This post is part of a work-at-home series I launched. Every day I’ll be featuring a different reader in a different work-at-home position.
Name: Patty Siegmund
What I do: Virtual Personal Assistant
For How Long: 4 months
How Many Hours Per Week: Depends. Typically 5 to 8. Sometimes I will have a week with 15 hours and nothing the next week.
Income Earned: $20/hour but it’s as a 1099 so we take out for taxes. We keep about 75% of my pay. It is extra spending cash for us.
How and why did you start your work-at-home position?
My girlfriend is a free-lance editor. My boss asked her if she knew anyone looking for a virtual personal assistant. This was after months of praying and searching for work from home oppurtunities. My husband and I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant just 2 months after getting married! We really wanted me to stay home with Calvin so we searched for a long time. When I stopped working we lost over half our income and so this was truly a blessing from the Lord.
What exactly do you do in this position?
My boss emails me work. Sometimes it’s personal work from her, like researching bank accounts or (my latest project) how to become a certified woman-owned business. Sometimes it’s for her company. She writes training materials for their employees. I often format documents for her or transcript employee documents. It’s all over the computer and all virtual.
What do you need to get started?
Just a computer and the Internet!
What excites you about this position?
I love that I can work where ever and whenever. Sometimes I even set up a little shelf on the tub and work there! I can work while my son naps or nurses. I often work after he goes to bed so I don’t lose time with my husband or baby. I got to work in Florida when my husband and I visited family. I don’t have to ask for time off; I don’t get micro-managed. And because I am a W9 employee I don’t need a small business licence but still get self-employment tax write-offs.
What is challenging about this position?
Sometimes if it’s a high volume work week the house-cleaning can get ignored because if I want to get paid I do have to prioritize and meet deadlines. This means choosing work over cleaning some days.
What do you need to make it in this position?
Self-discipline and honesty. I work solely on the honor system as far as billing my hours goes. And I need to honor God by doing my work promptly and returning it in the fastest time I can without doing a sloppy job. You have to pay careful attention to detail, as well.
How can you learn more?
I am happy to answer any questions people might have but I have to say, this job came to me from another connection. I don’t know how easy it would be to market myself as a virtual personal assistant. But now I’m thinking maybe I should put an ad on Craigslist.
If anyone has questions, my email is patty.siegmund at elsauzal dot org.
Photo credit Elvis Santana