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The Dilemma of a Virtual Assistant

Based in the Philippines, I have been working online and remotely for the best part of a decade, before it became the “it” thing and probably before the term “digital nomad” was coined. It has given more so much freedom and working for a company based in the US, pays extremely well in comparison to local jobs.

My role as a virtual assistant is to process orders for our company, deal with complaints and just generally provide good customer service. Occasionally I may be required to do other tasks but day-to-day I have a routine pretty much set. The job can get fairly repetitive but it pays so well that I cannot complain, although my scope and opportunity for progression is slightly restricted due to not being based locally. However, I have found myself in a dilemma.

Our company uses fairly old systems, from our order system to our meeting room booker, everything is quite outdated and honestly, from my perspective which is not from the top, quite restrictive to growth. We do not have a digital booking system so everything is manually inputted from phone calls and voicemails left. I believe a modern website order system would completely do away with 90% of this work by making it automated. No longer would orders be at the mercy of the person inputting these manually, and there would be so much more clarity if all the orders were in black and white, not occasionally open to interpretation if the voicemail is not clear.

So what is the dilemma? Again, from my perspective, it is that such a system would mean that the majority of my work is no longer required. I understand that my work is quite inefficient by current standards, but from a selfish standpoint, I would not want to lose this job, even if it comes at the cost of the company not fulfilling its potential. Many times I have wanted to tell my boss to create a completely new order system and get the customers to switch over to that, but old habits die hard and many would not be happy having to adjust to a new way of ordering after so many years.

I want to be part of a growing and successful business, and I can say I am at the moment. But I realise that if things do not change and this business does not evolve, then it is only a matter of time before the competition wipes the floor with us. The hardest part is thinking that my very role in this company is an indication of what is wrong with it. I wonder, is it possible for me to upskill and train to be a crucial part of this evolution, or will I be what they need to cut loose to progress. This is the dilemma of a virtual assistant.


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