How to Land a Virtual Assistant Job in South Africa

The world has become remote and what else can be done, but adapt to it. Here is a guide on landing a virtual assistant job in South Africa!
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Over the last few years, there’s been a major increase in the number of virtual jobs that can be done anywhere, even from home. In fact, globally, 62 percent of workers aged 22-65 work from home at least occasionally, and 16 percent of companies have all employees working remotely. 

Working from home is a great arrangement for those who require extra flexibility in their schedules (students, stay-at-home parents, those who work other jobs) as well as those with disabilities who have a hard time leaving the house. People who have virtual jobs also save on a lot of the costs associated with traditional work, including the cost of fuel and the cost of buying clothing for the office. 

Online virtual assistant jobs are particularly appealing to those who want to work from home but also thrive in highly organized, detail-oriented positions. Those who are great at maintaining order and have a knack for communicating orally and in writing often perform very well in virtual assistant roles. 

Do you think you want to be a virtual assistant? Are you curious about what the job entails or where to search for openings? Did remote work become a thing now?

Read on to learn about the benefits of having a virtual assistant job in South Africa. You’ll also find out what skills a virtual assistant needs, where to look for virtual assistant positions, and which companies in South Africa are currently looking for a work-from-home assistant. Your job search is about to get a lot easier.

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Why Work as an Online Remote Assistant?

There are lots of reasons to seek out a job as an online virtual assistant (also known as a virtual PA or secretary). If you’re considering this type of job but aren’t 100 percent sure how to set up a remote work career it’s for you, consider these 5 perks:

1. Work Anywhere

As a virtual assistant, you can do your job virtually (no pun intended) anywhere. If you want to work from home, you can. If you prefer to work at a coffee shop or coworking space, you’re free to do so.

As long as you have a good internet connection and it’s easy for your boss/clients to get in touch with you, you can generally do your job wherever you’d like.  

2. Flexible Schedule

It’s true that some virtual assistant jobs do require you to adhere to a stricter 9-5 schedule. However, many of them offer a great deal of flexibility when it comes to when you do your job.

These types of positions are perfect for those with busy or unpredictable schedules (parents, students, etc.). With this kind of remote work setup, bosses and clients typically don’t mind when you work as long as you get tasks done correctly and by their deadlines.

3. No Dress Code

As a virtual assistant, you don’t have to adhere to a strict office dress code. There’s no need to worry about putting on a dress and heels or slacks and a tie every day.

You may want to wear a nice shirt for days when you have to jump on video calls. Other than that, though, you’re pretty much free to wear whatever you want. 

4. Low Startup Costs

You don’t need a ton of fancy or expensive equipment to start working as a virtual assistant. Most positions just require you to have a computer, a solid internet connection, and a reliable mobile phone.

If you have these three things, you have everything you need to launch your remote assistant career and keep your boss or clients happy.

5. Interesting and Impactful Work

Finally, a job as a virtual assistant gives you a chance to do interesting and impactful work each day.

Virtual PAs get an inside look at how all kinds of professionals run their businesses. It can be fascinating to see how things get done and how different people process and plan.

You also get to make a difference when you take on this job. With your skills and talents, you’re making someone else’s life easier and helping them to run their company more smoothly, which allows them to better serve their other employees and customers. How rewarding is that?

What Skills Should Virtual Assistants Have?

As with any job, there are certain skills, traits, and strategies that a good virtual admin assistant must possess. Here are 10 of the top hard and soft skills that the best virtual secretary will have:

1. Reliability

If you want to make a career out of virtual assisting, you need to be a reliable professional. 

Even though you’re working from home and (likely) have a flexible schedule, it’s still important that you are responsive to emails and phone calls and can get tasks completed in a timely manner. If your boss or clients can’t rely on you, you won’t last very long in this position.

2. Communication Skills

Virtual assistants must be good communicators — both written and oral.

Whether you’re sending emails on your boss’s behalf or making calls to schedule appointments for clients, you need to be a competent, polite, and professional communicator. Otherwise, you’re reflecting poorly on your boss/client, which is not a good way to retain a job.

3. Time Management Skills

Virtual assistants often have a lot of control over their schedules. However, they still need to be good at managing their time to meet deadlines and stay organized. If you’re someone who procrastinates a lot or loses track of time easily, you might not be a good fit for a remote assistant position. 

4. Resourcefulness

A remote PA job requires you to be resourceful and a creative problem-solver.

Your boss or clients pay you to figure out solutions and make their lives easier. Sometimes, you have to think outside of the box to make this happen.

If you are a good problem-solver and are willing to go above and beyond to get results, you’ll be a great fit for a virtual assistant role.

5. Organizational Skills

Good organizational skills are non-negotiable for a virtual assistant.

If you take on this role, you’re responsible for helping people keep track of their appointments, stay on top of their schedule, file documents, and more. All of these tasks require great organizational skills and attention to detail. 

6. Basic Computer Skills

If you’re going to work remotely as a secretary or personal assistant, you’re going to need at least basic computer skills. If you don’t know your way around an email inbox, a virtual calendar, etc., you will have a hard time handling the basic responsibilities associated with a virtual assistant job.

7. Typing Skills

In addition to basic computer skills, you’ll also need above-average typing skills.

Many virtual assistant jobs require a great deal of typing, from writing emails and taking notes during meetings and conference calls to handling data entry projects. If you’re not a fast typer, or if you make a lot of mistakes, you may need to take a few typing classes before you venture into the virtual assistant field.

8. Multitasking Skills

Any type of personal assistant/receptionist/secretarial type job, including remote jobs, require multitasking skills.

