How A Former Cashier Found Freedom Through Online Freelancing

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“Open-minded ka ba?”

Sounds familiar?

If you’re desperate to find a job, you’ve probably grabbed these networking opportunities.

Like Karen.

After she graduated in 2012, she was unable to get hired though she really tried hard to apply, went on job interviews, and spend a lot of money applying.

But nothing happened. And so she gave up.

Grab the so-called “Power!” opportunities.

Only to realize, naloko lang siya.

Good thing she was able to bounce back, find decent jobs, and get into freelancing.

“I find out freelancing from my sister’s friend. She’s the one who introduced me to the Odesk platform in 2014. I considered it as my first freelancing career. I worked with different clients, did Web research, Transcription, data entry asst., typing job, lead generation, and many more.”

So was it a smooth transition?

Madali ba siyang nakahanap ng client?

How was she able to do all the tasks she mentioned?

Sabay-sabay natin alamin ang sagot in our JasSuccess!

Watch the replay here.


Watch this video as Karen Sasis narrates her own freelancing journey.

Find out how a former cashier found freedom through online freelancing. You’ll also know how she transitioned from being a cashier to a Bookkeeping Freelancer.

Discover her journey, struggles, best practices, and work etiquette.

Notable Quotes

  • (On waiting for a year to get clients) Worth it. Although 1 year akong hindi nakaka-tanggap ng clients. Medyo na down ako dahil sabi ko bakit hindi ako nahi-hire, meron naman akong experience. Pero ngayon na tuloy-tuloy na dumadating ang mga clients, ako naman ngayon nahihirapan. Kumbaga na o-overwhelmed na ako sa trabaho. Pero okay naman din, dahil tuloy-tuloy. Masaya ako dahil tuloy-tuloy din ang income ko.
  • (On getting a lot of clients) Kung nagawa mo ng maayos ang trabaho sa client at natuwa sila, sila na rin mismo ung magbibigay ng additional work or referrals sa iba.
  • (On not giving up) Inisip ko na baka may problema sa profile ko. Ang ginawa ko inayos ko ang profile ko, nagbasa-basa ako. Puro learnings ginawa ko habang hindi pa ako nahi-hire, continuous applying.  At the same time nag-aral din ako ulit. Hindi ko  hinayaan ung sarili ko na stagnant lang.
  • (On not going back to corporate) Tuloy-tuloy pa rin sa online ko at nagkaroon na ako ng client last July. Thankful naman ako at tuloy-tuloy na.
  • Pag talagang nararamdaman kong tinatamad ako mag-work, kasi may deadline naman, na may ilang araw pa ako bago sa deadline, bukas na lang ulit, nararanasan ko din ang mga ganun. Parang nawawalan nang gana mag-work, dahil siguro kulang sa tulog. Pero pag kailangan ko talaga, sine-set ko ang mind ko na kailangan kong matapos na ‘to, within this day or the next day. Para sa ibang client naman yung asikasuhin ko.
  • Pag weekend sinasabi ko sa sarili ko, hindi ako mag o-open nang computer, puro leisure lang.
  • Happy na ko na hindi bumalik sa corporate world. Kasi sa corporate puro pang-gabi tapos may mga kasama ka pa sa trabaho na may issue pa. Kaya, ibang-iba ang Corporate sa Freelancing.
  • Sa mga newbie, wag mawawalan nang pag-asa sa paghahanap. Talagang ma-eexperience nyo ang mga ganyang struggles sa paghahanap nang trabaho sa online. Kung gustung-gusto nyo talaga makapasok , kailangan nyo lang din na i-push ung sarili nyo na hindi kayo mag give up sa paghahanap ng client. Kasi once na meron na, okay na yun meron ka nang experience sa online, tuloy tuloy na yan.

Karen Sasis’ Journey to Freelancing

  • She studied Accountancy but was unable to finish it because her grades did not meet the passing grades to enroll. Her father has a condition that they can only take college once. If they fail, they can’t continue anymore.
  • She quit studying and worked as a Cashier in a Department Store for a year and she was able to earn money and with the help of her sister.
  • She then continued college and shifted course to a Business Administration major in Accounting. 
  • In 2012, she graduated from her Business Administration degree. 
  • The year 2013-2014, she was introduced to Odesk by her sister’s friend. Here where she started her freelancing career.
  • She was able to win clients by doing Project-based tasks such as Data entry, Transcription, Admin task, and Quickbooks Bookkeeping.
  • Even though she had multiple clients in Odesk, her earnings were not enough.  So her brother urged her to work in a BPO company. 
  • She worked in a BPO company for 1 year and 6 months wherein she was able to use and enhance her skills in Quickbooks. While working here, she still did freelancing tasks every now and then.
  • The year 2018, she started again focusing on her career as a freelancer. She created her account for several freelancing platforms. For a year, she tried her luck with interviews and feedbacks but didn’t turn into contracts.
  • She tried creating an Upwork Profile again as her Odesk profile can’t be restored anymore. After multiple attempts, she was able to get it approved and in July 2019 she was able to win a client for a Bookkeeping task. They have been working together for a year and also giving her referrals.

Q & A Highlights

Have you been a VABootcamp Student? and how does that help you with your freelancing journey?

Yes, I was still in the BPO when I came across WFHR (Work From Home Roadmap By Jason Dulay). They are offering Single Courses. That time I enrolled for the Quickbooks Course as a refresher on my Quickbooks knowledge. I was able to use it since all my clients are Quickbooks and Accounting tasks.

Do your earnings in freelancing enough compared to what you had in BPO?

It’s not a huge gap when it comes to salary. In the BPO there are deductions and benefits while in freelancing it’s your choice to pay for your own benefits. When it comes to workload, I am a full-time employee in the BPO and it’s night shift, while in freelancing I have flexible time and some clients require me to work on specific hours.

I have a few clients and referrals, somehow toxic because of the deadline but I’m happy because I’m earning continuously.

Do clients and freelancing platforms are strict when it comes to certification or educational background?

At first, I didn’t have Certifications but later on, I figured out that Quickbooks and Xero have Certification.  I took the Certifications since some clients would want their freelancers to have one. You just have to update the certification.

Can I start freelancing even though I’m a high school graduate?

Well, It depends on the job itself. Some may require at least a College Graduate. Like for my niche, they want a Certified Bookkeeper. But for High School graduates there are jobs that you can apply to like VA or Admin work.

How to get Quickbooks and Xero Certifications?

They have instructions to get Certification on their website. Just visit their Website.

How much is your first-rate?

I started at $5.00 per hour. Base pay for Upwork.

How many clients you currently have?

I have 4 clients and 1 incoming referral. I am not yet willing to hire my own VA as I can handle those clients right now.

How do you handle multiple clients?

At the interview, I always let the client know that I can work on flexible time so that I can work whenever I want to. For example, right now I have clients that are on flexi-time and one client in the morning. I sleep in the evening and wake up at midnight. I started working at midnight till morning, I do the job for the flexible clients at midnight and in the morning I do the task for the other clients. 

You have multiple clients now how do you manage your time?

Every week, I have this planner I use to jot down important notes and meetings for my clients. Every Sunday, I add notes per day on what task I should do and what task I have accomplished. That’s how I do time management.

What would be your advice to those full-time employees and would like to try freelancing but does not have experience?

My advice is to look for a job posting that will give you free training because some clients give training for free before they hire you. If you get hired or not that can still be considered as experience in freelancing.

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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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