Whenever I do an “Ask me Anything” segment in my Instagram stories, the frequently asked question is what I do for a living — and when I had already answered that, I was surprised and overwhelmed by how much questions I receive asking me more about it.
I decided to share with you how I started doing online gigs, from part-time to full-time and some tips and lessons I got in my journey.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- HOW DID YOU START WORKING ONLINE?
Okay, first up I’ll share my story. It was back in 2015 that I was living alone with two dogs to feed and realised my salary from my day job was not enough to sustain my needs. I graduated with a degree in Journalism and experience with client communications and that’s all I know.
I really loved writing — mostly about travel. So I searched using the keywords “travel writer” “travel writing part time” “part time travel writer” “online writer”, and myself search led me to different websites such as Onlinejobs.ph, Upwork and Craigslist.
- WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST ONLINE JOB?
Fortunately, I was able to get a writing gig through Onlinejobs.ph as a ghost writer for a British employer. I was required to write at least 2-3 product reviews a day, and it pays around Php 4,000-Php 5,000 a week.
- HOW DID YOU GET YOUR CLIENT/S?
Okay, so I started from one client/employer at a time until I learned to manage having more at a time all together with a day job. Yes, a day job — a 9am-6pm office job. How was that journey? will tell you!
It was in 2016 when I found my Australian employer, Melanie. She hired me to do research and write travel guides for cities she’ll provide — unfortunately we only worked together for three months.
After that, I did not really have a permanent client. For extra income I help ate Mae (Don’s sister) with her writing load that has piled up. It gave me some extra per week, so it’s not that bad.
In early 2017, I got a new day job that pays higher than my previous company. However, there were changes with my home setup and I had to still rely on myself for spendings. So, I got in touch with Melanie again, and fortunately she was looking for a new virtual assistant.
I started my work with her, in May 2017, doing mostly research. Our arrangement was for US$2/hr (However, you have to know that it was a low offer for the virtual assistant job), and I did not mind because it was just for extra income, plus it was interesting for me because it was about places, related to travel. I was earning an extra Php 15,000 minimum per month from her. (It paid for our Ed Sheehan tickets!! hahaha)
Anyway, moving forward to October 2017, the work load had lessen because I had done so much for preparations and that meant less hours and then less pay. It got to Php 10,000-Php 12,000 a month and I had to pay for things I just got plus other responsibilities plus savings. So I looked for another online gig, this time through Upwork.
I found an agency through the platform, Crowdbotics. During then, I was given three clients to handle; these are US accounts so the timezone is in PST — that’s 1am-9am our time.
You’re probably wondering how things were at this point.. So I have a 9-6pm day job + an Australian client (flexible time) + the 1am-9am online gig. I sleep when I get home and wake up at around 12mn to attend to the needs of my US clients. Thankfully, I was able to talk some arrangements with them that gives me some more time to sleep around 4am.
Then in February this year, I got a part-time gig as a social media manager for a Danish plant-based supplement company which paid around Php 24,000 per month.
- WHAT IS YOUR JOB?
After reading about my online work journey, you’re probably wondering what exactly I do now for a living. So with my experience from my day job as an accounts manager (client communications), and project management (marketing, social media, etc), I was able to get a remote work as a Community Manger for a Hong Kong-based Influencer marketing company, a Sales and Marketing job for an Italian company based in Asia (which handles 8 European brands), and still Melanie! 🙂
- ARE YOU FULL-TIME ONLINE? WAS IT HARD ADJUSTING?
I left my day job back in March this year. Before that, I kept asking myself and Don if my online jobs can sustain my lifestyle, and it was definitely a risk I took. I realised then that the office setup was not for me.
So, yes. I am working remotely full-time now since March. It was definitely a challenge to adjust in the lifestyle, but also a challenge. You have to work hard/grind from the comfort of your bed in hours you wouldn’t even be working if you have an office-based job.
TIPS and THINGS I LEARNED:
- The good thing about an online work is that they do not look at your educational achievements. They don’t mind if you did not go to college or not completed college because it’s all about the skills you possess, and if or not you can deliver on the job.
- It is always helpful to read around how much is the salary benchmark for your chosen profession. This does not only help you but everyone in your line of work to set a standard of the minimum salary that should be accepted.
- Online work may seem easy but trust me, it is not. Your fighting against the comfort of your bed, and there are a lot of things to settle if you want to go this direction.
- It is important to know how to make your government contributions for freelancers, and of course to get yourself an insurance (this goes to everyone!). It be best to find a health card provider to secure any health issues that may come up, but I’m not sure if it is available for individuals. Let me know! 😉
- You may read this article to find out the high paying home-based online work for Filipinos
- You may refer to some trusted sites for online work: Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr
- You may also check out some facebook groups like: Online Filipino Freelancer, Hiring Virtual Assistants, and Start Up PH: Jobs. If you are interested with Online English Teaching, you may checkout 51Talk.
- If you are a student, and have some time to spare, GMA Network is looking for translators. It pays 650/episode done. However, the pay may take some time depending on your project interval. If you accept project weekly, it shouldn’t be a problem.
- For interviews: just be honest. Make sure you can deliver on the things you say you can do. It is different working with other nationalities, and they can be very frank when they don’t like your work. It is important you have a thick skin, and not be sensitive when they critic your work. Trust me, it will help you toughen up professionally, and help you be better with work.
I hope I answered most of your questions and helped you in any way to know if online/remote work is for you. Feel free to leave a comment or message me through Instagram if you have more questions 🙂
Here are a few, chosen questions related to the subject. There were literally A LOT even in my DMs that I cannot screen cap everything 🙂