I was browsing my Facebook feed and am shortly heading out to the supermarket, but I felt compelled to share this article someone shared on my feed.
This article resonates with me in a strange way. I’ve helped out my friend as a Virtual Assistant for a year or two now, and I’ve shied away from telling people that this is what I’d like to be doing for many, many years to come. I am met with statements like “Don’t you want to get a real job?” or “Why not start your own business then?” and many other comments of that nature. Every time people say these things, I feel like I’m being told I’m too good for such a job. Too smart. I can do better. It feels like nobody considers this a ‘real job’.
The thing is, I know the work I do for my friend is valuable to her. We’re both anxiously waiting for my living situation to improve so that I have a stable connection and a quiet place to work from so I can up my game and work more and work better. Being an assistant is not something you should dismiss as a job for an unskilled person. If I were to ask half the people who make snide remarks to please do these tasks I was assigned, they wouldn’t know how to do it. They’d be surprised at how much time it takes even someone who works fast to do half the things I do. They’d feel lost and unsure what to do.
At this time I’m not interested in running my own web development business. Maybe in a couple of years that’s something I can and would love to do. But I’m mentally too unstable for that responsibility and I’d rather work for someone who works with my shortcomings than struggle and burn myself out in a week’s time. I love the glowing feeling I get from taking weight off my friend’s shoulders. I love the gratitude I get. I love that I get paid for feeling useful and valued. Why in heaven’s name would I want to give that up and be one of those people who posts on Clients from Hell?