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A Freelancer’s Journey From Economics Teacher To Ecom VA

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Usually, people would want to go into freelancing because they no longer like job.

They’re stressed.

They’re tired.

Not to mention that they’re not being paid enough.

But Jeelene is different.

She’s a teacher.

But after she got bored during the quarantine period, she looked for ways to earn more.

Luckily, she found this “life-changing”program. (ehem)

And after applying what she learned…

“More income talaga. Mas malaki pa kinikita ko dito kesa sa teaching honestly, pero minahal ko na talaga ang pagtuturo so feeling ko kahit may offer sa akin na 6 digits hindi ko pa kaya bitawan ang pagtuturo sa ngayon.”

And right now, mas worthy na ang pagpupuyat nya.

“dati kasi sa Kdrama at Mobile Legends napupuyat ako, ngayon sa work na.”

Be moved by her story which she’ll be sharing on this interview.

How did she discover her niche?

Where did she find her client?

Watch the replay here.

Introduction

Jeelene Benitez is a public school teacher who has passion and dedication for teaching.

She is satisfied in her earning in the profession. However, through boredom from quarantine, she discovered a new way of multiplying up her income. Let’s find out her journey in becoming an eCommerce and Social Media virtual assistant.

Be inspired by teacher Jeelene’s dedication and perseverance in achieving her goals both in freelancing and as a teacher.

 

Notable Quotes:

  • Minsan yung tulog ko is 1-2 hours a day pero okay lang kasi nag eenjoy ako. Ang mahirap ay yung nagpupuyat ka, tapos hindi ka nag eenjoy.
  • Naging worthy yung time ko kasi dati hindi ako natutulog kaka-ML at kaka-KDrama. Pero ngayon hindi ako natutulog kasi nagtatrabaho na.
  • Sobrang laking tulong po ng internship sa akin. Naka tatlong internship na ako. Gusto kong i-grab every opportunity kasi everytime na nag i-intern ako meron akong natututunan.
  • Ang VA Bootcamp yung naging lucky charm ko sa freelancing.
  • Napakarami na ng freelancers na hindi nakatapos ng pag aaral pero malaki ang kinikita nila sa freelancing kasi nag invest sila sa pag upgrade ng skills.
  • Tips when applying, don’t mention na isa kang newbie. Hindi ko sasabihin sa client yun kundi babanggitin ko yung mga skills na meron ako para maging interested siya sa cover letters ko. Experience is not required pero skills ang kailangan, kaya need natin mag upgrade.
  • Kahit may offer sa akin na 100,000 o 6 digits, hindi ko pa talaga iiwan ang pagtuturo sa ngayon. Kasi iba yung fulfillment na binigay sa akin ng mga bata.

Jeelene’s Journey to Freelancing

  • Jeelene graduated and earned a degree in Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English.
  • At first, she was a private school teacher. This job gave a traumatic experience to her since she was underpaid and overloaded with work. She only received 250 pesos per day minus the payroll deductions like SSS, Pag-ibig, and Philhealth. She later learned that her employer was not remitting the contributions that were deducted from her salary.She felt that working in a private school was not for her and decided to apply as a public school teacher.
  • She worked as a substitute teacher wherein she hopped from one school to another until she became a regular permanent teacher. Presently, she has been a government employee for 4 years and is teaching Araling Panlipunan – Economics.
  • When the COVID-19 pandemic came Jeelene had less work and her time revolved with playing Mobile Legends (ML), and watching Netflix and Korean drama.
  • Learned to freelance when she saw a Jassuccess story of Marvin Valencia who is an engineer turned a click funnel freelancer.
  • Explored her own way to freelancing in a month without enrolling in any freelancing courses but only found redundant information which is not helping her in achieving her freelancing goals.
  • Enrolled in FLIP (FreeLancers In the Philippines – by Jason Dulay) Summit which is also a charity work wherein she felt she wanted to learn more and decided to enroll in VA Bootcamp.
  • With the application of what she learned in the lesson, Jeelene found a job the same day upon her VA Bootcamp enrollment. It was a graphic designing job which was paid upfront. After finishing the project, she then realized that a graphic design job is not her thing.
  • She felt that eCommerce is for her since it is the nearest niche in line with her experience.
  • She became a FLIP intern under Ms. Mahar in June and in the same month she joined the Guided Hustle Challenge. Within the GHC, she was hired by a client which she thought was a legit one but turned out to be a “ghosting client”. With the encouragement of her GHC batchmates and co-interns, she continued her journey despite her heartbreaking experience.
  •  Jeelene pursued her freelancing dreams and got hired as an eCommerce virtual assistant on July 1, 2020. She also received a salary increase after working with this client for a month.
  • Currently, she is a full-time teacher and a freelancer too. She has one fulltime eCommerce and one part-time job in the Social Media niche.

  

Q & A Highlights

KUMUSTA ANG INTERNSHIP MO WITH MAHAR?

