Is it time to stop calling ourselves 'Virtual Assistants'?

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On My Wings

Member
Re: VACOC - Any thoughts on the VACOC? (Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce)

[Administrative note: because of the value of the conversation itself and to keep the original conversation on-topic, the first few posts of this thread have been moved from another thread on a different topic, feel free to continue the new topic here...]

...There is a change in that VAVOC is now the Administrative Consultant's Association. I'm not sure I can wrap my head around that one totally - although I did sit on the idea for a few days. I just feel that Administrative Support Consultant just doesn't fit - but she is making an effort to change the terminology for our industry. She states - and I'm paraphrasing so hope I get it exactly right - that the term Virtual Assistant is becoming something that is not respected. That was the jist of what I got.
 

kathiemt

New Member
Re: VACOC - Any thoughts on the VACOC? (Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce)

There's been quite a discussion at LinkedIn about the Virtual Assistant title. The general consensus is we're not about to change our title - it is an industry title. Yes, some have hopped on the bandwagon and used it but it's an education process by us all to let our clients know who we are and what we do. If we changed the industry name we'd have to re-educate all those who do know what we are. Personally I'm happy with the title and keeping it.
 

uniquely40

New Member
Re: VACOC - Any thoughts on the VACOC? (Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce)

Hello Forum:

The owner of the VACOC has mind set that a Virtual Assistant is another word for Secretary and we're much more. the word Virtual have several meaning ( having the essence or effect but not the appearance or form of, i.e a virtual revolution). Assistant, it could be noun or an adjective, and it has several meaning also (a person who assists or gives aid and support; helper. ) Both definitions were taken from dictionary.com website.

Nowhere in the descriptions of the two words, did I encounter the word Secretary. We as Virtual Assistant are much more that Secretaries. We are Assistant's that have a background in Accounting, Web Designing, Copy writing, Office preparedness, researching, investigating, etc. We have gone virtual and have given the appearance that we are in a traditional office setting.

I have visited her site, and if you're a newbie starting in this business you will be disappointed and think this isn't for me. I just want everyone in this forum to know that's just one person outlook on this industry and it doesn't mean it is so. Do your research and you'll find your answers. Good Luck to You All.:applause:
 

kathiemt

New Member
Re: VACOC - Any thoughts on the VACOC? (Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce)

Actually the first person known to be called a Virtual Assistant was Stacey Brice by a client of hers who was distant/remote from her. He called her his own Virtual Assistant and it took off from there. I believe that was in the early 90s. Stacey is from AssistU.com and I believe the client was Thomas Leonard who founded Coachville.

In the early days homebased secretaries were the ones who became Virtual Assistants (I was one of them in 1994) but the industry has evolved, just as the internet and technology has. We have grown beyond being 'home-based secretaries' to something much more because technology allows us to offer so much more.

With respect to the meaning, that's a great way to put it.
 
Re: VACOC - Any thoughts on the VACOC? (Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce)

Just to add some history on the progression of use of the term virtual assistant, after Stacy launched her training program, and others jumped on the bandwagon, the term virtual assistant began picking up steam in the late 1990s and VA associations/groups formed.

Our problem, however, was that when we talked with prospective clients they didn't understand how we could support them from our home offices. In 2003, the then established VA associations and individual VAs, under the auspices of the Alliance for Virtual Businesses, banned together and initiated a unified worldwide publicity campaign to educate businesses about exactly who we were and what we do -- and that was the spark that ignited worldwide acceptance of the term virtual assistant and what we do.

It's been 10 years since the initial efforts to promote and push this industry into the mainstream, and have us accepted as vital contributors to the development and growth of businesses. I strongly urge everyone to continue using the term virtual assistant, because frankly, it would take another 10+ years for something else to catch on -- but more important, it is an accurate description of our industry.

As stated before, as must change with the times -- but that doesn't mean change who we are or the term we use to describe our industry.
 

Tess

Administrator
Staff member
All good arguments against a mass exodus away from using a term that the public is finally starting to recognize and understand.

Also wanted to add a link to another thread on the boards that touches on this same topic in case anyone is interested.
 
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