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How Online Jobs Helped Former OFW Stay Home For Good

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Have you ever dreamed of going to Korea?

A few months ago, there was a buzz about the possibility of getting visa-free entry to South Korea. Although this was never finalized, just the thought of traveling to this beautiful country created a lot of excitement for Pinoy K-Pop wave fans. Some Pinoys even dream of working in Korea because of job opportunities.

But just like in other foreign countries, no matter how modern, urbanized, and wealthy the country maybe, if you are far away from your family, there’ll always be an empty place in your heart that cannot be filled.

Our JasSuccess guest for today use to work in South Korea. She had a great job and she was earning well to support her family but when she learned from a friend that it is possible to earn dollars without leaving the country, she got intrigued.

She joined the FLIP community and enrolled in the VA Bootcamp course and after a few months of hustling, she landed her first online job. It became her stepping stone to get back home in the Philippines for good.

After many years of being separated from her daughter, her sacrifices have finally paid off. Thanks to online freelancing she now has a thriving freelancing career and she never has to worry about leaving her family again.

That doesn’t mean she won’t go back to Korea. Since her current job allows her to work anywhere, she can choose to travel and work at the same time if she chooses to.

Hear her story in this replay.

Irish was an OFW for 7 years working in South Korea & a nurse by profession.  She was earning well to support her family until she discovered freelancing. In 2019, she badly needed a part time job due to recession. South Korea doesn’t permit doing dual or part time jobs, you only have to have one job or else you lose both jobs. She found freelancing through a friend. She enrolled in the VA Bootcamp on July 10, started applying on July 18 and landed her first job on August 10. Now, she is back in the Philippines with her daughter whom she missed, came back  to the Philippines in December 2019. Since then, she has been taken by this same client full time!   

NOTABLE QUOTES

  • Change your plan but never the goal. Set your mind to focus on your goal at kung may mga plans ka na hindi nagwowork, mag change ka ng plan but never the goal.
  • Focus on your goal and your mind set. Ako sinet ko ang mind ko na i-pursue ang freelancing kasi may goal ako. Ang goal ko is umuwi ako ng Pilipinas at nagawa ko naman,
  • Kapag sinimulan ko gawin ang isang bagay, I make sure to finish it ng walang regrets. Kung hindi man siya mag work, at least I did my best.
  • Kapag natutunan mo ang freelancing, pwede ka na umuwi sa Pilipinas  at magwowork ka nalang sa bahay kasama mo pa family mo. Ito ang sinabi sakin ng friend ko na naging drive ko para i-pursue ang freelancing.
  • Nag enroll ako sa VA Bootcamp paid course kasi may guidelines ang course na super ganda so lahat natutunan ko pati kung paano gumawa ng profile sa Upwork at ibang platforms.
  • Linagay ko sa application ko na, “I am a nurse by profession and I have background in the medical field so I might be the person you are looking for to be a researcher” when she said in her job post that she is a psychologist and a coach and I’m looking for a researcher. Sinabi rin nya sa akin sa interview na may mas edge ako sa mga applicants dahil nasa medical field rin ako.
  • Mas maganda na sasabihin mo sa client na may internet connection problem ka para ma set yung expectations nila pero you have other options para maayos ang connection mo. Most clients alam na ang Pilipinas has terrible internet connection.
  • Uncomfortable ka kasi hindi mo madalas gawin, sabi ng client ko sa struggle ko sa kanya.  Ang struggle ko sa client ko ay nahihirapan ako sa mga instructions niya kaya sabi ko sa kanya e struggle ko yun sa sarili ko. Ang client ko ay sobrang talino, Harvard graduate pa kaya yung level ng thinking nya e gusto maka catch up ako agad. Ang sabi nya sakin, “No, you are just uncomfortable because you are not used to doing it.”
  • Nakuha ko na ugali ng client ko, kapag marami syang sinasabi, pinapagalitan ako o sinesermonan ako, hinahayaan ko lang siya. Kapag nabigyan ako ng chance to explain my side, explain ko ang side ko. Kung hindi parin siya huminto, let her be. Eventually, siya rin ang kakalma.
  • Sometimes, I feel na parang dinadown niya ako pero iniisip ko nalang na it’s a training ground for me.  I take it as a challenge to improve myself kahit minsan nakaka stress. 
  • Maghapon ko ginagawa ang mga tasks ng client so nauubos ang time ko para sa ibang bagay nung nag full time ako sa aking client. Tinuruan ako ng client ko ng Time Management Matrix ni Steven Covey. Natutunan ko kung alin ang uunahin ko at kung ano yung hindi ko muna gagawin.
  • Hindi dahil may client nako stop na ako matuto ng skills. Pinag aaralan ko ngayon ang social media manager particularly sa LinkedIn. Gusto ko matutunan ang pasikot sikot ng LinkedIn para maibalik ko sa client ko ang mga itinuturo niya sakin.

