One of the benefits of the internet is that it gives people the chance to work even if they just stay home. Online freelance jobs and virtual assistant jobs can be considered the future of work all over the world. Professionals coming from different backgrounds and specializations are given the opportunity to work within their preferred location and work hours. They can also control how much they want to work, and as soon as they are established, they can also somehow dictate how much they can earn.

If you are a mom who wants to take care of your children while making some money, you can. If you are a person with disability, you can work at home and stay comfortable. But what are the basic skills you need to have in order to be an effective virtual assistant? Here are some of the most important ones:

1. Communication skills
If you are working as a virtual assistant, you will often have to communicate with different people online—your clients, your teammates, the customers of your clients. Having good communication skills, both verbal and written, is imperative to succeed as a virtual assistant. Being able to clearly express your thoughts in writing is especially important because most of your work online will involve email correspondence. Poor communication skills will lead to misunderstanding, which can cause project delays and costly mistakes. Make sure you brush up on your English language skills before applying as a virtual assistant.

2. Interpersonal skills
This skill set refers to the way you interact with people. You need to have an approachable, friendly personality that will make clients feel comfortable to talk to you. You may not be meeting your clients or teammates in person, but you can convey a pleasing personality online by being polite, professional, and pleasant in all your dealings, whether written or verbal.

3. Intrapersonal skills
Intrapersonal skills should not be confused with interpersonal skills. Intrapersonal skills refer to how you communicate to yourself to help you in any situation. This skill has something to do with managing your own emotions, feelings, and moods. A person without good intrapersonal skills has poor self-control and will be often moody and difficult to deal with. To improve your intrapersonal skills, take time to talk to yourself and advise yourself when you feel bad about something. When you have this ability, you will be able to work well with others in your team.

4. Good computer knowledge
As a virtual assistant, you will work mostly in front of your computer. For that reason, you should at least know how to do basic troubleshooting for your computer when it slows down or malfunctions. You should also at least know how to avoid viruses and malware to avoid work interruptions and protect your work and your clients’ confidential data.

5. Phone etiquette and netiquette
Respect keeps the workplace harmonious. Even if you are not with your client or teammates physically, you still have to ensure they won’t get offended by you. Knowing the proper way to talk to somebody over the phone or on Skype is an essential customer service skill.
Netiquette is also important when chatting or when writing emails. Rules like “no all-caps” and others should be followed or else others will find you annoying and offensive, which can create conflict at work.

6. Internet and software-savvy
Most people know how to use the internet to search, post in social media, and watch videos on YouTube. However, there are some aspects of the internet that you get to know only after years of using it. For example, many people know only Google as search engine when there are others like Bing that’s also giving out good results.

Software-savvy means that you can easily learn how to use new software even without having to go through rigorous training. You take the initiative to learn new software programs that can make you more effective and efficient at your job. This can include software programs for designing, making presentations, communication, and the like.

Do you have what it takes to be a virtual assistant and start earning money while working from anywhere? If you don’t have some of these necessary skills, don’t worry. You can definitely improve them with practice and discipline.

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