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    #21 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2010
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Default Re: Do We Need More Than the Name Virtual Assistant? - Clerical Advantage Blog
Hi Kathie! Thanks for pointing it out - there is a great deal of collaboration within the industry and by some of the organizations. I should have worded that better - because I didn't mean to minimize the work that has been done by some very dedicated people!
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    #22 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2010
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Default Re: Do We Need More Than the Name Virtual Assistant? - Clerical Advantage Blog
Martsgirl - Thanks so much for your input on this. Great to see things from the other side, and you do have a huge challenge, probably bigger than we Americans face.

What a great discussion. A one time, I thought the term, virtual assistant, was becoming useless, but I find myself referring to it more often. I definitely specialize, and these are the services I mention most, but the bottom line is that I'm a VA, which is to say I work in partnership with my clients, from my own office.

So all you VAs out there who blog, how about coming back to this subject sometime soon? Let's all get in there and educate!
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    #23 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2010
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Default Re: Do We Need More Than the Name Virtual Assistant? - Clerical Advantage Blog
I certainly do Mary, I blog regularly and often and am always about educating the public - including other VAs, about our industry and what we do. I guess collectively we'll all make a difference.
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Old 10-23-2010
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Default Re: Do We Need More Than the Name Virtual Assistant? - Clerical Advantage Blog
suggestion too could be VA - Specializing in... -- i.e. Virtual Assistant - Specializing in Legal Transcription ... etc.
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Old 10-26-2010
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Default Re: Do We Need More Than the Name Virtual Assistant? - Clerical Advantage Blog
This is such an interesting topic. Think about it this way, the term "Doctor" we all know what one is and have an idea of what they do - help people who are sick or have some sort of ailment. However, there are many different specialties within the medical field. You have cardiologists, pediatricians, neurologists, etc. When it comes right down to it though - they are all classified as doctors and as soon as you hear the word doctor, you instantly know what one is. You may not know exactly what their specialty is, but you know right away what their purpose and mission is. I think the same thing is true for VAs and would be my reasoning as to sticking behind the term we use to classify ourselves, Virtual Assistant.

Just like doctors or any other profession where specialties exist, many of us have our own special area of expertise - some bookkeeping, others website maintenance and others calendar management, etc. Then you also have Author Assistants, Real Estate Assistants, I can go on and on. Overall though - a Virtual Assistant's purpose and mission is generally the same - to assist business owners with their business tasks in order to help them succeed.

Wouldn't it be grand, if one day, when someone hears the term Virtual Assistant - they automatically know what our purpose and mission is; much like the doctor scenario I posted above? I think we have some way to go before Virtual Assistant is on par with the term doctor - but if we can continue to educate people about what is that we do and connect that with the term Virtual Assistant - we will get there.
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Old 10-26-2010
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Post Re: Do We Need More Than the Name Virtual Assistant? - Clerical Advantage Blog
Hi,

The term 'virtual assistant' is also being used by the tech industry, and has been for some time, for digital characters or services that interact with the user (chat bots, virtual agents or 'artificial assistants' as I prefer to call them).

The problem I foresee for the future, is that this type of technology will become more and more commonplace. Siri is already available for the iPhone and calls itself a 'virtual personal assistant'. In the future, your car and your house will most likely have this type of 'virtual assistant' (with 'virtual maid', 'virtual butler', etc. falling within this).

I call myself a freelance secretary, or freelance proofreader, or freelance web designer, making sure that the term off-site is in there somewhere, but I class our services as falling under the umbrella of 'virtual assistance' and hence I provide a 'virtual assistant service'.

The issue of what services a virtual assistant should offer and what type of work a virtual assistant handled was also up for debate a while ago. I don't take being dictated to (in the non-transcription sense!) very well, and that's the point this part of me appears -- I wrote a response on our blog back in 2008 (http://www.freelancealot.co.uk/Heral...istant-debate/).

Cheers,

Tracy
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    #27 (permalink)  
Old 10-26-2010
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Default Re: Do We Need More Than the Name Virtual Assistant? - Clerical Advantage Blog
I gave up using the term Virtual Assistant locally some time ago, though I do use it to some extent on the web. If I say that to someone I meet at a networking event they go glassy eyed, mumble something like "that's nice" and wander off. I use the term "Executive Secretarial Services", both on my brochure and vehicle signage - that they get at once - and once I've got their attention and interest I slide the virtual aspect in if/as necessary.

I'm older than most of you and really don't have, or want to spend, 10 years educating the public. I just want to maintain a few quality clients. My approach, since implemented, is working well. It's whatever works for you.

Just my own personal experience.

Lynne
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    #28 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2010
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Default Re: Do We Need More Than the Name Virtual Assistant? - Clerical Advantage Blog
I use the term virtual assistant so others understand the term but after many years in management, it always sounds strange to me. I prefer virtual manager, virtual supervisor, or virtual executive.
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Old 11-01-2010
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Default Re: Do We Need More Than the Name Virtual Assistant? - Clerical Advantage Blog
I'm actually in the process of adjusting my title to Virtual Online Technology Assistant and Online Technology Administrator. I don't want to abandon the Virtual Assistant title, but did feel that my offerings were such that I needed more of a designation associated with it.
It was a difficult decision for me, since I've been very involved in trying to educate about virtual assistants, including teaching several classes and courses on it. I definitely didn't want to abandon the term. For me this was the answer. I'm still a virtual assistant, just one that specializes in online technology administration.
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    #30 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2010
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Default Re: Do We Need More Than the Name Virtual Assistant? - Clerical Advantage Blog
I completely agree with you, Crystal. Several years ago it looked like it might come to fruition, but it looks like there is even more sub-grouping going on than there was five years ago. Sad, really. As an industry, I think it really shoots us in the foot to not find a way to present ourselves cohesively.
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