In 1995 as I typed for my college clients, I had plans to print out the addresses of all the attorneys in the area and try and become “virtual assistant” basically to them, in today’s language. “A Virtual Assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is an entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office.” From Wikipedia.
I never quite got that far, however, and life got in the way, in the form of our ending up working opposite shifts, my being a legal secretary in the mornings for a local law firm while Rog worked at a local hospital second shift. We did this for two years, and I still just typed occasionally for my bosses but was way too tired with every day life to really get the entrepreneurship stuff way off the ground.
Working at three law firms in about 2 1/2 years led me to 1997, where situations landed me in the position of being unemployed in the summer of 1997. Circumstances at that point had allowed me to stop looking for a job, and instead I began thinking of the “home business” again. Ironically in 1997 I found an ad in the paper to type at home for a company I worked for in the 1980’s, and they did take me on as a subcontractor on the by-then real computer, not word processor (a much-loved, and to be very aged! windows 95 computer we had from 1995-2006), and I typed technical metallurgy documents and proofread them, also entering code into tables for engineering language document tables. Tedious, yet fascinating, I loved the work. I did it freelance when they had it in spurts and fits for about 3-4 years.
Two years into this time I had also had the occasion to type appellate briefs at home for a few attorneys, using a call-in method I had learned about from a medical transcription friend, and I also typed for her some, doing a very small amount of medical transcription (not really my forte). I purchased my first transcription machine at that time, as well as a telephone recorder that plugged into the phone outlet. I also right after this found myself in another part time job in the winter of 99 [a friend called me that worked there, asking if I wanted to come and work there part-time and I believe temporarily as well, I don’t remember!] where both my children at that time were in an all-day school. And for about 6 months I worked about 6 hours a day at the office, plus another 3-4 hours a day from home, and somehow kept all the balls in the air until June of ’99.
I couldn’t work at the office over the summer so quit, planning to work at home only with their calling in for me to type for them at home. They did not do so, however (I fully expected to work for them 10-20 hours a week from home), and at the time I was devastated as I didn’t have any other steady work; the freelance I’d picked up was still present but sporadic. Thus began my search for steady, dependable, yet freelance from home work, and a new era had begun.
More soon —