It’s February! To celebrate the month of love, Bottleneck Virtual Assistants (BNDA) interviewed RJ Bobis about his career as a web developer. RJ has been in the industry for 3 years. To him, passion plays a major role in both work and life. Read on to know about his DA story: working with and for passion.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you’ve found it.” -Steve Jobs
A Programming Aficionado
RJ has had a wonderful experience in the company. He credits this to the work environment and the way his employer handles the team.
“It’s rare to have someone like Jaime. He is the best boss.” -RJ Bobis
As a web developer, RJ’s tasks include fixing site errors and making updates. He deals with anything that the client wishes to change. His current position is stress-free for him because he loves programming.
RJ tried looking for stable jobs as a programmer to no avail. Prior to his current position, he experienced working for those that weren’t aligned with his course and passion.
The frustration working for prior employers led him to his current position working with Jaime. When he saw the opportunity for programming work, he applied immediately. Since working with Jaime at Slapshot Studio, he’s never regretted his decision to follow his passion.
Yes to Remote Job
Although many enjoy working online, some still can’t help but be skeptical. After graduating from college, RJ worked as a data entry assistant. His parents were quite hesitant with his decision and worried that it might be dangerous. He himself found it difficult to trust.
“The first impression with a home based job is wondering if it’s real. You worry that maybe the person you’re dealing with is just fooling you around. You tend to think what if later on you won’t get paid.” -RJ Bobis
From data entry, he went on working other irrelevant jobs online. He always had it in mind to land a job as a software programmer. He avoided website development because he thought that it had a low demand.
One time he had the opportunity to work as a programmer and travel to Palawan. The task involved handling crawlers for a construction company. But, he did not pursue it.
RJ chose to work for his current employer instead. He chose to pursue his passion for the risks of working online. He figured if the job or employer suddenly disappears, at least he has some experience to pursue another one.
Focusing on Website Development
Wearing different hats is no longer new to RJ. He started working for Jaime as both website developer and virtual assistant talent scout.
There were times that he had to work late hours to accommodate the interviews. The strain on his time led him to focus his work strictly as a web developer.
Depending on the tasks assigned, RJ works 8hrs straight Monday through Friday. The time it takes him to complete a project varies. Each website is different. They can take two weeks to a month to complete.
The Perfect Match
Contrary to popular opinion, working as a virtual assistant isn’t completely stressful. RJ believes that stress depends largely on the company and the work environment.
A rigid system doesn’t work for everyone. One could feel pressured when he is under strict supervision. An example is when one is required to login to a specific time tracker, that takes a screenshot of his work every 5 minutes.
“If you are stressed, look for another job that suits you better. We have choices. Find the perfect match.” -RJ Bobis
RJ advises aspiring DAs to pursue their passion. He encourages them to look for a job that they like, and see if they can work under the environment that the company has.
“If you like writing content, don’t apply for digital marketing. There are differences.” -RJ Bobis
He further encourages aspirants to identify what they really want. Sometimes there are tasks that one never expected to come up. It could easily take away one’s appetite for work, and eventually, lead to stress.
“You’d think you are stressed because of work, but you are actually stressed because you don’t enjoy what you are doing.” -RJ Bobis
The good thing about unexpected tasks, however, is that it teaches new lessons that enhance one’s experience. It challenges one to find the right solution.
Overall, RJ enjoys working from home. He applied for a number of home-based jobs before his current one. He is thankful for the privilege of working with Jaime.
Life Outside of Work
RJ used to play basketball during high school and college. He enjoyed his life while at school, and still gets to spend time on the things that he likes.
Since discovering his passion for programming, RJ spends his weekends studying code and relaxing. He’s eager to learn more about the line of work he is in because he enjoys it so much.
Virtual Assistant Skills
There are various positions available for virtual assistants. To those who want to work as a website developer, RJ encourages them to strengthen their knowledge of codes. It’s also helpful for them to learn about WordPress because it is widely used by clients.
The same goes for those who are interested to work as a content writer. Often, writers are required to post content from the WordPress backend and this requires knowledge of SEO.
“There are unexpected lessons along the way. Thankfully, I had enough experiences to get hired for my current job.” -RJ Bobis
To everyone else, strengthen the skills you have and learn other related skills. The stronger your skills the easier it is to provide the best solutions to problems that might arise.
RJ is always open to better opportunities for his future, but is currently content and focuses on the job he has.
Major Challenges as a Virtual Assistant
Through RJ’s observations and experiences, many virtual assistants are concerned about salary. Sometimes pay gets delayed because of the currency exchange. If they use PayPal, there is a 2-4 day hold before they could claim it from their respective banks.
It can be inconvenient especially when bills are due. The good news is there are some tools online to help them get their hard-earned money quicker.
Challenges exist whether working online or not. RJ considers it normal to have irate and demanding clients from time to time. He has experienced this firsthand. Nonetheless, the project has to be completed and the errors have to be fixed.
When you are good at something, it’s easy to get bored having to do the same task over and over. This is particularly true for RJ. He is grateful that his boss understands and works to keep this from happening.
RJ also smiles at the fact that he loves what he does and receives enough pay. There is no better compensation than experiencing a life of comfort and passion.
Because Learning Never Stops…
Lots of helpful resources exist for those who want to enhance their skills. To aspiring developers, RJ advises them to be familiar with codes.
“There are people who appear to be experts, but when an error comes up you find that they just copy-pasted the codes. Consequently, they fail to know what to do.” -RJ Bobis
Some skills are indispensable, such as analytical skills. According to him, developers don’t improve if they aren’t familiar with basic php. They are supposed to be problem solvers. If they know the basics, it should be easy for them to provide the right solution.
The Right Job at the Right Time
Finding the right job takes time and patience. There is no overnight success. RJ experienced this firsthand. He worked on jobs that weren’t completely aligned with his skills. But, he continued to look for a job that’s perfect for him.
Waiting doesn’t have to be unproductive and dull. You can invest in your skills and find ways to improve them. The experiences you have will equip you when the right one does come. Volunteering is a great way to gain experience.
It’s like a love story—spend time with what you love and it will find its way to you. At the right time, you’ll find yourself in each other’s arms. Passion doesn’t come in cheap. Like RJ, you need to exercise it and keep on improving. There’s always room for growth.
Bottleneck Virtual Assistants appreciates its dedicated DAs. The work they do and the time they’ve invested have added value to those concerned. To them, keep on rocking the free world!
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