Working with international clients
The first thing one thinks of when working with international clients… grrrrrr language barrier, thoughts like, ‘will I understand this audio, what the heck is he/she saying???’.
Personally, as a Virtual Assistant, I have found that, as I have progressed, a pattern has formed in my brain to make a pathway for the accents and the way the sentences are structured from the individual that does not have the same dialect of English as myself, so, after some practice listening to the audio, well, a lot of practice, I have mastered the accent and sentencing structure.
Now my brain conceptualizes before I do, sounds strange huh?
What’s fun about working with international clientele is with the audio it’s not on a one on one basis, I can stop him/her whenever I am unclear of the words, maaaaak him goooo sloooow or as fast as I like. If I need to shout at a child or go make some coffee, no one would be the wiser!!
Technology and the internet have drawn us globally together in ways we would never have fathomed 15 to 20 years ago, it’s an amazing tool, and I love being able to broaden my horizons on different subjects of interest.
Another plus is meeting other professionals online, getting to know different outlooks and personalities, like the UK company I work for, when it’s time for work and deadlines have to be met, the pressure is on boy!!! But as a team, we never fail to deliver!!!
With the rate of ever-progressing technology, sometimes a Skype call or Zoom meeting is necessary, so the top half will be looking like I am stepping into the office and the bottom half is way more comfortable.
Another challenge one faces until you get used to it, are the different time zones. Working from South Africa, the company I am working for is UK based, so this is where the joy of daylight saving comes in, in summer its 2 hours difference, winter its 1 hour, so you have that amount of time to juggle a report, make dinner, sort the family and a number of other million things.
All in all, I love the challenges that come with dealing and working with international clients. I am always learning as I go along, especially the orthopaedic medical terminology, I nearly fell off my chair when I found out that we have an anatomical snuff box in our hands. Try teaching this to a 5-year-old!!!!
All in all, I can say that this has been a life-changer for me, I now need the challenge of, let’s think…maybe Spanish? Portuguese? who knows what the future holds.
Despite the challenges, the deadlines, cold coffee and wobbly office chair, I would not trade this in for anything in the world.
That’s me done.
By Toni at Virtual Admin UK