Last Sunday, the Simbang Gabi started here in the Philippines. It also started the Christmas caroling. Children of the neighbors and other nearby communities are going from house to house to sing Christmas songs in exchange for a few pesos.
This time of the season never fail to make me feel nostalgic, as I have also experienced doing Christmas carols myself with my neighborhood friends when I was a kid. There was a time when our collected money for one night amounted to P 100.00, a time when that amount was a big value (okay, you may start guessing my age).
But come to think of it, virtual assistants can learn a thing or two from these Christmas carolers (ah, what can we not learn from the innocence of a child?).
1. Carolers do prepare. I remember making a list of songs to play and the musical instruments that we will ask our parents to create for us (please tell me you had that musical instrument made of tansan and alambre!)
In the same way, virtual assistants also prepare – from the first moment he wanted to work from home up to the time he is ready to work. A VA must have a computer with great specs (I learned from my mentor that an SSD drive will make your computer faster), a very fast Internet, a VA resume, and a lot of skills piled up in a portfolio (like this blog!).
2. Carolers do have confidence. Kids can never go from house to house and sing for all who cared (and their hearts out) if not for confidence. A VA has to have a lot of guts to be able to find the best job for him. A VA is able to show his skills, positions himself well (like ANN Exceptional VA – I wonder who’s that), and knows his price.
When the house owner says “Patawad!” Christmas carolers will just shrug their shoulders and go to the next house. To them, hope is not lost. A VA is also like that – especially when all he does is apply and apply and apply and get nothing. To a VA, hope is not lost.
3. Carolers are composed of two or many. Though these past few years, I have seen many kids going solo, the ideal number of carolers is two to many. As a VA, one may work with many VAs who are stationed anywhere in the world. And their goal is to work as one to make their client and their customers delighted.
In the same way, a VA working from home does not mean he is alone. He still has friends to go to make sure he is sane. And a family to literally spend time with every day.
4. Carolers update themselves. These past few years, children will sing new songs. Most of them are new to me because I only get to listen to the FM radio on weekends.
VAs also update themselves by getting on a new course or undergoing a mentoring program, checking a new app or software, or reading books or useful websites.
I hope the kids who are singing outside our homes this season are not a disturbance to our VA work. Let them be a break for us to stand up from our computer, walk outside the house, and give them their due (I hope you’re not always shouting “Patawad!”).
Have an Exceptional and Happy Christmas, everyone!