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Your Virtual Assistant Will Quit On You if You do this…

Updated: Feb 27

As someone who has navigated the realms of virtual assistance and consultancy, I've encountered a cardinal sin that can drive your VA, or any other VA for that matter, to the brink of resignation. Let's delve into this crucial aspect of the client-VA relationship and understand why it's imperative to avoid it at all costs.

The Offender: Changing Instructions Midstream

Picture this: You assign a project to your virtual assistant with specific instructions, only to alter them WHILE they're diligently working on the task. This scenario might seem innocuous, but it can have detrimental effects on your VA's morale and commitment to your project. What's worse is that the time spent going back-and-forth on changing instructions can have an impact when billing comes.

Why Changing Your Mind Will Drive Your VA Away

Changing instructions midway through a project not only disrupts the workflow but also undermines the trust and rapport between you and your virtual assistant. Imagine diligently working on a task, only for the goalposts to shift repeatedly. It's frustrating, demotivating, and ultimately unsustainable for your VA.

Of course, it's also something that new VAs should be aware of. In any business, there will be a few people who will try to get out of paying their bill. There's not a lot of them -- but they do exist.

The Frustrating Cycle

This is how it typically went down: She'd assign a task with the initial instructions, I'd confirm it and commit to the work, and then pledge to send an initial report after a certain number of days.

I'd work on the task, make substantial progress, only to then receive a new set of instructions 10 hours later, negating the progress I've made. Changes are part of virtual assistance work. I understand that we have to provide room for clients' creativity, thereby leading to adjustments and recalibrations as necessary. I do respect their space for creative back and forth, too.

Then, the next day, I'll receive another set of instructions because she stumbled on something she wanted to try - the dreaded "shiny object syndrome".

After finishing the task, I sent my report. I won't get a reply for a week - but when she did respond, it was to complain that the instructions were not followed.

This cycle of changing instructions can become a vicious loop, leaving your VA feeling undervalued and unappreciated. Despite their best efforts to accommodate your evolving requirements, they find themselves caught in a perpetual cycle of redoing work and facing unwarranted criticism.

Looking Back and Learning

Reflecting on my own experiences, I realize the importance of setting clear expectations and maintaining open communication channels with your VA. As a novice virtual assistant, I tolerated such behavior due to financial constraints and a lack of assertiveness. However, this taught me invaluable lessons about self-respect and boundaries.

The Takeaway

If you find yourself constantly changing instructions and making it difficult for your VA to deliver satisfactory results, it's time to reassess your approach. Recognize the impact of your actions on your VA's morale and job satisfaction. Remember, your virtual assistant is a valuable asset to your team, and their well-being should be a priority.

Final Thoughts

Hiring a VA is just the first step; retaining them requires commitment and respect. Avoiding the mistake of changing instructions midway through a project is crucial for maintaining a positive and productive working relationship with your virtual assistant. By fostering clear communication and mutual respect, you can ensure the longevity of your partnership and the success of your projects.

In conclusion, prioritize consistency, clarity, and respect in your interactions with your virtual assistant to cultivate a thriving professional relationship. Remember, a happy VA is a motivated and productive VA, and investing in their well-being is a worthwhile endeavor.

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