As an assistant, you will have a lot of irons in the fire at all times, and you’ll need to be able to keep all these different tasks and projects straight without losing your cool. If you’re good at jumping back and forth from assignment to assignment and don’t need a lot of oversight and direction, you’re well-suited to a job as a virtual assistant. 

9. Data Entry Skills

Many remote assistant jobs require a lot of data entry work. You may need to transport data from one document to another, or you may need to listen to audio recordings and precisely extract data from them. If you have previous data entry experience, you’ll likely be a good fit for a virtual assistant position. 

10. Basic Accounting Skills

Finally, some virtual assistant positions require basic accounting skills. This is especially true if you are working on a freelance or contract basis with multiple clients.

For these types of jobs, you will need to handle your own financial management, including taking out money for taxes, writing off expenses, and more. If you have some basic accounting or bookkeeping experience, you will have an easier time handling this aspect of the job and will find it to be a more sustainable career path.

Best 9 Virtual Assistant Websites for Job Searching

Are you ready to start looking for a remote assistant job in South Africa? If so, here are 9 great websites you can check out to find openings that align with your salary needs, schedule, and other job goals:

GrabJobs is a mobile-friendly, innovative job search portal. It connects thousands of job seekers with their ideal employers every day and is the perfect place to begin your hunt for the perfect virtual assistant position.

GrabJobs is extremely user-friendly and makes the job search process easier than ever. It even allows you to filter jobs based on a long list of criteria so you can find a position that lines up with all your needs and goals.

LinkedIn South Africa is both a job search website and a professional social networking site. Not only can you use it to search for open virtual assistant positions in South Africa, but you can also use it to connect with other professionals who may be looking for an assistant now or in the future.

Glassdoor is a global job search site that features listings from employers all over the world — including South Africa.

Glassdoor is also a unique site because it allows you to read reviews about employers from current and previous employees. This is a great way to learn about the work experience for a particular company or individual before you agree to partner with them.

Careerjet is an easy-to-use job site that simplifies the process of finding virtual assistant jobs in South Africa. This straightforward job site allows you to quickly search for openings based on location, job type, and more, so you’ll find listings that match your needs in no time.

Pnet is known as South Africa’s number 1 job site. This is a great site for finding jobs of all kinds, and with its easy-to-navigate filters, you can easily streamline your search to look exclusively for remote assistant positions.

Recruit.net is a job search engine that helps you find a wide range of job opportunities (including virtual assistant positions) in your area.

You can use this site to narrow your search based on job type, company, and more. Tens of thousands of jobs get uploaded every day, too, so it’s not hard to find something that’s a good fit for your needs and career goals.

Ananzi is a multi-faceted search engine that features South African classified ads, plus job listings from South African businesses and professionals. If you’re looking for a remote assistant job, particularly a freelance or contractor assistant job, you’ll likely find plenty of options posted on this site. 

SimplyHired is a job search engine that helps millions of people find jobs every day.

This site features postings from companies all over the world, including many in South Africa. It’s easy to navigate and allows you to quickly upload resumes and CVs, too, which helps you to showcase your skills and get hired faster. 

Upwork is one of the most well-known job search sites for freelancers and independent contractors from across the globe. If you want to work as a virtual assistant in South Africa on a freelance or contract basis, you’ll find plenty of opportunities listed on Upwork.

It’s also easy to use Upwork to narrow your search based on a variety of factors, including pay rate and job type, so you can quickly find options that work well for you and help you meet your distinct career goals. 

Top 7 Online Virtual Assistant Jobs in South Africa

GrabJobs is one of the best virtual assistant websites. It’s easy to navigate, free, and features tons of great virtual admin assistant listings for job seekers in South Africa.

Here are the top 7 work from home assistant positions currently listed on GrabJobs that you might want to consider applying for:

This is a part-time virtual assistant job that requires you to work 20 days per month. No experience is required, and this is an excellent option for fresh graduates. Pay ranges from R15 – R75 per hour.

This is a home-based, full-time virtual assistant job. At least 5 years of experience as a PA/ Executive PA are required, as well as 2 years of experience as a virtual assistant. Pay ranges from R20 000 – R25 000 per month.

This is a remote, full-time virtual assistant job. Like the previous listing, it requires 5 years of experience as a personal assistant or executive personal assistant, along with 2 years of virtual assistant experience. No salary information is provided.

This is a full-time personal assistant/executive assistant position. It is a remote job, but there may be some in-office work required from time to time. Relevant industry experience is required for all applicants. Salary ranges from R15 000 – R20 000 per month.  

This is a full-time remote assistant job with strict hours (weekdays 08:00 to 16:00). The person who fills this position will work with the company’s human resources department to assist with a variety of organizational tasks and keep things running smoothly. Salary ranges from R16,000 – 24,000 per month.

This is a full-time remote personal assistant job. All applicants must have a diploma or degree in administrations, public relations, or communications. They must have 7-10 years of experience in a related field, too. No salary information is provided.

Another option for a work-from-home assistant position is this full-time virtual assistant job. It requires education up to Grade 12 (matric), and experience in fashion or marketing is a bonus. At least 3 years of experience as a virtual assistant is advantageous, too.  No salary information is provided.

Find a Virtual Assistant Job Today

Now that you know more about what a virtual assistant job entails, as well as the specific skills a remote assistant must possess, do you think you’re a good fit for this position?

If you want to work as a virtual secretary or virtual PA, be sure to check out the best virtual assistant websites listed above, especially GrabJobs.

There are tons of openings available for job seekers in South Africa, and new ones are popping up every day. Now is the perfect time to be a virtual assistant!  

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology. Read more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeberard/