5 Reasons Personality is Important as a Virtual Assistant
You can’t see a virtual assistant unless you’re video chatting so looks don’t really matter; however, personality is everything. According to Kendra Cherry’s summarization on Verywell Mind , personality is made up of the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make a person unique. Personality arises from within the individual and remains fairly consistent throughout life.
I’m sure you all have met someone and immediately thought, “this person has a huge personality.” Or, maybe you’ve met someone who was a little reserved, but later on, their personality revealed itself. Just because we work in a remote environment, our personalities still shine through.
I don’t believe a person’s personality should be stifled just because they’re working remotely. With that being said, I also think you should remain professional and know how to not be obnoxious. I am a very sarcastic person with a dry sense of humor. Not everyone understands me, but when you do, I’m hilarious. #selfproclaimed. I also know how to be professional, and I know when NOT to joke. There’s a balance.
When I first started as a virtual assistant, I was super professional. I didn’t make any jokes or have any casual conversation. It was so boring. When I made my first joke, followed by a lol, I got a LMAO from my client. The ice was broken! It was so liberating.
Aside from creating a more casual atmosphere instead of being so stuffy, there are other benefits to staying true to yourself as a virtual assistant that will help you throughout the life of your career.
Here are 5 reasons why personality is important as a virtual assistant.
1. Shows your uniqueness
When people are looking for a virtual assistant, they usually receive a ton of the standard “To Whom It May Concern” proposal letters and resumes. That’s not my style. I don’t use any scripted proposals when I reach out to potential clients, and I don’t ever send a resume up front. I give a brief description of my work history, and I keep things short and sweet.
More than once, I’ve received a, “Well, that was refreshing” after sending my proposals. Because I present myself as a “Rock-Star VA or a “Social Media Maven, people respond to that.
There is NOTHING wrong with being serious or super professional when you reach out to clients, if that is truly is YOUR personality. Stay true to who you are, and your potential clients will recognize your uniqueness even though they aren’t meeting you face-to-face.
2. Improves Work Environment
Hear me out. Even in a digital environment, conversation can get uncomfortable. If you’re on a Zoom meeting or chatting in Slack, it can be obvious when people are getting exhausted from feeling like they’re spinning their wheels or not knowing their next move.
This is where personality can come in. Someone who isn’t afraid to be assertive and speak up can liven up a meeting, give new ideas and really get other people thinking. I’ve been in more than one meeting where a topic seemed dead, and I’ll throw out one idea and receive 10 additional ideas from team members.
Perhaps the team is feeling beat, and you jump in to tell everyone they’re doing an awesome job. Just one person who is super optimistic can really turn an entire team around.
3. Reduces Turnover
What?! Seriously, when you have people of similar personality all working together, the working atmosphere is wonderful. Sure, people’s strengths and weaknesses balance out a team, but when there is one bad apple, it can make someone so uncomfortable that they quit. Have you ever worked with someone so awful that just thinking about them made you NOT want to go to work? I have, and I still cringe every time I see her pic pop up on my “people you may know” on Facebook.
Turnover means time wasted for a company so if it can be avoided, great. I work for one company that has a “no jerk” policy. It really is refreshing to go to work with people, who even when they have a disagreement, no one is a jerk about it. It’s very adult…mature adult. We all have different personalities, and that’s fine, but when everyone is professional and genuinely nice, it makes a HUGE difference.
4. Helps You Advance
We’re all different. Staying true to your personality will help you advance in your career in a way where your strengths are use. For example, certain personality types may be better at graphic design rather than project management. You may have come onboard with a client to copyright, but you are really good at figuring out new processes and programs so a future in infrastructure may be for you.
Many people don’t know what they should specialize in (if anything) when they first start working as a virtual assistant, myself included. After doing this for a few years, I’ve found I’m really good at social media marketing and advertising. Had I not stayed true to myself, put myself out there, learned and advanced, I may have never known that was something I’d enjoy so much.
Maybe you’re more “Type A” personality type. Project manager or team leader could be something you’d excel at because you’re really good with deadlines and keeping people on track. You’ll be surprised at how well you may adapt to something new just by staying true to your personality type.
5. Keeps You Happy
Happiness. Isn’t that an excellent goal? One of the reasons I got into the virtual assistant business is because I was NOT happy working for corporate America. I also worked for the government, and I wasn’t truly happy there either.
There may be some virtual assistant tasks that don’t make you happy. We’ve all been there starting out. Data entry is so boring to me, and it puts me to sleep. Some people love it. They don’t like talking to people, and they prefer to work behind the scenes doing that type of work. That’s totally OK. When you find what area of expertise that really gets you excited every day and that you excel at or the tasks that really put a smile on your face, you’re happy. 🙂
I’m happy. I have evolved so much since I first started, and I love where I’m at and where I’m headed. You know your personality. You know what you like and dislike and what you’re really interested in. Follow that in your career, and you will not regret where you end up.