Sobrang nakatulong sa akin ang internship lalo na yung Trello Board. Yun yung unang Trello na nakita ko at inaral ko for 1 month. Then isang tanong sa akin ng client is “Are you familiar with Trello board”? Tapos sinabi ko sa kanya na “I’m a master of Trello board”. Kasi master ng Trello yung coach ko, dapat ako din.

HOW DO YOU CONVINCE YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE HAPPY AT WHAT YOU ARE DOING?

Sanay ako mag puyat. Dati nung college student ako, naka graduate ako ng dalawang course ng sabay. From 7AM to 5PM as a Teacher tapos sa gabi naman ay Theology hanggang 1AM. Kaya parang nasanay na at mas nagiging productive ako kapag gabi.

YOU RECEIVED A SALARY RAISE. WERE YOU EXPECTING THAT? DO YOU KNOW THE REASON WHY THEY GAVE YOU A RAISE?

No, nagulat lang din ako, tapos sinabi sa akin ni client na deserve ko yun kasi hindi nga daw ako natutulog at alam nya rin na may day job ako. Natutuwa sya sa akin kasi anytime na may ipapagawa sya, nagagawa ko kahit Saturday or Sunday.

SAAN MO NAHANAP YUNG 1ST CLIENT MO NUNG HINDI KA PA NAG VAB?

Sa 199 jobs, tapos hinanap nya ako sa facebook. Yung offer nya ay 12K for 300 pages na journal at 6 days ko lang ginawa. Kapag hindi ko nagawa within 6 days ay 9K lang ang bayad. So pinush ko ang sarili ko na matapos. Akala ko nung una scam lang pero advance payment naman so pumayag ako.

DO YOU HAVE A SYSTEM IN LOOKING FOR JOBS?

Wala, umasa lang talaga ako sa Guided Hustle Challenge noon. Ang laking tulong sa akin ng mga coaches lalo na si coach Bong na tinulungan ako sa pag improve ng profile ko. Yung client ko ngayon na full-time, hindi ako ng apply. Nag message lang sya sa akin kasi nakita nya yung profile ko sa onlinejobs.ph.

KELANGAN BA NA MAY TINAPOS KA DITO SA FREELANCING?

Sa freelancing hindi kailangan na tapos ka ng pag aaral kasi yung pagiging teacher ko hindi ko naman sya nagagamit dito. Kailangan lang na ma improve mo yung skills mo.

WHAT IS YOUR NICHE AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR NICHE?

Yung niche ko ay eCommerce, nagustuhan ko kasi economics teacher ako. May alam ako kung paano nag wo-work ang demand and supply. May alam din akong konting terms at  yun yung pinakamalapit. Yung SMM VA naman ay nabigyan ako ng opportunity kaya grab agad kasi opportunity yun tapos working with Mahar pa.

IN THE WORLD OF FREELANCING, GUSTO MO BANG IBA FROM WHAT YOU DO OFFLINE?

Yes, ang pinaka malapit sa akin na online job is pagiging English teacher. Pero ayaw ko na kasi na nagtuturo na ako offline tapos nagtuturo pa ako online.

SHOULD YOU HAVE PURSUED LEARNING BY YOURSELF WITHOUT VAB? DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE REACHED THE LEVEL OF FREELANCING YOU ARE RIGHT NOW?

Hindi, though may mga nag succeed naman dun pero sa mga kagaya ko na busy and gusto mapabilis yung freelancing journey, kailangan talaga ng tulong. Kailangan ko ng tao na kapag nag tanong ako, masasagot nya yung mga tanong ko. Kailangan ko ng step by step kung ano yung unang pag aaralan hanggang kung paano mag apply. Kaya naging malaking tulong ang VA Bootcamp sa akin.

HAVE  YOU EVER ENCOUNTERED BURNING OUT?

Noong nag start ako na pag sabayin ang teaching at freelancing, may mga time na nakaka-stress. Minsan nakikita ng pamilya ko na umiiyak ako habang nag tatrabaho pero deretso parin. At the end of the day kapag natapos ko, masaya na ulit.

OKAY LANG BA NA PAG SABAYIN YUNG WORK IN THE GOVERNMENT AND FREELANCING?

Hindi pa malinaw sa akin kung pwede talaga itong ginagawa ko pero wala pa naman akong nakikitang masama as long as hindi ko napapabayaan yung pag tuturo. Sa legal terms, yung principal ko mismo alam niya na nag freelancing ako. As of now wala pa naman syang sinasabi. Sa mga teachers or nasa government workers, kung natatakot kayo mag pursue ng ibang career online, wag po kayong matakot dahil wala namang masama.

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Jason Dulay

Jason Dulay

Jason is the founder and CEO of Work from Home Roadmap and VA Bootcamp. Aside from teaching Filipinos how to succeed working from home, he likes traveling, playing board games, and drinking coffee.

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