I attended The Office* Show last Thursday at London’s Excel (on possibly the warmest day this year). It was good to get back into things like this as I hadn’t been to a PA/Office Manager show for quite some time. Thursday was designated VA Day, with a number of Virtual Assistants presenting, holding talks and round table discussions about being a VA.
I found it interesting though that many of the exhibitors didn’t know what a VA/Virtual Assistant was when they asked what I did. Obviously some education is still required. However, I think the term is becoming more widely known. I found myself explaining the title by saying I was a freelance PA, which more people understood. But being a VA is very different from being a PA, quite apart from the whole being self-employed side of it.
At the Show, I met the lovely Jo Munro who set up The VA Handbook, a huge resource for new and established Virtual Assistants. She also produced an excellent course for aspiring VAs called The DIY VA Course, which helps people step by step to set up as a VA, including how to get clients, what rates do I set, establishing your niche and much more. I also attended a session by about work/life balance – always tricky whatever you do when you work from home (guilty of being on the computer at 9pm last night) and heard from an expert on Linkedin. There just wasn’t enough time in the day to listen to everyone I wanted to, and speak to all the exhibitors too.
I’ll be back next year, but I won’t be wearing heels next time. Oh the joys of working from home and wearing what I like.