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How A Former Casino Dealer Keeps Winning in the Freelancing Game

May 4, 2022
by 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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After she graduated in 2012, this gal decided to look for a job na malayo sa family.

Why?

As a fresh grad, she wanted to experience how it is to be independent. And of course, maliit lang sahod sa province.

“My very first job was with Best Western Sand Bar Resort as Front Desk Officer and after months, I was promoted to Sales and Event Coordinator. I worked there for 1 year and 6 months.

*My second job was with The Palace Cebu Casino as Casino Dealer for 2 years and was promoted to Gaming Shift leader for 3 years.”

But she realized...

”kahit malaki yung sahod mo pero away ka sa family mo”

Then the pandemic hit.

Retrenchment at the casino happened. And she’s one of those affected.

Meet Aileen.

After what happened, she decided to stay in their province and pursue what she really wanted.

“I always dream of yung nasa american movie na nasa bahay yung office or yung mga favorite vlogger ko na they are making money not just vlogging pero they have online work.”

Fast forward to today...

She’s one of those freelancers whose thriving.

Not because she’s talented.

Not because she’s experienced.

But simply because she’s patient.

She trusts herself.

And she’s taking it slowly but surely.

Let’s listen to her story — her challenges and her victories — on this JSU replay.

  1. Introduction

Aileen Guadalquiver.  A 29-year-old BSHRM graduate from Pagadian City, Zamboanga Del Sur, a former Casino Dealer who keeps on winning in the field of the freelancing game.  

  1. Notable Quotes
  • Gusto ko din na kung ano ang narating ko na ishe-share din sa iba who’s struggling from freelancing diyan, kagaya ko yung ayoko kong makaka-experience sila ng na-experience ko that day.
  • Kelangan i-build up yung trust yourself and then yung mga nag ja-judge sa ating lahat take it as your strength.
  • Then follow the rules and be patient.
  • It took me 7 months to get clients so I know na kaya nyo din.  
  • Never stop dreaming.  Wag kapag mayroon ka ng client ay hihinto na.  Dapat wag kang susuko, wag kang magstop na dun ka lang dapat i-manifest mo kagaya ngayon minanifest ko na next time around ako na yung magsasalita sa JAS Success.  
  • Ask for help sa mga friends mo na alam mo na freelancers sila.  Ask them kasi, tumutulong sila kasi alam nila ang struggles sa freelancing.
  • Dapat active din kayo sa VAB group, sa ibang freelancing groups, kasi nagpopost sila dun ng mga opportunities and grab them and if necessary upscale sa VAB na mga courses.
  • Don’t forget to pray for strength at saka guidance.
  • Don't worry kasi if you pray at saka may ano ka bilib ka sa sarili mo makakapunta ka talaga dun sa gusto mong puntahan. And yun yung nagbigay sa akin ng strength kasi di ako nag-give-up and sa mga na-experience ko hindi agad-agad makakuha ka ng magandang posisyon kailangan mong pagtrabahuhan, kailangan mong i-learn yun.  So ganun lang talaga yung technique dyan walang mag-su-surrender.  

