Jan Banzon – Admin and Marketing Assistant

jann-banzon-virtual-assistantThis whole idea of working at home is something I dreamed of for the benefit of my son. I remember he would cling onto my feet when he was about three years old begging me to not leave him – but you know, mama’s got to work because his milk ain’t cheap.

Then whenever I came home from work (especially after night shifts) I did not have the energy to play with him anymore and I would unintentionally fall asleep while he was telling me interesting stories about the cartoon shows he watched or about his dream the night before and anything else!

Over the years my routine was work-home-sleep-repeat. On my rest days, instead of going to parks or playgrounds to spend time with my son, I’d chose to do our laundry because I thought that was more important than playing around.

He changed slightly when he was around six and a half years old. I noticed that my baby boy didn’t want to be treated like a child anymore. I still kissed and cuddled him a lot and used baby talk with him but he seemed to be manning up so fast. Although he is still a sweet little boy, he had developed his own interests. He does things on his own and he’s just fine being by himself.

At a very young age, I had given him instructions of where I hid the money he’ll use to buy food. I taught him which street blocks to walk along that have CCTVs installed. And to stay away from trouble while I was at work. And he followed everything I told him. He certainly did a great job. He is a smart and a tough little man, and I am so proud of him.

But my son and I have small arguments. I came to my senses when he told me that I don’t care about him. That was like a hard smack in my face. I thought I’ve been prioritising him but that’s not what he feels. It made me think that I really didn’t have control of my life and I started to re-evaluate.

For years I focused on working to provide for the stuff he needs. And I felt good whenever I was able to buy anything he asked for.

Now, I realise that time and affection is more important than material things. I missed a lot of his milestones, and that I never understood how he grew up so fast.

I had fun working with the companies that taught me a lot of skills and self-development for eight years.

I started working as a Customer Service and Reservations Representative turned Help Desk Analyst. Those were my first roles in my first company and I learned a lot from this job.

Working in Customer Service, moreover Help Desk taught me to be patient and empathetic when dealing with escalated issues. The roles I had helped me to be flexible and prioritise resolution over excuses. The love for providing resolutions and fixing issues, getting things done was embedded to me even after I switched into different roles.

I shifted to B2B Outbound Marketing, Inside Sales and then Purchasing.

Marketing taught me to be imaginative and to come up with new ideas on how to effectively approach businesses when educating them the value of the products we promote. It helped me appreciate change and be adaptable with the demands of business needs and technology. This role introduced me to using CRMs, excel, word, creating reports, generating leads and data mining.

Then I changed over to Inside Sales – there were fewer complaints unless you called them at a bad time! But I enjoyed Sales because I discovered that I have charisma, plus it improved my communication skills because I had to be creative when presenting what I wanted C-level decision makers to understand how both of us can benefit from each other’s deals. I also learned to prospect potential new customers that are likely to spend as this is going to make our business sustainable should they be acquired.

Then I moved to Purchasing. I had no idea what a buyer does until I became one!

My brain cells were tested but I learned a lot of skill sets in this role. A lot of tasks were involved and I learned to manage mental stress. This taught me to have strong decision-making skills as I had to slide tasks in between. I had to decide which ones are a priority and which can be dealt with later on. I learned to develop strong attention to detail as I was submitting so many different orders to different vendors and I followed instructions given to me by my direct reports so I didn’t mess their inventory. I had to know by heart the different contacts and ETAs of each product line on different vendors. I learned to perform effective planning and organising so I could meet strict deadlines, like submitting orders beforehand so we get entitled for rebates. I gained negotiation skills as I had to ask for pricing discounts all the time or ask our vendors to expedite delivery dates on some orders. And I developed analytical skills, like working together with our internal departments to investigate invoice discrepancies and discovering where it went down as well as solving all other complex order issues!

Overall, I had a great time in my wheel of work and now I have to give attention to my wheel of life. Life is short and time flies so fast, so I have to take advantage of the time that I have. I’ll satisfy my soul and to do that I have to be happy. And my son is my happiness.

So when I heard about the option to work at home, I knew I could use the valuable skills and disciplines I have and transition from office work to home-based work. Not only will I be able to take care of my son and do other things that I want but I believe I can evolve into something else greater than what I was before without having to sacrifice my time and my bond with my son.

The companies I’ve worked with have good cultures. So when I decided to take the VA career path my only prayer was to have a client with a good heart. The workload, the rate, the schedule doesn’t matter to me. I promised myself that I’ll be the lady general of my client. I’ll go to war with them if I have to! 🙂

And it was an answered prayer. I was granted what I’ve asked for. I love my home-based job and the people I work with make it a great place to stay. I value them so much just as I value the ones I have worked with in the past. I am so blessed and highly favoured, I feel like I’m bigger than the universe.

I have great knowledge about running a business operation from front-end to back-end processes but please don’t expect too much. I wasn’t born a genius, my background was molded from years of training and most importantly, hard work and commitment.

And businesses don’t all operate the same. I am an expert in my own niche, but please know that I am willing to develop and learn new skills to support my clients and help them reach their business goals.

Thanks for reading my story.

For a copy of Jann’s resume please click here.