How A Former Teacher's Hobbies Got Her Hired – Interview with Gel Galag
A wise man once said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” This truth resonates with a lot of people, but it's not always easy to achieve, mainly because we have bills to pay. Sometimes we force ourselves to work on jobs that don't give us real satisfaction and fulfillment because following our real passion doesn't always translate to financial success.
In this episode of JAS SUCCESS, we will learn about a former English teacher's freelancing journey. She first heard of online jobs during her College days but she stopped pursuing it because she wasn't sure about which jobs are legitimate.
What made her try again? What motivated her to transition from teaching to doing VA work? How did she manage to juggle her day job and freelancing?
Watch this another inspiring and motivational interview as we discover how her hobbies helped her get hired and enjoy a career that allows pursuing the things she is truly passionate about. Gel loves teaching and learning, but she chose to become a virtual assistant specializing in Social Media Management because it is something she enjoys doing and at the same time, generates decent income that allows her to live the life that she wants.
- Isa yun sa mga naging motivation mo na “Ayoko ng ganito” “Hindi ako para dito”. Kasi meron akong mga ka-trabaho na parang kaya nila pero bakit ako parang puro ako reklamo. Parang nakaka-toxic na rin ba sa sarili ko.
- Kapag hindi mo talaga gusto, kahit anong gawin mo, wala.
- Dun ako nagkaroon ng clarity, magkaroon ng job na hindi ganun kabigat yung workload.
- Dun ang alam ko na mas competent ako, dun ako nag-focus nung una kong paghahanap ng client.
- Mahirap talaga nung una nung pinagsasabay ko sila kaso nga iniisip ko yung goal ko which is magfull-time na dito sa pagfe-freelance.
- First is wag mong isipin na kailangan mong mag enroll sa paid course bago ka makakuha ng client kasi katulad ko kaya naman kasi nandiyan naman si Google kung hindi pa talaga kaya.
- Katulad ko nga, be willing to have sacrifices muna, sa una. Iwas muna sa gala. Konti na lang yung free time mo.
- Last one, be a life-long learner. Siguro ito nadala ko sa pagtuturo ko.
- Don't stop learning kahit na newbie ka pa lang o medyo may alam na or kahit sabihin na natin expert. Kasi dito sa career na ito mas okay yung mas nau-upgrade yung skills mo hindi yung na-stuck ka lang. Siyempre kapag nau-upgrade yung skills mo, more dollars to come.
Gel’s Journey to Freelancing:
- Gel Galag started book-blogging back in college. She then learned how to set up a WordPress site. She was also able to set-up her MailChimp to reach her audience.
- While book-blogging, she learned about work-from-home opportunities. She already knew for herself that she's not fit for teaching. But she's left with no choice since she was already in her third year.
- She searched work-from-home jobs but nothing seemed legit. She only found typing jobs.
- She pursued teaching for two years. She got so exhausted with teaching. Her first year was a nightmare. She took Secondary education so she's used to teaching high school. However she was given grade 1 students. It was a very big adjustment. Since they're kids, she did all the paperwork like checking their quizzes.
- Early 2018, she came across my ad that says you can earn 6-digits working from home. At first, she thought it's too good to be true, I'm a Filipino and most of the people she found teaching online were foreigners. Still, she clicked the ad and enrolled in the free VA course.
- There she learned that she can earn money through calendar management, email management and the likes. She learned about freelancing while teaching.
- It was the summer of 2018 when she applied at OnlineJobs.ph since her Upwork account that time was not yet approved. After two to three weeks, thankfully, although her cover letter was templated, someone noticed her. That job only lasted for 2 months.
- She got pushed and motivated to enroll in the VA Course on installment basis when she found out that VA Bootcamp was changing the member's subscription.
- She continued teaching. But as time passes by, she thought of her future ~ to continue teaching or pursue work-from-home. She got really motivated to finish the course as she continued reading success stories on the VAB Members Only group.
- January 2019, she finished the course so she could join the February Hustle Challenge.
- She got her first client on Upwork. She was able to use her expertise in WordPress, MailChimp and Canva. She reviewed the VA Course to learn more.
- She continued juggling teaching and freelancing. Teaching in the morning and freelancing in the evening.
- April 2019, she finally resigned from teaching. She found it difficult to find more clients. Her friends pursuaded her to go back to teaching or apply in call centers but she dreaded the graveyard shift.
- After a month, she got a '30hrs/week' work at OnlineJobs.ph.
- Finally, she resigned in her teaching career and now focuses on working from home. Currently, she has 5 clients, 1 client from OLJ and 4 clients from Upwork and working for a total of 46 hours per week. She's doing Social Media Management and Writing. She can proudly say she earns more in freelancing.
Q & A Highlights:
How did you discover freelancing or working from home?
Nung college days ko, doon ko na-find out yung freelancing na yan. Kasi kakabasa ko ng mga blogs. I also started making my own blog which is a book blog. Kasi mahilig ako magbasa. Way ko siya noon i-share yung hobby ko. Sa pagbo-book blog ko siyempre kailangan may website ako. Doon ko natutunan ung pag set-up ng WordPress site. Natutunan ko sa sarili ko. Pa-google google lang diyan. Tanong dito sa mga expert. And then also may mailing list ka para ma-reach yung mga audience mo. So nagset-up ako ng MailChimp ko which is ginagamit din ng mga clients ko ngayon. Then also, yung Canva. Akala ko dati Photoshop lang na ang hirap hirap matutunan.
