When I got laid off this summer, one of my closest friends reassured me that I would be ok because I have always been “scrappy.” An awkward silence followed and then I replied, “Um, thanks? . . .”
I’m sure she meant well and that it was one of those intended compliments people give you like, “Wow, you look really comfy today.” Nonetheless, I sat for a minute not really sure what to make of it. Over the past 4 months I have realized that I am indeed scrappy.
A day or two hasn’t passed these last few months without someone asking me if I am working yet, and/or how I am staying busy with my time. I either give the long or the short answer depending on who is asking, and what my mood is that day.
The truth is that I have been staying crazy busy with tons of side work- short version.
Long version - I feel very fortunate for how things have come out of the woodwork and have fallen into place. Some might already know that I have been working as a virtual assistant for over a year for one of my former professors. I know, it kind of sounds kind of futuristic and somewhat Jetson-esque. Anyway, he has an established career with a well-known institution, but also runs a PR consulting firm on the side. I mainly do research for him, edit case studies and manage some of the operational things he doesn’t have time for. For a while, I juggled assisting him and doing my full-time job with HP. I really enjoyed the diversity it added to my daily grind.
After I lost my job this summer, I seriously tossed around the idea of how I could make a business model out of assisting people remotely from my home because I enjoy it so much. I started doing some preliminary research and soon discovered that I wouldn’t be able to compete with the ridiculously low rates that VAs charge in places like India and in the Philippines on sites like Elance.com. They seriously work for practically nothing!
I hadn’t thought twice about the whole thing since then, but somehow managed to pick up two more clients. So, I am now assisting 3 people remotely and it is working out fantastic. The best part is that I will still be able to manage them when I start my new job next month. I will be a crazy lady, but I guess I have always enjoyed a full plate.
While some friends already know the details of my new job, it is still too premature to announce them to the World here. More details to follow . . . stay tuned.