How long should I anticipate my virtual assistant remaining with me?

That is the most frequently asked question by clients, prospective clients, and interviewers. So how long can we anticipate virtual assistants remaining popular? My standard response is always the same: “it depends.” It is contingent upon a variety of factors. However, we must first realign our thinking and gain a better understanding of today’s workforce.

As a small or home-based business owner, do you judge a worker’s tenure in a position based on your own work history? Yes, I agree. This is a grave error. Personally, when I take on a position, I intend to hold it for the duration – I do not quit. Throughout my career, I’ve enjoyed lengthy tenures at each of my jobs. All but one, but that’s another storey for another time.

What we must remember is that not everyone is like us. Particularly with regard to the current workforce. that the days of remaining in the same job for the rest of your life are over. As business owners, we frequently overlook this and become frustrated as a result.
Permit me to state it once more in this article: According to a recent study, Generation Y’s average tenure in a job is 18 months. That is the maximum amount of time you can reasonably expect someone – anyone, brick-and-mortar or virtual – to stay with a job. Allow that thought to percolate for a moment and return to the “that depends” I mentioned earlier.

According to what?
• Events occur in people’s lives – in everyone’s lives. Mine, yours, and that of your virtual assistant.

Consider why you’ve changed jobs in the past. What events in your past necessitated job changes? Pregnancy, sudden depression, a family member’s death, a change in financial obligations, relocation, a change in career goals, a decision to return to school, ailing parents, ailing children, or ailing spouse? Naturally, and there are numerous others. Your virtual assistant is also a human being, and as such, they are subject to all of the above. Any one of these or a variety of other reasons may prompt a virtual assistant to seek employment elsewhere or even to cease operations entirely.

You must enjoy your work. I hope that is something we can all agree on. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re not going to give it your all and will constantly be on the lookout for a better job or opportunity. Virtual assistants, like their physical counterparts, are not immune. I’m not referring to being a virtual assistant in general – though that does happen occasionally – in which a virtual assistant decides she can’t handle the isolation and shuts down her computer. I’m referring to all of the daily tasks that a virtual assistant performs. She may be asked to answer phones for one client, data entry for another, and cold calling for yet another. If she dislikes those responsibilities, she will dislike the job and will request reassignment or will resign entirely.

Consider someone with whom you simply couldn’t see eye to eye. Or perhaps there was the one you’ve always suspected of being creepy or shifty. Would you stay with a boss who instilled those feelings in you? Definitely not! Yet we expect our virtual assistants to perform this function and are incapable of doing so. With 6.6 billion people on the planet, each and every one of them is going to dislike us. And you are unlikely to agree with all of them.

As is the case with the majority of contractors (think home builders, highway construction companies, and other competitive bidders), we impose restrictions, benchmarks, and even penalties on our contractors for non-performance. Again, this occasionally makes us unpopular and may result in a virtual assistant quitting. Would you like us to take any less precautions to protect our clients?

Therefore, when asked “how long can I anticipate my virtual assistant remaining with me,” “It depends,” I always say. As long as nothing goes wrong and there are no compelling reasons for the virtual assistant to depart, she will almost certainly remain.” “It’s all about cause and effect,” one of my daughter’s teachers used to say.

The purpose of this article was to provide you with a better understanding of what to expect in today’s hiring environment and some insight into what can go wrong. That, I hope, has been accomplished. And with a greater understanding, perhaps we will all be less surprised and better prepared when one of our employees – whether physical or virtual – leaves.

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