served over the years, I didn’t find the idea of being limited to this virtually particularly challenging or rewarding, beyond the intrinsic satisfaction of helping others.  Also from what I had researched, most VAs worked for themselves and by themselves.

Quite frankly, the thought of having to find clients, figure out what apps or software I might need, and juggle invoicing was particularly overwhelming. Besides, I truly love the camaraderie and interaction and all the integral minutiae behind the scenes that goes into making a business successful. 

Well, how wrong I was! There is a role available for any skill, and as many and diverse as you wish to pursue!  These fresh eyes were now wide open. 

Becoming A Virtual Assistant 

I put my research skills to work, and after much consideration, I decided that Trusty Oak was where I wanted to be. I submitted my application, I was contacted for an interview where I realized I had made the right choice. Everyone I spoke with was kind, cheery, positive, and success-oriented. I was offered a variety of opportunities and, more than anything, the freedom to exercise my skill set within a team-oriented community from anywhere, and paid well for doing so!

The onboarding process provided me with all the tools and guidance I needed to be successful. Soon after, I was managing the inboxes of busy entrepreneurs, creating marketing collateral and social content, balancing books, and even writing blog entries like this. I am limited only by my imagination, which is to say I am not limited at all. There are endless possibilities. My decision to join the Trusty Oak team was completely validated! 

Related: A Day in the Life of a Virtual Assistant

Trusty Oak invested in me with valuable training, a strong support system, and faith that my abilities would flourish in this environment. They were right! No wonder Amber Gray was voted Austin Businesswoman of the Year and this company is now recognized as a top freelance VA platform in the nation.  

Trusty Oak and 2020 Changed Everything

This is not a side hustle, but a dream gig with a fantastic team who supports us to do what we do best for those who need us most. Not only am I my own boss doing what I love from home, but I have the resources, mentorship, security, and collaborative framework of a company that promotes me.

Trusty Oak is an organization that embodies its espoused core values. Each value is authentically and intentionally threaded through the systems, practices, and behaviors of the organization.

Who knew that a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic would not take away, but actually provide the true opportunity of a lifetime. I love my new career as a VA with Trusty Oak and highly recommend you consider it too!

Careers at Trusty Oak

Bex Howell

Rebecca (Bex) is Trusty Oak's business development specialist with more than 25 years business administration experience across multiple industries in both the U.S. and New Zealand (NZ). Yep, she's a Kiwi!

Bex has a passion for helping others and thrives in fostering relationships with business owners, entrepreneurs and virtual assistants. As a former VA with Trusty Oak, Bex has a unique perspective that allows her to hone in on the challenges business leaders face and offer solutions based in real world experience.

Bex is originally from New Zealand, and now resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband. She loves to travel - everywhere- experience new culture & places, architecture & people. Adventure is always around the corner!

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