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How Did She Level Up Her Life and Career Without A College Degree?

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I’m not sure if you’d agree with me.

But I believe we grew up in a society with this kind of mindset.

“Kailangan magtapos ka ng pag-aaral, makagraduate ng college, para makakuha ka ng magandang trabaho.”

If you’re a believer of this, I want you to meet Monica.

“Gusto ko din po i prove sa sarili ko na kaya ko, na may future ako kahit di ako nakapag college. Isa po kasi yan na hindrance ko nung nag apply ako ng work when I was still in the Philippines, hindi ako college level kaya may mga company na ayaw ako tanggapin.”

(See Jason, kailangan talaga graduate ka para matanggap ka sa company na gusto mo.)

Well, that’s how it is in the corporate world.

But not in freelancing.

Because Monica’s life changed since she started as a freelancer.

Find out how she did it on this replay.

Introduction

Monica Suarez Chang as a child,  dreamed of being a nurse because she wants to go abroad in the US and earn dollars. Unfortunately, they lost everything and went back to zero due to family conflicts, and they went to Manila to find their luck. She has gone through everything, from falling in long lines just to apply for a job to, becoming a singer abroad.

Find out how an inspiring woman with no college degree, now a housewife based in Malaysia became successful through freelancing.

Notable Quotes

  • I need something talaga na pwede kong magamit kapag tumanda ako, I need a skill sabi ko sa sarili ko.
  • Kahit sabihin ko pa na sinusuportahan ako ng asawa ko. Hindi eh, mas maganda talaga ‘pag may sarili kang income.
  • You, yourself should level up. Dapat may skill ka, kase karapatan mo bilang tao ‘yun eh. Dapat strong ka rin sa sarili mo, dapat may sarili ka ‘ring pagkukunan.
  • Wag po kayo mawalan ng pag-asa, di naman po lahat everytime happy. Binibigyan lang po talaga kayo ng pagkakataon na matuto.
  • Minsan kasi sa sobrang hawak mo yung time mo , minsan parang relax ka na lang. Dapat marunong ka i-structure yung buong araw mo.
  • Wag po tayong mawawalan ng pag-asa na,  “ay andami ng freelancer siguro wala ng matitirang work para sakin”,  hindi po totoo yan, kasi everyday naman po may mga business na nabubuo.
  • Mag-aral ka lang talaga. Kung gusto mo talaga sa freelancing world, dapat i-structure mo na talaga yung learning process mo.
  • Wag po kayo mawalan ng pag-asa, kung gusto nyo po talaga may paraan, parang nangyari po sakin, kahit di naman po ako college degree or level, kung gusto nyo po talaga may mga ways po eh.
  • Pwede pong pag-aralan kahit ano pong gusto nyo gawin. For example po, dati po akong singer dito, nung nag-stop po ako, akala ko po talaga, parang wala  na po talaga akong chance na, “ay pagkanta lang yung alam ko ano bang trabahong pwede kong gawin?” pero marami palang opportunities.
  • Wag kayong mag- alala mapag aaralan po yung skills talaga
  • Kung may gusto kayo, go for it lang.

Journey to Freelancing

  • After graduating from high school, she worked only as a contractual employee.
  • She worked as a counter checker in a mall, she worked at boutiques, etc. 
  • Whenever she applied for a job, she always waited in a long line for the application process. But in the end, companies still looked for a college graduate.
  • She got the opportunity to go to Malaysia to be a singer. She grabbed it and went back and forth abroad, searching for success, but it didn’t work out.
  • She searched online about working from home and stumbled upon Sir Jayson Dulay’s travel vlog. She asked herself, Can I do it? I have no degree, and I have no skills.
  • She clicked the link and found herself in videos about success stories, and got inspired. She said to herself, “This is it, this is my time”.
  • She enrolled in VA Bootcamp and even asked Ms. Anna if she could pay it on an installment basis.
  • She asked her husband if she could join the VA Bootcamp, and he supported her all the way. Now she is a successful freelancer based in Malaysia.

Question and Answer

So nung nag enroll ka was it difficult for you? Ano ang mga naexperience mo nung pinag aaaralan  mo ang mga skills na binigay sa VA Bootcamp?

-Napaka-structured po kasi ng course, mag uumpisa ka muna sa mga light hanggang mag-level up. Hindi naman po ako nahirapan. Sobrang fulfilling naman po at nag-enjoy po ako.

Are your friends and family were okay with you doing freelancing? Wala bang kumokontra at nagbibigay ng doubt?

-Nung una di nila masyado maintindihan, pero they are very happy. Sinasabi nila na atleast may pinagkakaabalahan ka at kumikita ka kahit nasa bahay ka lang. And my goal is mag-stop na yung asawa  ko sa corporate job nya and then switch to freelancing kasi na-inspire ako sa mga mag-asawa na parehong freelancer.

Do you have an IT background at all?

-Wala po, pero now I’m transitioning myself into web designing. Actually nag-aaral po ako ng HTML, sa mga online course din lang po. 

Ano po ang niche ninyo nung nagstart kayo and niche nyo currently?

-Yung client ko po kasi is a nutritionist so the focus is on Health but Social Media Marketing parin. Pero ngayon, slowly transitioning into web designing naman.