 JOURNEY TO FREELANCING

  • A nurse by profession, worked as an OFW in South Korea for 7 years. She was earning well to support her family and have a great job but has been separated from her daughter for this number of years as an OFW.
  • In 2019, there was a recession in South Korea and they lessened the workload thus the income. She thought of looking for a part-time job but South Korea doesn’t permit having 2 jobs. You can easily get fired if they discover that you have two jobs. But, she continued looking for a part time job.
  • One of her batchmates in high school posted on Facebook a work at home picture of hers.  Then she got curious and asked her about her online work. Her batchmate introduced freelancing to Irish and sent her the links of VA Bootcamp and FLIP.  She has zero knowledge about freelancing but is interested in freelancing. She again asked her batchmate to explain further so her batchmate sent her the tutorials.  She explained further that there are free and paid courses in the VA Bootcamp and it’s your choice to get the free course or the paid course. If you go full time into freelancing then you can come home to the Philippines and work at home to be with your family. That was the motivation that made Irish pursue freelancing.  
  • At the end of May, Irish came home to the Philippines for a two-week vacation. It was also the chance to self study the free courses that her friend sent.  She was convinced to enroll in the VA Bootcamp because of the testimonials, feedback and the good community of the FLIP group. 
  • She planned to enroll when she got back to South Korea last June 25 but due to financial constraint wasn’t able to enroll.
  • She finally got the chance to enroll on July 10 using her friend’s credit card. She had the chance to study only for an hour a day because she goes home at 8 PM on weekdays. However, weekends are free to study the course. She finished the course in 18 days because she followed the guidelines of the course and it was so beautiful that she learned a lot including making a profile in Upwork and other platforms. Then she started applying by July 28. 
  • She got an email on August 3 from her present client and got hired on August 10. Her client was looking for a researcher and mentioned that she is a Psychologist and a coach.  In the cover letter, Irish mentioned that she is a nurse and has a background in the medical field and she might be the right person she was looking for to be a researcher. During the interview, her client said that she has an edge because of her medical background but had her do a trial task. The client sent the trial task to 10 applicants and she was a newbie so she was not very confident in getting the job. After two days, the client hired her.
  • Her client likes her research skills including the Director of the Company of her client. Her client offered her services as a researcher to the Director and now is in the process of having the company as her 2nd client. 
  • Irish is part time with the client and she does her tasks after her work and during weekends when she was still in South Korea. She was struggling at first in communicating with her client because she talks fast and loves meeting in zoom to discuss the details of the task.
  • Another struggle is that Irish has a hard time with the instructions given.  The client is a psychologist and a Harvard graduate and very intelligent and she forgets that Irish cannot catch up right away with what she wants.
  • In November, her client asked her when she will go back to the Philippines. Irish said next month (December). Her client told her that she was planning to get her full time. Then she came back to the Philippines last December and has been full time with this client, Irish is looking forward to having a 2nd client with the Director of a hospital in Asia as a researcher that was referred by her client.
  • She has since upgraded her skills in social media particularly with LinkedIn. 

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tell me more about your journey in freelancing.

Nakilala ko ang freelancing dahil sa Batchmate ko na nag bigay sakin ng mga links sa VA Bootcamp, FLIP at mga tutorials and convinced me to enroll in a paid course. During my vacation in the Philippines last June, I studied the links and tutorials given to me and decided to enroll in the VA Bootcamp. I wasn’t able to enroll right away when I got back to South Korea on June 25. On July 10, I enrolled using the credit card of my friend. I studied extensively an hour on weekdays after my work and every weekend. I started applying to platforms on July 28. I got a response on Aug. 3 and was hired on Aug. 10 as a part time researcher. She has been my client ever since. I am now full time with her.

  • Do you think it was skill, or education or plain luck sa pagkakaroon mo ng client agad?

Ang client ko is a psychologist and a coach so, malaking factor yung medical background ko.

  • Has there been any technical problems in communicating with your client?

