Baroness Virtual Services founder Gina Kovach originally penned this article for the Legends Virtual Assistance blog.
In June 2015, Janet Markoff, a partner in the New York City office of legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, penned The Secret To Getting Ahead at Work? Get a Work Spouse.
In her commentary, Markoff discusses her work spouse, Jeff, and how they are able to play off each other and leverage each other’s strengths and weaknesses to repeatedly become the top fee earners for executive placement at their firm. I believe that a VA can become a work spouse too, from a remote location.
Your VA is someone who understands the intricacies of your day, who “gets it” without having to go into long explanations, and who can watch your back when you go on vacation. Here are 3 reasons why your VA can fill the work spouse role for you:
A strong VA will know your preferences inside and out. After the initial learning curve is over, your VA will know the same little details your real husband or wife does: the table location you want in the trendiest restaurant, and that you only take calls between 10 AM and 3 PM on Tuesday because you have Crossfit at 4 PM on the other side of town. In turn, your VA will then use these preferences to anticipate your needs. A customer wants to meet for dinner Tuesday night? No problem – dinner will be no earlier than 7 PM and you’ll have the perfect city view table that you always ask for, so as not to interfere with the gym or to leave your customer unimpressed with a table next to the kitchen. No hassle, no stress, no worries about not having a reservation when you need to make a good impression.
Your VA will read between the lines, and get it right. If you reply to your VA’s e-mails with a one word “yes” or “no,” or even a “<3” like I have experienced many times, he or she won’t think you’re being curt or rude. That’s because your VA knows that short answers are how you work and that you don’t need to elaborate on every little thing. Your VA, over time, will also begin to recognize which people make it on the calendar first, and which people can wait. Or alert you to–and then fix–an impending problem that you may have overlooked due to working on other important items.
Your VA will be able to represent you in absentia. If you are headed out on vacation, leave it to your VA to keep things running smoothly while you are away. He or she can reply to common e-mails with canned responses and continue to schedule appointments for you, so that when you come back from your trip, you won’t have hundreds of e-mails staring you in the face. Your VA will also be able to flag important issues that pop up while you are away, so that they will be the first ones to be tended to on your return. Now you can really relax and avoid being tethered to your phone while you’re on the beach!
All that being said, your VA will treat you like a human with human qualities. We can’t make you your coffee on Monday morning, but we can e-mail you and tease you about how terrible the Cleveland Browns are this season, if you let us. Your VA can be your greatest asset when it’s treated like a partnership. Legends Virtual Assistance (and Baroness Virtual Services!) will find you the team member you didn’t know you needed, and the work spouse you didn’t know you could have.