Becoming A Virtual Assistant – Are There Any Age Boundaries?

By February 11, 2009 General 10 Comments

The great thing about becoming a Virtual Assistant is that there are no age boundaries. It’s not like the corporate world where you’re judged by your age, or appearance for that matter. Just think, how many times have you heard about people not being able to find jobs because they’re ‘over a certain age’?

If you’ve got the skills and experience, this isn’t a factor when you’re a Virtual Assistant. In fact, being older can actually be an advantage in that you”ll have more experience and maturity, which will benefit clients.

Ultimately, clients don’t care ‘how old’ you are. Sometimes, they don’t even know what you look like! All they want is someone who can do the work, someone who is a good personality fit and someone who they can count on.

This should be an inspiration to those of you who have written to me saying that you’re being forced into retirement by your employer. If you’re not ready to retire yet, you still have the option to work at home as a Virtual Assistant and takeĀ  control over your life.

For those of you who are nowhere near retirement age, just consider that one day you may be in a similar position – forced into early retirement by an employer wanting to cut back on outgoings. It can be difficult to find alternative employment the older you get. But as a Virtual Assistant, you won’t have this problem! As I said earlier, clients simply want someone reliable to assist them in their business, and if you have the right skills, personality and experience, age doesn’t come into it.

Anyone have any experiences or thoughts to share? Please add your comments below.

10 Comments

  • Heather says:

    I fully agree. Age is not a barrier in becoming a VA. As long as you have the skills, there is no reason whatsoever that you can’t do the same job as someone who is younger. I have a few years left until I feel that I want to retire but there is no way that I’m going to stop learning – or working. Luckily here in Canada, the retirement age of 65 has been cancelled and we can work as long as we want. Age is just a number!

  • Your absolutely right, age is nothing but a number. I am 51 years old and still looking for ways to supplement my income. For me being a Virtual Assistant gives me the flexibility I need to handle other business during the day depending on what the work load may be for that day, while caring for my 79 year old dad.

    What I would like information on if you have it, is how can you get clients. I have spent so much money on advertising, buying stamps, buying promotional items and much more, and still cannot seems to attract clients. Can you help me? Looking forward to a response.

  • Lisa Taliga says:

    Hi Ms Executive,

    In my experience, advertising isn’t really the best way to go when looking for clients for your business. Fortunately, there are lots of other ways to find clients. I’ve had great results from networking offline and online, having my own website rank well in the search engines, blogging, and article writing, amongst other techniques. You can read more articles about how to get clients here:

    http://www.virtualpabusiness.com/blog/category/marketing/

    And yes, Virtual Assistance sounds perfect if you want to work around your commitments as a carer.

  • Lisa Taliga says:

    Hi Heather

    Yes, it’s also about continuing to learn as well, not only to work. As a Virtual Assistant, there are always new things to learn, to keep your mind active!

  • I totally agree with you Lisa. When I was faced with redundancy for the fifth time at the age of 54 I decided that I didn’t want to be attending interviews any longer. I know that ageism isn’t supposed to exist in the UK when it comes to employment but I just knew that if I was up against a 25 yer old who looked the part but didn’t necessarily have my wealth of experience it wouldn’t be me who got the job. As you say, it doesn’t matter what you look like if you are a VA just as long as your clients are happy with the work that you produce. If you do need to meet with a client, that is when you make the effort to look like you’ve just walked off the pages of the latest secretarial magazine.

  • Mary H Ruth says:

    You know, it has occurred to me that older is much better for a VA, because it’s not easy to establish trust in this biz (since it’s virtual) and solid past experience is a trust-maker. I often hear about 20-somethings wanting to start up a VA biz, and I wonder what experience they’ll base their work on. At 55, I feel like VA work is a way for me to serve many businesses simultaneously with skills I’ve learned over the previous 3 decades.

  • Lola Billups says:

    I started VAPS(Virtual Assistance & Paralegal Services) May -08. I too would like some assistance/advice on how to attract clients.

  • Net Professional says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Hello Ladies, I totally agree with each of you today…I too have been forced out of the workplace because I did not look the part. I am 55 yrs old with a wealth of knowledge and experience and could not find a job in my field, when I walked in the receptionist or greeting person would give me a strange look… I got tired of this and decided that I would work from home in 2009. This came after much research, ordering Lisa ebook and procrastination in 2008, I agree also that landing clients is a challenge and you do have to put forth the effort to get them. I just landed my first longterm client, this comes after working a few short projects for people that I know here and there. But it has all worked out…..I work from home, which is what the goal was and I am a Virtual Assistant. Website coming soon! :)

  • Lisa Taliga says:

    Certainly, being ‘older’ can be an advantage when setting up a Virtual Assistant business. You can demonstrate more experience in the field and clients may feel that you have more stability. However, I wouldn’t want to discourage people in their 20s from becoming a Virtual Assistant. Younger people may be perceived as being more net-savvy and able to keep up with the latest trends – although this really depends on the individual, not how old / young they are. I just feel that Virtual Assistance is open to anyone regardless of age, i.e. there are no age barriers. Ultimately it is about your skill level, experience, integrity, willingness to work hard, reliability, ability to communicate, keep up with the latest technologies, trustworthiness and so on. As long as you meet those kind of requirements, who cares what date is on your birth certificate? And who cares what you look like?

  • Lisa Taliga says:

    Hi Net Professional

    I am so glad to hear that things are working out for you!

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