It was the year 2016 when I finally decided to leave the corporate world and try my luck in freelancing. My wife resigned after receiving her 14th-month pay, bought a new laptop and a desktop so she can start looking for a remote job.
What made me decide to shift to freelancing? The traffic situation here in the Philippines is getting worse! We were also trying to have a baby and I had the opportunity to retire from work early. This is the same year when we started our journey to become entrepreneurs.
I submitted proposals in Upwork, Online Jobs PH, and countless agencies that I see online. It was like a game – the more entries you send, the more chances of winning!
Here are some FAQs about Freelancing.
Did you avail of any paid courses before landing a freelance job? I didn’t have formal Virtual Assistant training but I guess holding a project manager position with my previous company was also an advantage. After a three-week training in an agency, I was very fortunate to be picked by a client. I worked for my very first client as a Virtual Assistant/Office manager for his Real Estate Company in the USA.
Was it easy? Not at all! I had to make a lot of adjustments, watch countless video tutorials, and even relearn my accounting 101 because I was doing some basic accounting too.
How much was my salary? Being a first-time VA, I had no idea about the standard base pay for Filipinos. I was offered $4.00 per hour plus a Healthcard. I accepted it since I wanted to have an experience. Later on, as I was checking my client’s receipts and other payables, I saw that my agency was charging my client $9.5 per hour. Did I feel shortchanged? A little bit. But I also took into consideration their overhead for trainers and other staff members. Plus, they were the ones who found the client for me.
Can you earn more with freelancing? Definitely! I had a part-time job that pays a higher rate than my full-time client. It’s really up to you on how you would market yourself! Being a member of different International VA groups, I learned that we shouldn’t let our clients pay us based on our location. Because offering a Virtual Assistant service is similar to running a business. So, it doesn’t matter where you are located – what matters is your skills! I know some people who are earning $4,000 per month because of freelancing!
Are all online jobs graveyard shift? No. My most previous and current clients are based in Australia. You can also find a client who will let you work flexible hours! So, always read the job description and don’t forget to ask questions!
Do you get an increase? Of course! Some clients are very generous that you do not have to ask them – they will automatically grant you an increase. I had a client who even give bonuses and 13th-month pay! It’s really about how you negotiate your rates, increases, and bonuses with them. All these can be added to your contract too!
Is freelancing stable? I would say that it depends on the nature of your job and your client’s background (e.g. is your client’s company a start-up, etc.?). Also, just like in any other job, you have to give your best so you can maintain a healthy relationship with your client/employer.
Do you miss working in an office? There are times that I miss dressing up and cathing-up with friends after shift. Working from home can be boring sometimes but when I think about the traffic situation here in the Philippines and the extra hours that I get to spend with my family because I work from home – I feel very lucky!
Do you have different clients? Because I do a lot of things aside from work, having multiple clients is not an option for me. But, blogging has helped me earn extra income, especially during my free time. I accept press releases, blog reviews, etc. I also discovered a safe platform for bloggers like myself where I write short articles for at least $100. It’s called Influencer Marketing. It’s a big help, especially during this time of the pandemic. The best part is, registration is FREE and you get paid through your PayPal account. I think this blog has helped me a lot in transitioning from the corporate world to freelancing. You can check out Intellifluence to learn more about the platform.
These are just some of the questions that I get most of the time. But if you have other questions, let me know in the comments sections.