III. Journey to Freelancing

  • Ms. Aileen Guadalquiver was from Pagadian City, Zamboanga Del Sur. 
  • She was 19-year old when she graduated from the BSHRM course. 
  • She stood 4’11 and had her own struggles and insecurities in the world of HRM because of her height.  “Small but terrible” and “Slowly but surely” was her motto.         
  • She went to Cebu and tried her luck and looked for a job. 
    • Luckily, after a month of struggling, she was hired as wait staff in a resort in Cebu. 
    • The management saw potential in her and got promoted from wait staff to front desk officer. 
    • And a month after that got promoted again as Sales and Event Coordinator, which she loved, and her dream job at that time because she was very interested in creating events and designing. 
    • But sadly, she got overworked and had a health issue which led her to resign from her work and came home to her province.
  • After a year of recuperating, she got back to Cebu and tried her luck again to find a job. She applied to the Casino and luckily got hired. 
    • Because of her height, she was challenged by some people who were putting her down.
    • She worked hard and proved to those people that being small doesn’t matter as long as she did her best and she got promoted again as Shift Leader/Supervisor.
    • Being single and having a successful career, she did everything she loved, and at the end of the day, she realized that she forgot to prioritize her family.
  • When the pandemic striked, she lost her job in a Casino.  She was shocked and realized that even if you do your best it is still not enough.
  • She decided to spend time with her family and looked for a job in their hometown. 
  • She created an account in the Onlinejobs.ph and got rejected because of her lack of experience in the world of freelancing.
  • A helpful friend told her that he was earning 80k a month and encouraged her to the VABootcamp where she started her journey to freelancing and enrolled right away.
    • She finished a month’s worth of courses in just 2 weeks.
    • She committed herself in a 10-day Cover Letter Challenge
    • She actively participated in the VAB groups
    • She does an internship in transcribing in JAS Success where she manifested herself that in the future she will be the one to be interviewed.
  • But after 6-7 months of struggling in applying through agencies, she was discouraged from not landing a single contract or job because she always failed in the interview.
  • She applied for a job in BPO and got hired.
  • She asked for a sign that if she did not receive any invitation for an interview in the span of the training from an online job she will commit herself as Call Center Representative.
  • She got an invitation for an interview from a direct client.
  • She got motivated when she saw the client and put all her efforts in the interview.
  • Since she got a lot of rejections in the interview she prepared a lot for this one and got shocked that she was asked a simple questions and got hired immediately
  • One direct client led to more and her journey became smooth after that.
  1. Questions and Answer

After 6-7 months of struggling, why did you choose to apply to an agency?

Oo kasi may free training sila. Feeling ko hindi ako mahihirapan kung magkakaroon ako ng client tapos sabi nila hands on din at tutulungan ka nila. 

And then lagapak pa din. Bakit ganito? I do my best naman, nakapasa naman ako ng training twice. May interview pa pala after the training. Tapos hindi mo pala makukuha yung time na pinag-training ka.  Hindi mo makukuha ang sahod mo unless makapasok ka or makapasa sa final interview. And doon talaga ako na-down, bakit ganun alam ko naman talaga.  Kinakabahan lang ako kapag interview na. 

So what I did about that, kung saan talaga ang weakness ko tinutukan ko talaga iyon. Weakness ko yung nahihirapan ako sa interview. So nanood ako ng youtube tutorials about sa interviews and possible questions.  Naggawa ako ng script tapos minemorize ko ang script. And I did not expect na dun Upwork, kapag yung client talaga ang nag-interview sayo wala namang “Tell me something about yourself”.  Walang ganun. Bakit ganun yung sa agency?  Yung tanong nya, Okay, ano yung mga skills mo? Tapos yung comment ko lang talaga is nag-enroll ako ng skill course about virtual assistant and madali lang akong matuto and then sabi nya “Okay your will start your work tomorrow”. Pinahirapan pa ako ng agencies.  Ganun lang pala yung sa Upwork.  Nakakainis naman kasi ganun nga sa agency feeling down na ako parang ayaw ko na ng ganito.  Nakakatakot na. Doon ko naransan yung client talaga parang easy lang din pala.  Yung mga tanong masasagutan mo, yung skills talaga ang hinahanap hindi yung experience mo dati. 

Is there no one who suggested you look for a direct client and stop applying to the agency?

Yung friend ko, sabi nya, "Ai, wag ka mag-agency, kasi maliit ang sahod nya, sa Upwork, stick ka lang sa Upwork kasi legit, makikita mo yung kung may stars sila, ilan na yung spent nila”.  Sabi ko, kaso feeling ko, mahihirapan ako kasi wala pa talaga akong experience.  Kaya binigyan niya ako ng mga tips.  Pag may tanong client mo ise-search mo gaad sa Youtube.  So nag-try ako and nakakuha ako first lead and then tuloy-tuloy na. Mga part time sya. Pero happy ako kasi mas may time sa family ko tapos flexible pa pag SMM ka. 

What package did you avail?

Yung Skill Course Package. Gusto ko nga na mag-upgrade sa accelerated. Maybe pag may time, kasi maganda talaga.  Alam nyo nakakita ako ng mga courses sa iba pero mas maganda kasi dito sa VAB kasi every subject ng course, for example SMM, after that mayroon assignment para magawa mong portfolio so maganda sya for the newbies.

May ilang clients na po kayo?  Part time po ba sila lahat?

Yes, part time sila.  As of now I do have 3 clients.  Namimili na ako ngayon, hindi kagaya ng dati.   Gusto ko yung client na mga Australian, kasi mga 2 hours lang gap natin.  And I'm morning person, so gusto kong magwork sa umaga.

