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"Interview at Virtual Assistants Forum"

Periodically I get asked for an interview with a VA forum and I’d like to share with you one from early this year. Virtual Assistant Forums has over 1700 members from all around the world and is a lively board forum for those who want to know more about being a Virtual Assistant. Tess was the interviewer and I asked her if I could share this here as there is information that many new VAs would like to read.

I encourage to you check out various VA forums – belonging to more than one is certainly encouraged as it will give you different perspectives on things and allow you to make friends in your industry worldwide.

Kathie M. Thomas is a successful Virtual Assistant with a 13+ year old practice. She was a VA before the term ‘virtual assistant’ was in use, founding A Clayton’s Secretary in March 1994. Prior to establishing her business she had a background of 23 years’ secretarial/administrative experience in the corporate world, working for CEOs and MDs as well as project groups. Kathie has accreditations in the Virtual Assistant Industry as a Master Virtual Assistant and an Accredited Secretary Online. She has also been accredited as a Public Speaker through the National Speakers Association in Australia and is a member of the International Association of Coaching. Kathie currently manages a network of virtual assistants with members in 16 countries.

Kathie very kindly took the time to answer a few questions for us about her thriving practice and her place in the industry (if you have any questions or comments for Kathie feel free to reply directly to this thread!)

How long have you been a professional Virtual Assistant and how many hours a week do you currently devote to your practice?

Almost 14 years and I work full time. When I’m not doing client work I’m always doing some research, or starting a new project or doing some writing.

What kind of experience and/or training did you bring with you to your practice?

Around 23 years corporate experience. Very little formal training – most of it was on the job.

How often do you work over the weekend?

In my first 5 years I did a lot of work on weekends – as it came I did it. It was important to build a reliable reputation. Eventually I was able to say ‘no’ to clients and have them respect that I wasn’t available to them. I also needed to pull back and have some time to myself. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t at the computer – I almost always am. I belong to a number of forums and have lots of friends and associates online. And I love experimenting with new software.

Do you ever work in your pajamas?

No, never. Well, I was once in my nightie and dressinggown – it was for the inaugural Online International Virtual Assistants Convention (OIVAC) and I was the MC for the awards night. I was able to tell everyone I was in a gown for the special event. For me it was early morning and I’d just gotten up – it was evening in the US.

Of all the projects you’ve ever been involved in, which / what kind do you most enjoy?

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