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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

OFFICE WORKERS CAREER CENTRE

Virtual solutions

By Lamees Awweh
Special to The Sun


The corporate world has come a long way since the days of scribes and secretaries. No longer are we chiseling information onto clay, nor are we responsible for only one task assigned by one single person.
MICHELLE JAMISON
Founder of the Canadian Virtual Assistant Network


The office worker field in particular has evolved throughout the years due to technological advancement, availability of outsourcing opportunities and organizational structural changes.

One response to these changes has been the creation of the "Virtual Assistance" field. A Virtual Assistant (VA), is an independent entrepreneur who utilizes the latest forms of technological systems of communication and data delivery to provide administrative support to companies.

These professionals often work from their own homes or offices, on a contract basis, to complete an assigned project or assignment that organizations have decided to outsource.

One such professional is Michelle Jamison, founder and president of a virtual assistant company. She says the biggest indication of the administrative field changing is the existence of the virtual assistance profession itself.

"Work is no longer confined to four walls or to a specific corporation. Technology has allowed them to do all the things that were only previously available in a corporate setting," Jamison says.

Clients around the world

Jamison was introduced to the profession in late 1998 and worked to develop an excellent reputation as a leader in the field. In 2001, Jamison collected her experience and talent in this profession to founded MJVA & Associates, a multi-VA, full-service company that offers virtual administrative professional assistance to clients around the world.

A few years later she founded the Canadian Virtual Assistant Network (www.canadianva.net), which is dedicated to provide further awareness of the profession here in Canada.

Virtual Assistants often take comfort in the amount of flexibility that this profession grants them. "Being your own time manager allows one to decide how often to work, who to work for and what projects to take on," Jamison says.

"That also means that no two days on the job are the same as a result of the diversity of the tasks and assignments."

A second main advantage is the cost savings that occurs due to working from home and not having to commute to work every day -- where unnecessary expenses are incurred.

This profession should not be viewed as a hobby or a sideline job. It has become the basis and foundation of survival for many individuals who have taken advantage of the constantly changing marvels that technology provides. It is clear that this truly revolutionary field will continue to be embraced within our increasingly inter-connected and demanding world.



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