In the span of 6-7 months na wala kang malandingan ng contract dahilan sa agency na yan, hindi ka ba lumapit sa mga coaches mo?

That time parang, ang focus ko is maghanap ng work, importanteng makahanap ka na kasi wala ka ng pambayad sa internet.  Pinipray ko na lang "Lord, sana eto na, kasi alam ko sa sarili ko, once na makapasok lang talaga ako sa freelancing, alam kong sa sarili ko na tuloy-tuloy na ito.  Kasi dati din, sa mga previous experience ko, sa mga previous work na , "Struggle is real".  Alam kong aangat ako pag nakapasok na ako.  

Sabi ni Mary Rose, “Si mama ko baka daw scam yung ginagawa ko. Sabi ko antay ka lang ma, wag kang magulat pag nag-abot ako sayo ng malaking pera.”  Can you relate this Aileen.?

Yes.  Sa mga matatanda na, kapag online work parang iba na yung nasa utak. Ano ba yan? Ano ba ang trabaho mo?  Pinakita ko, eto ang trabaho, maliit pa lang sahod kasi nagsisimula pa ako. Just wait lang talaga.  Even if meron akong client, hindi ko nili-limit yung sarili ko na hanggang dun lang.  Gusto ko din mag-upgrade ng mag-upgrade kasi yung ginagawa ng iba. Nag-upskill sila para mas makakuha sila ng mas malaking nag-o-offer.

May nasabi ka dito.  Katulad nito. Until dumating ang pandemic nag-close ang Casino, nag-decide ang management na magtanggal ng empleyado and I am one of those na natanggal.  Hindi ko inexpect.  Matanong ko sayo bakit hindi mo in-expect?

Kasi, yung sa Casino ginalingan ko talaga and maganda yung records ko.  What I learned from Casino is kailangan focus ka sa work mo kasi malaking pera ang tinitingnan mo. Like yung 1 million is mawawala yan sa house ang isang ganun lang.  Sa Casino dapat wala kang iniisip na problema kung may problema ka wag mong isipin pag nasa loob ka na ng Casino.  

Maganda ang records ko wala akong late, wala akong absent, at saka nag-o-overtime talaga ako.  Ambisyosa ako gusto kong makapunta sa ibang bansa, gusto kong magpaganda, kasi single. Yung dalawang shift ginawa ko yun.  Nag-risk talaga ako na every yung mga holidays kung sino yung single at malayo sa family sila yung magduduty ng Christmas at New Year sa Casino. 

 I do not expect na kahit maganda yung records mo, maganda yung effort mo ay darating din ang time na igi-give-up ka.  And I understand naman baka nahihirapan din kasi walang masyadong customer sa pandemic.  

And then, baka eto na yung time na mag-freelancing na talaga ako, baka eto na yung time na magfofocus na talaga ako sa gusto ko.  Kasi dati, alam ko na yung freelancing pero mamaya na lang kasi busy ako at wala nag-aadvise sa akin kasi wala naman that time yung friend ko kasama ko din sa Casino.  Di pa din siya freelancer noon.  So walang nagpupush sa akin. So yung time na nag-pandemic parang yan na yung nasa isip ko, it's time na para gawin ko to. Gusto ko ng mag-settle sa province na may malaking ang sahod. 

Iba kasi pag nasa malayo ka, yun ang napi-feel ko pag nasa top na makukuha mo na gusto mo, nabibili mo na yung gusto mo, naging maganda ka na. Yung feel mo maganda ka na.  Tapos nakapagtravel ka na sa ibang bansa.  Tapos parang after that, kulang pa rin kasi nga importante pala talaga ang family.  

Dahil sa pandemic dun nagsimula ang freelancing journey ko.  And ginawa kong strength yung mga weaknesses ko.  Yun naman talaga ang turo sa amin, sa Total Quality Management na course ko din sa college pa ako. “ Mali-mali ang what is your strength dapat yung weakness nyo gawin nyong strength.”  Yung ang natatak sa utak ko. Kung ano yung na learn mo dapat gamitin mo yun sa ngayon.

Aileen, very quickly pwede paki explain kung ano yung mga tinanong ni client?

