As a bonafide millennial, I can safely say that it’s a hard knock life out there for us in the workplace. It seems like people are either harping on how entitled we are (how dare you demand more pay and a work/life balance or save money by living with your parents because you’re too saddled with student loan debt from getting that degree we told you that you needed to afford a house in the overpriced, unregulated market!) or asking us how social media works (I dunno bro, I’m just here to unclog this toilet).
Article after article after article is written about how to engage and retain us in the workforce (literally). But what do we get out of the deal? Has anybody even asked us that question yet??
Because let me tell you what I want from a job. I want to make a living wage, spend less time in an office and/or commuting, have the freedom to make decisions on how I use my time, and be a valued and impactful team member. Finding a position to fit that bill is surprisingly difficult as many employers are stuck in the idea that quantity (in terms of hours spent at a desk) trumps quality when it comes to work.
Ultimately for me, it’s not about how many hours you work but what you do in the hours that you do work.
Work doesn’t need to be measured in hours and you shouldn’t have to choose between awkwardly eating lunch with coworkers or paying for parking. There has got to be a better way to pay bills and live your life!
Finding The Professional Unicorn
“So that’s great and all, Julia, but these jobs don’t exist. They are professional unicorns… mythical beasts that are both wondrous to behold and financially stable.” ~Probably you, rn
The key to being a millennial is we don’t settle. We are not whiny and entitled nor do we expect things served to us on an eco-friendly, free-range platter. We just know what we want to get out of our limited number of trips around the sun and go for it. Hard.
That’s not laziness, it’s ambition, damnit!
So what is this magical unicorn of work? Where can it be found? How do you apply? And, most importantly, what do you get out of the deal?
It’s 2017 so the answer is, like most answers, found online.
Enter Stage Right: Virtual Assistant
We see the term “virtual assistant” thrown around more and more these days, but what ARE they?
Virtual assistants (VAs) are work-from-anywhere entrepreneurs with a diverse skill set that can be tasked with anything from acting as an off-site personal secretary to producing podcasts to being a remote project manager for a thriving business.
If it can be accomplished over email/phone, then it can be done by a VA.
But I’m not here to tell somebody why they should hire a freelance VA. Plenty of people are already doing it as evidenced by the freelance economy becoming a larger and larger component of the American workforce.
I’m here to tell you, my fellow millennial, why this career is a perfect fit for our particular brand of professionalism.
You Want It? We Got It.
Are you broke af, want more autonomy at work, and are sick of the 9-to-5 grind? Want to be your own boss and take charge of your career? WORKING AS A VA CAN DO THAT.
Let’s break it down.
Having trouble making ends meet? Can’t seem to buy that avocado toast everybody keeps saying we buy? Well I got good news for you, my ramen-eating friend! In 2016, the majority of freelancers who left a full-time job made more money within one year of their new career.
Jumping ship and working as a freelance VA is not the dicey territory it once was! Business is booming, people are hiring, and you can actually make more working as your own boss than working for somebody else.
Autonomy and the 9-to-5 grind.
It’s 3pm on a Friday and all your work is completed. Do you:
A. Stare at your inbox for two hours or until your boss leaves the office
If you’re a VA, the answer is always B. Working as a freelancer means your productivity is measured in output, not time spent at a desk. If you are finished with your work, you can leave! You have the freedom to control every minute of your day without having to report or explain it to others.
Bonus: Even if you aren’t finished, you can still leave because as a VA the world is your office and you can work from a-n-y-where.
Take charge of your career.
A common theme throughout millennial griping is that we want too much. We want better pay, we want better benefits, we want more control, we want a seat at the table, want want want!
Here’s the deal. We work hard and we want to move forward. We don’t want to put our career on hold and just wait for somebody to retire so there’s room at the top.
There is nobody that understands this drive and ambition more than yourself. As a VA, you are in charge of your own career advancement.
Want to explore podcast production? There are no forms for professional development, no managerial approval, no waiting until the next fiscal year, no PTO for conferences. Go to the library or write off a Lynda.com membership and do it. Boom! You have just promoted yourself up the freelance ladder.
Being a VA is more than “just answering the phone from home.”
It has evolved into a work-from-anywhere entrepreneurial career that gives you flexibility, freedom, and financial stability that can’t be beat.
Plus where else can you write blogs with memes and communicate in bitmojis?
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