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I’m a 25-Year-Old Virtual Assistant Making $91,000 – Here’s How

  • Andrea Laird, 25, is a virtual assistant, freelancer, and business owner from Brooklyn, New York.
  • She works for a CEO, takes on additional clients on the side, and teaches people on TikTok.
  • Here is the story of her career, told to Lauryn Haas.

This as-told essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Andrea Laird, a 25-year-old virtual assistant from Brooklyn, New York, about her career. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I got my bachelor’s degree in psychology and took a course in industrial and organizational psychology which made me love the career development aspect of psychology. Then I continued with a master’s degree in IO psychology, more specifically in human resources.

Whenever I had a passion, I thought it was better to serve someone who was doing what I wanted to do. I’ve been in the industry for about six years now, always helping someone and always learning from them.

My first passion was real estate, so in 2016 I started as a real estate assistant at an agency earning around $20,000 a year. Then I fell in love with human resources, and I wanted to do payroll. I started making around $45,000 a year doing this in 2018. This is the only position I’ve had where I haven’t worked for an executive.

Then I wanted to run my own business, so I started working as an executive assistant to the CEO of a multi-million dollar company in 2019. I applied for this position on ZipRecruiter and followed until I get an interview.

In my current role I make $91,000 and then I have my business and my website so right now I’m making over six figures

Andrea Laird sitting on the stairs

Andrea Laird.

Courtesy of Andrea Laird

When I looked around and saw my friends or family members or anyone else I met, it was kind of disheartening to see that they were content with careers like retail, fast food, or call centers because they felt like that was what they had to do. Then I was introduced to the virtual assistant role, where you don’t need a lot of experience, and you can use that same call center experience to serve someone and learn.

I fell in love with spreading this awareness, which I love about social media in general. The fact that I have 76,000 followers on TikTok is crazy.

The first video I made was in December and I was talking about applicant tracking software. I think it got around 20,000 views, and I was shocked that 20,000 people didn’t know about it.

I just continued. I was consistent with learning new trends, and one of my videos exploded and got a million views. You’re definitely overwhelmed the whole way through, but for me, I’m not doing it for the glory. When I see the people I serve, it’s such a great feeling.

I also have my own business called What if You Knew which I started in 2019.

I work 40 hours a week at my salaried job, about 20 hours a week for freelance clients, then 20 hours a week on my business

I basically work all day every day.

The majority of my income comes from my salaried work, and my second biggest source of income comes from my freelance clients. I’m starting to focus more on teaching and mentoring, so one day my business will be the main thing.

In my company, I offer a few services, including a CV outline and a questionnaire to identify your skills, your passion and your interests. I use the questionnaire responses to recommend services you may want to offer. I think a lot of times people don’t know how to get started as a freelancer because they don’t even know what service they would offer, so I wanted to eliminate that first step.

I then have an eight-step guide on how to start your business from start to finish and how to find clients, and I provide templates on how to reach potential clients. These are the same templates I used to secure my first virtual assistant client within seven days of getting started. I also have an exit plan for leaving your current job and offer one-to-one calls.

In the end, we spend the most time at work. If you hate your job, you’ll hate your life. It’s just too short to hate what you do.

The reason I stay in my salaried position is that I love my job

I could go out and become a full-fledged freelancer and make the same amount of money because I’ve built such a great system, but the learning and teaching I get from my salaried work is unmatched.

A big part of my job is to plan. Business owners are very busy. They don’t have time to sit down and schedule meetings, but meetings are where they make money. I take a lot of meeting minutes, collect action items, and deal with a lot of email as well. For one of my clients, I completely manage her inbox. I have implemented a weekly client update. I also help to prepare the next meetings of the board of directors or the board of directors.

Nothing was unexpected because I always considered my main role to be to make their life easier, so whatever they needed, I was always ready to help them. If I was hired for administrative purposes and they needed help with social media, that was no problem.

It’s so rewarding to be an assistant. My experience has never been what you see in the movies – picking up dog poop, running for coffee, or being treated horribly. Everyone I’ve served has treated me with the utmost respect, treated me as a thought partner, mentored me, and provided me with an amazing experience. Choose something, and you can start serving someone who will teach you, help you network, and earn lots of money.

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