Tinanong lang nya kung ilang taon na ako sa freelancing so sinabi ko na, “Kakasimula ko lang pero may skill course na ako.  In-enroll ko ang self ko sa skill course as VA and alam kong makakatulong ako sa business mo in the near future, di ka magsisisi sa akin kasi workaholic at madaling matuto” yun lang talaga.  And dapat talaga honest ka na, madali kang matuto at may skill kang ganito para ma-assess nya kasi baka naman kapag nasobrahan ang pag-explain mo baka di ma-execute, yung ganun.

Can you tell us how you feel at that time?

After that, nagtri-training na ako as Call Center Representative, so sinabi ko sa “TL I hope to follow my heart,” kasi ito talaga yung gusto ko at its an opportunity sa akin I know na love ko na yung pagiging Call Center Representative sa training pa lang.  Feeling ko din may matututunan ako dun.  Pero sa utak ko wini-weigh ko talaga kung ano ang gusto ko talaga. Gusto ko talaga yung sa american movies na ang ganda ng bahay nya, may office sya at dun nagtatrabaho.  Mahilig akong manood ng Youtube Vloggers, kala ko vlogging lang ang income nila nag-free-freelancer din pala sila.  Dun na-enhance yung gusto ko.  Kapag feel mo na may maitutulong sa sarili mo at sa family mo, grab it talaga.  Grab the opportunity.  

Aileen let me ask you, ano ba ang pangarap mo?  What's in the future of Aileen?

Yung pangarap ko po talaga is priority ko na makakuha po ako ng malaki malaking sahod na.  Kasi still nasa part na nagsisimula pa, and after that kasi nga sinabi ko magsesettle na ako sa province so gusto ko na magkaroon ako ng house.  Help my family as a freelancer also gusto ko din na kung ano ang narating ko na ishe-share din sa iba who’s struggling from freelancing diyan.  Kagaya ko ayoko kong maka-experience sila ng na-experience ko that day.  Ang tagal na makakuha ako ng clients. Kung ano yung na-learn ko gusto ko din i-impart sa kanila, Gusto kong gumawa ng SMM Agency in the near future.  

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by 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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70 comments on “How A Former Casino Dealer Keeps Winning in the Freelancing Game”

  1. "Na-hire ako as waitstaff sa hotel, then trinansfer ako sa events coordination which is gusto ko. Sad to say na overwork ako. So I went back to my province." - Aileen

  2. "Pag single ka you want everything in life, yung YOLO ka. Wala ka responsibility. Nakalimutan ko yung family ko. Di ko sila nasusupport financially kagaya ng iba." - Aileen

  3. "Until dumating pandemic, nagclose yung casino, nagdecide yung management na magtanggal ng empleyado, and I'm one of those na natanggal. Di ko inexpect." - Aileen

  4. "Paubos na yung sahod ko. Tapos may friend ako na nahire daw siya, P80K daw sahod niya. Tapos sabi niya may isend siya na link. Yun na yung FREE Course ng VA Bootcamp." - Aileen

  5. "Tapos yung isa kong friend, ganun din, nag-enroll din sa VA Bootcamp, tinanong ko siya if okay ba. Sabi niya after a month daw nagkaclient na siya." - Aileen

  6. "May nagpost sa VA Bootcamp, na looking for transcriber. Tapos nakuha ako, isa ako sa nagtranscribe ng mga JasSuccess. Nagmanifest ako, balang araw ako din." - Aileen

  7. "Nag-try ako sa mga agencies. Di ako makapasok. It took me 6 months, 7 months na ganun yung set up. Nawalan ako ng trust sa sarili ko." - Aileen

  8. "Yung mga kasama ko na iniinterview, ang gagaling mag-english. Until such time na inisip ko na baka hindi talaga sa akin itong freelancing." - Aileen

  9. "So nag-shift ako sa call center. Tapos na hire ako. Tapos biglang may nagmessage sa Upwork, client. Nabuhayan ako. Kasi naghahanap din ako ng sign." - Aileen

  10. "Gusto ko din talaga mag upgrade to Accelerated Package. Nakakita din ako ng courses sa iba, pero ito talagang VA Bootcamp ang pinakamaganda." - Aileen

  11. Hi. I already shared the JASUCCESS inspiring story of Ms. Aileen. However, I have not received yet the free copy of her article "Useful Tools in SMM." Saan po kaya pwede makakuha nito. Thanks

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