When did you enroll in VA Bootcamp Courses?

-I enrolled October 2017. Two months ko po natapos yung course kasi nung time po kasi na yon  nandito po kasi yung parents ko sa Malaysia so medyo hindi po ako nakapag-focus pero after ko po sya natapos, gumawa na po ako ng Upwork account, I think 3 attempts po ako bago natanggap sa Upwork kasi sa sobrang dami. But if you know the recipe kung paano gumawa ng profile mo maaccept naman after non may nag-message kaagad sakin.

How long did it take you to from nag-aral ka ng VA Bootcamp to nagkaroon ka ng client?

-Two months po sa VA Bootcamp then gumawa po ako ng account sa Upwork then after one week may nag-message sakin then naging client ko na po sya.

Sa freelancing, did it ever occurred na nabanggit ang degree mo? Kailangan ba nilang check up-in kung college degree holder ka or what?

-Wala pa naman po ako nae-encounter. Although kapag napunta po ako sa Facebook job posts, especially dito sa Malaysia kapag local, you need to have a college degree or bachelor’s degree.  Pero di naman po ako nagaaply sa mga ganun. Pero may isa akong pinag-applyan pero tinanggap naman po ako. Yung ibang client naman sabi nila, “Don’t worry some of the work will have training”. Clients naman po yung nagpo-provide ng trainings.

Having no IT background, did you have struggles in doing the business?

-Wala naman po. Hindi na po need yon, it depends naman yun kung ano yung work mo. Pero kung IT related siguro po need yon.

Ilan na po ang client nyo ngayon, fulltime and project-based?

-Nagkaroon po ako ng four clients ng sabay-sabay pero ginive-up ko po sila isa-isa, di naman po one shot. Ngayon po two, kasi balak ko kasing magfocus, tapos yung iba po kasing client nakaka-drain, depende lang po talaga ‘yun sa inyo, kung ilan po yung kaya nyo i-handle para di po kayo maburn-out. Kasi kapag freelancer ka, kailangan marunong po kayo maghandle ng time nyo, syempre iba iba naman po kasi tayo ng priority sa buhay. For example kapag Mommy ka, may iba iba tayong priorities dapat marunong po tayong mag divide ng time natin. Ako po kasi, yung reason ko kung bakit ko ginive up yung iba (clients) kasi gusto ko tlaga magfocus. I want to transition to web development naman.

Na-enjoy mo ba ang mag-aral sa VA Bootcamp?

-Opo, na-enjoy ko po. May mga hindi po ako na-encounter before na na-encounter ko sa VA Bootcamp. Parang tine-train ka talaga, parang secretary. Yung katulad ng “how to organize the email”. Ang ganda pala nito, na-enjoy ko po talaga sya.

Kamusta ka naman dito sa freelancing?

-Okay naman po. I’m so grateful kahit na po may pandemic, nakakatulong po ako sa parents ko. Mas maganda talaga kapag may sarili kang income.

Meron ka bang malaking frustration and struggles noong nagsisimula ka?

-Gusto ko magdagdag ng client. Naghahanap po talaga ako syempre hindi naman po lahat ng sinend-an mo ng proposals, matatanggap ka talaga.

Are you able to manage your time as a spouse? How well do you manage your time between leveling up your skill habang may work ka tas nag aapply ka pa ng ibang mga jobs? How are you with your time management skills?

-Actually po minsan nalo-lost din po ako. ‘Yun rin po yung gusto kong i-share na dapat kapag freelancer ka alam mo din dapat how to manage your time. Morning po ako nag-aaral then night naman po ako nagwo-work yan po yung arrangement ko ngayon.

How many hours did you work in a day?

-Minsan 6 pm – 3 am, minsan naman less, kapag ready na po yung mga resources ko, scheduling na lang. May time na medyo heavy and may time na relax na.

Is there in the freelancing na pakiramdam mo ay kulang parin?

-Nasa atin din po talaga yon na kapag gusto mo makukuha mo. Ngayon, gusto ko pa pong magtransition sa web designing, sa web development.Yun po talaga yung gusto ko makamit at gusto ko po makatrabaho yung asawa ko, yun po yung goal ko ngayon kasi kahit anong niche naman po eh, kasi yung freelancing nandyan lang naman. Okay naman po yung mga free sa online, yung mga nakikita mo sa youtube. Ang nangyayari po kasi andami kasing information online parang magulo sa utak mo, may nakikita ka dito, may nakikita ka don. Watak-watak po kasi kaya dapat i-structure mo para di ka mahirapan. 

Hindi mo ba naisip na scam ang VA Bootcamp?

-Hindi po, very curious lang po talaga ako, I dig into, nagresearch din po talaga ako. Pumunta rin po ako sa FB page. Nung una po, kala ko po talaga networking. Binasa ko naman po lahat sa vlog ni Sir Jayson. Then napanood ko po yung ganitong interview, nagopen po sakin na wow tlagang totoo pala ito.

Paano mo made-detect kung scam yung work sa mga online platforms?

-Pinaka una pong nagti-trigger dyan is ‘yung nanghihingi po sila ng pera. Kapag hindi na kapani-paniwala yung pay. Kahit naman napaka-simple ng work pero ang bayad is $20,000, something fishy na po kaagad yun.

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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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