The Filipino freelancing wave isn’t slowing down soon. More and more Filipinos are looking for other options to reach their financial and lifestyle goes. And who can blame them?
I mean traffic takes out most of your free time. You are too tired to take care of your kids. You can’t really travel a lot. And the list of grueling can’ts just pile up.
With remote working, now is the time to jump in and take the lifestyle you really wanted. And what better way to learn how by modeling successful people in the freelancing field.
And this is what you’re going to get from this blog. We have interviewed one of our invited speakers to share how she managed to transition from her job in the BPO industry to freelancing. And how she has helped other freelancers get their dream lifestyle as well.
Let’s welcome, Ms. Jennette Cajucom!
How it All Started
Leandro: Jennette I just want to ask, how did you start freelancing?
Jay Cee: Leandro, call me Jay Cee. Actually, it was 2008 when I decided to go freelance after working for almost 10 years as a BPO corporate slave. I recall making that decision one morning after just moving into a new condo.
I didn’t have a single piece of furniture back then. The moment I made the decision, I bought a 2nd hand desktop to start my journey. I had to make the most out of a faulty CRT monitor, and I didn’t even have a computer table.
That same faulty monitor sat on top of an old balikbayan box while I tapped my fingers away on my keyboard, which lay flat on the floor as I work. Good times. Good times.
But It’s Not Easy as It Seems
Leandro: Wow! Corporate Slave is a strong word. For sure, freelancing isn’t as easy as some say, right?
Jay Cee: Of course Leandro. It isn’t. When I was just starting out, I remember spending at least 4 hours every single day just applying for jobs on oDesk (now Upwork.com), and after applying I would take tests to give my profile viewers an idea of my skillset.
Back then, I saw that digital marketing was an existing problem among local businesses and aspiring freelancers alike. I found it as an opportunity since I have incidentally worked with quite a number of digital marketing agencies form the US, UK and Australia since 2009. It was a matter of aligning the experience to the existing problem.
If time still permits it, I would also check out profiles of old-timer contractors on the platform, just to have an idea of how I should spruce up my own profile. It was after 3 weeks of receiving rejection letters that I finally landed on my first oDesk gig, and the rest was history.
The Lifestyle of a Freelancer Today
Leandro: Right! So I know that the hardships we are currently experiencing is just normal. At least now, someone has the experience to guide us every step of the way.
But right now, how does your lifestyle look like?
Jay Cee: I enjoy reading now more than ever. These days, I really find time to read. I read a lot about entrepreneurship and marketing. I also get to take care of my clients even better. Gone are the days when I have to work 120 hours a week just to reach my financial goals.
I’ve learned more about myself, the value that I can give and the kind of clients who need me. Finding that intersection – of what will make me and my client both happy – has paved the way for a win-win situation, and I couldn’t ask for more.
On a personal level, it has also given me more time to fulfill my other roles in life.
Helping the Filipino People to Work Remotely
Leandro: what and envious lifestyle! It’s not really about the luxury of it. It’s the choices and the flexibility you have just because you started to freelance.
Jay Cee you are already established. What’s your next goal?
Jay Cee: When I set foot here in Zambales 2 years ago, I learned that there were a lot of online freelancers who worked either as a VA or blogger and were just working quietly in their humble abodes doing their own thing, finding opportunities online from clients who were at the other side of the world.
A lot of people are attracted to the concept of working remotely because of the financial rewards that go along with it. Given that working remotely gives more freedom, the biggest challenge for me at the moment, is educating them what EXACTLY to do with the freedom to help them flourish in their freelancing career.
I realized that I should’ve reached out to people earlier and didn’t wait for almost 10 years before I shared what I knew about freelancing and built relationships earlier.
Making more people embrace the concept of working remotely entails discipline which could be contrary to their expectation when it comes to freedom.
At the same time, there were also a lot of aspiring ones who have yet to land their first gig. On the other hand, there are also a lot of entrepreneurs and local business owners who were doing just “fine” and have yet to explore the benefits of digital marketing to widen their reach.
The future is promising here in Zambales, when it comes to digital marketing – both for business owners and future digital marketers. Given that the local government efforts and private sectors continue to provide internet technology in all parts in Zambales, the benefits of digital marketing in the whole province will soon be realized.
Advice to Those Who Are Starting
Leandro: Wow! That is a noble goal. So for those who are just starting their journey, what is your advice to them?
Have the right mindset.
Freelancing is an entirely different ball game which requires a different mindset to get results. In this case, retaining an employee kind of mindset will not suffice. You need to be entrepreneurial to make the setup work for you.
Research, research, research. Know what battle you’re up to by doing your homework.
Create your own personal brand.
With more and more Filipinos wanting to be freelancers, you have to find a way to stand out, to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
Connect the dots.
If you’re still trying to figure out what you want to do and what you think you’re meant to do, try following Steve Jobs’ advice: connect the dots by looking backwards. Acknowledge that there is a good reason why things in your past happened as they did.
Whatever you thought was a time-waster in your career was preparing you to do your next big thing. Once you connect the dots, only then will you find the clarity that you’ve been looking for the whole time. And that clarity is so empowering.
Have a contingency.
Setbacks in freelancing are inevitable. It’s always best to have plan B when the challenge arises.
Advice For Those Freelancing Already
Leandro: Those points are golden advice. It’s really important to have the clarity as to your personal brand to get more clients and the clarity you get when you connect the dots from your past experiences.
It helps you plan your next move towards the goal you want to achieve. But how about for those freelancing already, what is your advice for them?
Jay Cee: Don’t make the financial rewards of freelancing as your sole motivation. It’s already a given. Otherwise, you’ll just burn yourself out. Seek a deeper meaning in your journey.
Invest in new learnings, reinvent yourself and help your community. You’ll be surprised: The rewards are even more satisfying than you expect.
There you have it! It’s nice to pique the thoughts of an established freelancing personality already. And like what she said on her last advice, everyone should invest in learning new things to reinvent yourself for the better.
That’s why we have Working Remote 2019! Working Remote 2019 is the biggest remote working summit in the Philippines!
We have invited numerous motivational speakers and prominent freelancers from here and abroad just to inspire you to reach your dream lifestyle thru remote working.
So what are you waiting for? Secure your tickets now!