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Young, inexperienced, and under-skilled, millions of Kenyan youths usually draw the short end of the stick in the job market.

High unemployment rates don’t help matters either.

But that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to maisha ya uliza kiatu.

If you’re having trouble securing a traditional job, maybe it’s time to rethink your approach.

Thanks to the internet, most companies are open to hiring remote workers from anywhere in the world.

Such developments lift the geographical limitations on your job search efforts and increase the chances of securing gainful employment online. 

Hii vibe inakunice?

Here’s a guide to help you secure virtual assistant jobs online and excel at them

Who Is a Remote or Virtual Assistant?

They are a group of savvy individuals who’ve taken advantage of the internet to secure employment from companies across the world.

They are also known as online workers since all they need to discharge their duties is a working computer and stable internet connection.

You can think of a virtual assistant as a personal assistant or secretary who fulfills their duties through the internet.

These positions can be either full-time or part-time, and you can work for a company located anywhere in the world.

There are some virtual assistant jobs for beginners as well as those that require specific skills, meaning just about anyone can join the bandwagon.  

What Are My Job Opportunities as a Virtual Assistant?

With too many online job scams going on in Kenya at the moment, it’s only fair that you’re sceptical about such opportunities.

Too many people have been caught up in the web of lies, and it cost them dearly.

You should know there’s a growing demand for virtual assistants across the world. Busy executives and entrepreneurs need help to run their businesses or streamline their lives.

Virtual assistants step in to help such individuals free up their time without neglecting their duties and responsibilities.  

Here are some of the tasks you’re likely to handle in your role as a remote assistant.

eCommerce Remote Assistant

In this role, you’ll be helping e-commerce store owners in the daily running of the businesses and outgrow the competition.

Some of your duties will include:

  • Managing and updating inventory
  • Writing product descriptions
  • Improving the store’s online visibility
  • Carrying out competitor analyses
  • Providing customer support through live chat and email
  • Managing the store’s orders
  • Updating product categories
  • Streamlining the product return and exchange process

Chances are that you don’t have some of the skills necessary to assume the role of an eCommerce virtual assistant.

If that’s the case, you can simply enroll at Small Revolution School and hone your skills to a high level.

Virtual Administrative Assistant

This is mainly an administrative role where you’ll be charged with handling administrative tasks such as billing, accounting, managing contact lists, basic HR tasks, and more.

Main responsibilities include:

  • Making travel arrangements
  • Managing customers
  • Basic accounting
  • Handling calls and responding to emails
  • Setting up meetings and managing calendars
  • Processing documents

Remote Research Assistant

As the name suggests, this role calls for a considerable amount of research for your clients. Some of your duties would include:

  • Compiling research data
  • Seeking out guest blogging opportunities
  • Identifying growth opportunities
  • Tracking competitors
  • Presenting data and research information
  • Conducting competitive intelligence
  • Comparing prices among different vendors

Data Entry Virtual Assistant

As the name suggests, this role is all about data entry tasks. 

In this role, you’ll be:

Remote Bookkeeping Assistant

All businesses – big and small – need to keep their books in great shape to avoid running into financial headwinds. As such, bookkeepers are in high demand. For this role, you must be conversant with bookkeeping software such as Quickbooks, NetSuite, or Xero.

Some of your roles will include:

  • Processing payroll
  • Managing inventory
  • Managing revenue expenditure
  • Reconciling credit cards and the bank
  • Reconciling business accounts and project cash flow
  • Budgeting and end-of-year accounting
  • Streamline bookkeeping and record-keeping processes
  • Handling bookkeeping data

Remote Marketing Assistant

Entrepreneurs need reliable help to market their products and services through social media, email, websites, and more.

Some of the duties in this role include:

  • Conducting keyword research
  • Social media marketing
  • Creating and running AdWord campaigns
  • Developing fresh content for social media
  • Promoting blog posts
  • Generating business leads
  • Launching email marketing campaigns  

Qualities of a Successful Virtual Assistant

Most sought-after virtual assistants have some common traits, so it’s important you possess some desirable interpersonal skills.

Some of these skills include:

  • Polished communication skills – both verbal and written
  • Resourcefulness
  • Ability to inspire confidence and manage expectations
  • Ability to work independently
  • Exceptional resilience
  • Flexible, dynamic, and open-minded
  • Reliable, consistent, and dependable
  • Patient, empathetic, understanding and tolerant
  • Honest and trustworthy
  • Personable and self-motivated
  • A professional problem solver

You don’t need to jump through hoops to excel as a virtual assistant.

You just need to dive right in, as if you belong.

Once you have the necessary skills in the bag, you can simply sweep into action and get the word out.

Pricing Your Services

Your rate card will largely depend on your skills, the job itself, and your professional experience.

However, don’t get hung up on the charges too much when starting out. Some clients on tight budgets can offer as low as Kshs 300 an hour for your services.

At best that’s a lowball offer. However, if a client retains you for 40 hours a week, that would amount to Kshs 12,000 weekly.

That’s Kshs 48,000 monthly, which is an impressive amount by Kenyan standards.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

Surprisingly, you only need four fundamental things to get started as a virtual assistant.

  • A marketable skill. Some roles require specialized skills while others only need you to be computer savvy. You can start out as a generalist and build your specialization as you go.

    Be sure to embrace all learning opportunities that come your way, as they help to grow your skills and income level.
  • A reliable computer – laptop or desktop. You don’t need a new or expensive laptop for a virtual assistant gig.

    A second-hand laptop (at least a core2duo) with a good battery is enough for the job. It’s likely to set you back about Kshs 15,000.
  • A stable internet connection. Your choice of internet service provider depends on where you live.

    An unlimited home connection from Safaricom, Faiba, or Zuku starts from Kshs 3,000 monthly. Portable modems start from Kshs 1,000. Set aside at least Kshs 2,000 monthly for internet bundles.
  • A commitment to excel. Despite working from your living room in your shorts and vest, remote assistants have real duties and responsibilities.

    Your clients depend on you to help them run their businesses smoothly. As such, you need the grit to grind through tough tasks and assignments.

Finding Virtual Assistant Jobs in Kenya

Kama hiyo risto ya kuwa virtual assistant imekunice, then usisleki. 

Pitia pale kaziwork.com uone ni jobs gani ziko available.

Hii site hu-list online virtual assistant jobs, among others. 

Pia unaeza upload CV yako ndio potential clients wapate details zako. Mwenye atalike your profile ataeza reach out na job offer.

Photo by pch.vector / CC BY

Katrina
Author

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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