Frequently Asked Questions For VAs

Become a Virtual Assistant with Don't Panic

What skills do I need to become a virtual assistant?

The “hard skills” required to become a virtual assistant are always changing—but some of the services Don’t Panic offers that we look for in our team include: past admin experience, strong writing skills, audio and/or video editing experience, digital marketing experience, and a knowledge of popular virtual collaboration apps like Slack, Google Workspace, and general task management apps. We know very few people have all these skills at once, and that’s fine! Some of our VAs specialize in one or two of these things, some can do most of them.

The “soft skills” include the desire and ability to motivate yourself in a work-from-home environment, an ultra-organized brain, a friendly attitude, and a curious mind. You can read more about what we think makes a great virtual assistant here.

How does Don’t Panic help virtual assistants?

At Don’t Panic, our goal is to help you lead a more purposeful, independent life while helping others. We love seeing people kicking the 9-to-5 grind to the curb and building a “work to live” mentality instead of a “live to work” one. With that in mind, we try to make it easier to become a virtual assistant and maintain an efficient, streamlined business.

Think of us as a matchmaking and management service. We’ll help connect you with clients whose needs fit your skills and whose work styles fit your personality so you can help us build long-lasting, successful business relationships. Our agency handles client contracts, negotiations, and billing so you can simply focus on getting your work done instead of worrying about all the nitty gritty details of running a business.

What’s the difference between working as a contractor and an employee for Don’t Panic?

All of our virtual assistants begin work as contractors for Don’t Panic. And that’s great news for you! As a contractor, you are your own boss. You set your availability, decide when and how you complete work for your clients, and can accept or decline new client contracts as you see fit.

Once you hit either three months or 15 hours per week of client work, you are promoted to a part-time employee. Assistants who work at least 20 hours per week are eligible for benefits, including health insurance and 401k.

All work is done on a retainer basis aside from occasional (optional) projects. Hours must be submitted in our HR tool in order to receive a PO for payment.

Is Don’t Panic hiring?

We hire on a rolling basis and are always interested in hearing from virtual assistants looking to make a connection with a new agency! You can learn more about how we work by visiting the Join Our Team page or filling out our VA Interest Form to get connected with our recruitment team.

Because we can never predict when the right client match for you will come along, there is often a waiting period between the time you interview and the time you officially get hired and matched with a client. However, we often find that when the right people come along, the stars align and we find great work for you within a couple of weeks.

How do I apply to become a Don’t Panic virtual assistant?

If you’d like to inquire about becoming a part of our fabulous team, you can start by filling out our interest form. From there, someone from our recruitment team will reach out to you about setting up an interview to discuss your experience and professional goals.

Do you have an office? Are there any tools I need to work with Don’t Panic?

In true virtual assistant fashion, Don’t Panic is a 100% remote team. We have no physical office space. Our team members work from home offices, coworking spaces, and coffee shops around the country.

To become a Don’t Panic virtual assistant, you’ll need a reliable computer and a strong internet connection. It’s also really great if you have the ability to navigate virtual collaboration tools like Google Drive, Slack, and standard project management tools. We use these tools every day and it's important you know your way around them.

When will I get my first client?

Once you get through the interview process, the next step is a paid test project to ensure your work meets the high quality standards we hold for everyone we work with. After you pass the test project, you'll be officially added to our roster of rockstar assistants. From there, we set about finding you your first client.

Of course, this can be where you hit a “hurry up and wait” period. We want to match every client with their perfect assistant, which might mean someone else gets matched before you do, even if you have the same skills. For example, if we have a client looking for admin support who works on the East Coast and takes all their meetings in the morning, but you live in California and prefer to work in the afternoons, it’s simply not a good fit. But we’ll find that special someone for you as soon as possible! In most cases, this takes place within one to three months of completing your test project (and we always strive for it to be sooner).

Am I allowed to accept my own clients outside of Don’t Panic?

Absolutely! Don’t Panic is just one of many ways you can find clients to fill your time. Our contracts do include a non-compete and non-solicitation clause, which means that you cannot work with our clients or any clients who have gone through the discovery process with us on your own. But there is plenty of work to be done out there, so as long as you’re not pursuing one of our own business partners, we love to see you thrive!

What does a typical work day look like at Don’t Panic?

The best thing about working as a virtual assistant is how much control you have over your work schedule! As a VA, you can work from wherever you want and (almost) whenever you want!

Most admin clients prefer to have their assistant available during typical office hours, but our deliverables-based clients (blog writing, content curation, podcast production, etc.) simply need the work done by the assigned deadline! For some of our assistants, this means logging on a few hours in the morning before picking up their little ones from daycare. For others, it means doing their best writing after the sun goes down. For others still, a typical day might involve logging on and off several times between errands, activities, and other obligations. You choose the schedule that best fits your clients' needs and your energy levels. Getting work done well and on time is our only requirement.

What is a typical client-load?

We work on retainer with our clients and our minimum retainer starts at five hours per week. Ideally, we like all of our team members to work at least 15 hours per week. That may mean one, two, or even three clients. It all depends. We typically don't like to assign more than four clients to one assistant because managing all of those personalities can get a bit overwhelming.

During the interview process, we'll ask you how many hours or projects per week you'd ideally like to take on, and we’ll do our best to match you with a set of clients who fit the bill. If at any time your availability changes, keep us updated, and we’ll adjust accordingly.

What’s it like working with Don’t Panic?

Working with Don’t Panic is like sitting in the shade, reading a good book.

Working with Don’t Panic is like sharing a really good laugh with your friends over happy hour drinks.

Working with Don’t Panic is like getting your purpose back, redefining your professional life, and building a career you didn’t even realize was possible.

Yeah, it’s that awesome. Interested in joining us? Read our manifesto or fill out our interest form today.

Ready to make your dream of a freelancing lifestyle a reality?

We are a whole team of people just like you, and we're here to support you on your path to independence. Let's figure out how we can put you to work!

Not ready? Take control of your work with our VA training course

If you're a self-motivated worker who craves the benefits of working from home and setting your own schedule but you don't know where to begin, this is the training you've been waiting for!