Natutunan mo lang nung college ka pa? Tinuturo ba?
Hindi po. Hobby ko lang siya. Pa-google-google lang po ako.
Pagka-graduate mo, nakapag-work ka as a teacher?
Nakapag-work din naman po, Ms A. Kasi ti-nry ko mag-apply sa call center kaso hindi ko kaya ung graveyard shift kaya sige teaching na lang kasi parang iyon naman ung kaya ko, may skills naman ako. Napag-aralan ko naman so try ko muna makapagturo para makapag-ipon din ng laptop. Saka ko na lang i-pursue kapag may nahanap na akong mga legit na work-from-home.
Hindi ka ba nahirapan pala during Hustle Challenge bago mo nakuha itong client na ito?
Yung hustle challenge, Ms A. ang ginawa ko sa kanya kapag nagpapasa ako ng cover letter sa inyo is a day before gawa ng schedule ko na nagtuturo. Diba ang deadline natin noon parang 5pm.
Paano mo mina-nage yung time mo? Kasi yun usually ung tanong nung iba, kung hindi kami mag re-resign muna sa work, papaano namin ima-manage na after work, may another work na naka-abang?
Una ko masasabi, you have to be willing to have sacrifices talaga. Ang sacrifice ko noon is yung free time ko at pag-gising ng mas maaga pa. Minsan pag mas maaga ako nagigising nagwo-work pa ako ng mga trabaho ko kay client tapos saka ako magpe-prepare na sa trabaho at papasok. Tapos pag-uwi, bilisang pagkilos ulit, bilisang pagkain tapos haharap na ako sa laptop.
Sapat naman yung kinikita mo? Ano ba natapatan ba nung client na yun ung kinikita mo dun sa pagte-teach mo?
Ms A. kung walang service charge si Upwork mas mataas pa yung kay client.
Nung nag-resign ka ba? Yung kita mo noon since dalaga ka naman kasi, yung iba kasi usually ayaw magresign kasi wala pang ipon? Maa-advise mo ba sa kanila na gawin din yung ginawa mo?
Para sa akin mag-ipon muna. May ipon ako nun pero maliit lang. Pero at least, hindi ako zero talaga tapos suggest ko din talaga na kung kaya ay hanap ka ng dalawang client kunwari may pamilya ka.
Ano yung mga challenges mo?
Yung internet connection ko noon Ms A. is yung PLDT Ultera lang. Ang problema ko dun is 50gig lang siya per month. So hindi ko pa natatapos yung isang buwan ubos na agad. At ang mahal mahal pa.
Magkano ang Ultera?
1,800 parang mga ganun na 50gig lang! So, nung nagkaroon na ako ng isa pang client naisip ko na kailangan ko nang maghanap ng mas maasyos. Then, nahanap ko yung tinatawag nilang P2P connection. Parang point to point connection. So ayun yung naging solution para sa aking internet.
Yung client mo ngayon na dalawa, hindi mo na dinagdagan?
Nadagdagan na, Ms A. Apat na sila. Tapos may isa na may trial kami ngayong week.
So papano yun, kung 10 hrs ka per week kay Australian Client at 30 hrs per week ka kay OLJ client, paano yung dalawa? Paano yung set-up niyo naman?
Yung dalawa Ms A, umaabot lang siya minsan ng tig-3 hrs sa kanila. Hawak ko kasi yung oras ko doon. So nakaka-46 hrs na ako.
How many hours did you spend studying in VAB since full-time teacher ka before?
Mga 2 hrs every day, sa gabi.
How much is your rate?
Sa bawat client iba-iba, Ms A. Pero nung free course pa lang ako, Ms A. nag-start ako nun $2.50 lang kasi hindi ko alam.
So ngayon nag $5 ka na and magkano na din na-reach mo na pinakamataas na rate?
Anong mga maiiwan mong golden nugget sa mga viewers kung gusto nilang mag freelance at meron silang current work pa?
First is, wag mong isipin na kailangan mong mag-enroll sa paid course bago ka makakuha ng client kasi katulad ko kaya naman kasi nandiyan naman si Google kung hindi pa talaga kaya. Kinaganda lang kasi talaga ng paid course is hindi mo kailangan mag-google, andiyan na talaga para sa iyo. (Naka-outline na.)
Katulad ko nga, be willing to have sacrifices muna, sa una. Iwas muna sa gala. Konti na lang yung free time mo. Kasi ngayon mas worth it naman yung nararanasan ko ngayon kaysa sa una na pinagsabay ko yung dalawang trabaho.
Last one, be a life-long learner. Siguro ito nadala ko sa pagtuturo ko. Pero na-relate din naman ngayon sa freelancing nga. Don't stop learning kahit na newbie ka pa lang o medyo may alam na or kahit sabihin na natin expert. Kasi dito sa career na ito mas okay yung mas nau-upgrade yung skills mo hindi yung na-stuck ka lang. Siyempre ‘pag nau-upgrade yung skills mo, more dollars to come.
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.