Maganda ang internet access ng South Korea kaya walang problem dun.  Pagdating ko ng Pilipinas ay nagkaproblema ako sa connection with zoom dahil  madalas kami sa zoom kaya napansin ng client ko. Sabi ko, I’m still working on it kasi inaayos ko palang internet service ko.  

  • Mas acceptable ba na sasabihin agad na may problema sa connection mo o isip ka nalang ng paraan kahit matagalan ka to submit the project?  What do you think?

Yes, po sa part ko mas maganda na sabihin kasi may mga client na naiintindihan knowing that most of the client alam na ang Pilipinas has terrible internet connection.

  • What was your life while working in South Korea and working online at the same time?

Nung nasa South Korea pa ako, si client hindi ako pinepressure sa trabaho kasi alam niya na nasa South Korea ako at part time lang ako sa kanya. Yung tasks na binibigay niya ay ginagawa ko sa gabi at sa weekends.

  • Are there any struggles?

Ang struggle ko sa kaniya ay masyado siyang mabilis magsalita kung minsan hindi ko maintindihan pero ngayon na cacatch up ko na. Another struggle is gusto niya ma catch up ko agad ang mga gusto niya dahil psychologist at Harvard graduate siya at sobrang matalino pa. Parang gusto niya i-level ako sa thinking niya kaya nagiging struggle sa akin.  

  • Does it make it hard for you na tinetrain ka niya?  Do you accept it as part of your education or do you feel na parang kulang pa?

           Kapag  pinapagalitan ako o pinagsasabihan ng client ko, I take it as a challenge to improve myself kahit minsan nakaka stress. 

  • Tell me about your transition from South Korea to coming here to the Philippines and doing full time?

Sa transition, hindi naman ako nahirapan. Dahil may day job ako dati, sa gabi at weekends ko ginagawa trabaho ko. Ngayon, nung umuwi na ako ng Pilipinas, struggle ko ang time management dahil halos maghapon ko ginagawa ang mga pinapagawa ni client so nauubos na ang time ko para sa ibang bagay. What I did was to manage my time na dapat ganitong oras lang mag computer kasi masama din sa mata ang nakababad lagi sa laptop.

  • What was the problem with time management & how did you solve it?

Dahil fulltime na ako maraming time ang nasasayang sa akin. Halos maghapon ko gawin yung mga tasks ni client. Ginawa ni client ay binigyan niya ako ng isang management tool yung kay Steven Covey na Time Management Matrix.  Ito ay subdivided into 4 matrix, yung urgent important, urgent not important, not urgent but important and not urgent not important. From there, na manage ko ang pag tackle ng tasks. Ayusin mo yung tasks mo into Time Management Matrix by Steven Covey. Subdivide the tasks according to the matrix.

Natuto ako kung ano ang uunahin, ano yung hindi muna gagawin. Yung mga urgent important ang uunahin ko. Ako kasi dati, kung ano yung mga tasks ni client, sunod sunod kong ginagawa, minsan it’s not that important ang nauuna kong gawin. Ayusin mo siya into Time Management Matrix.

  •  How did you propose to go full time?

           My client asked me, “When are you going back to the Philippines?”. Sabi ko, actually, next month pauwi na ako. Sabi ni client, “Oh, really because I’m planning to get you full time.” Ibig sabihin nagustuhan ni client ang trabaho ko kahit sinesermonan niya ako. Nagustuhan din ng boss ni client na isang Director sa hospital sa Asia so I am looking forward to this new job, gusto nila ako kunin researcher din.

  • What’s the future for me?

           Iniintroduce ako ni client sa social media particularly LinkedIn. Ito ang gusto ko rin e pursue. Gusto ko matutunan ang pasikot sikot sa Linkedin para maibalik ko rin yung natutunan ko kay client.

  • Paano ba maging effective researcher?

           Pag binibigyan ako ni client ng tasks, ang gamit ko lang ay si Google, Boolean search, Google advance tapos email hunter at LinkedIn dahil mga tao ang pinapahanap nya. Gusto ni client na naintindihan mo ang binabasa mo and you are able to explain to her based sa understanding mo maliban pa sa pag summarize. Ayaw ni client ang copy paste. Alam niya kapag nag copy paste ka.

  • What is your advice to newbies?

           Ako kasi kapag sinimulan ko ang isang bagay, I make sure to finish it na walang regrets. Kung hindi man siya mag work, at least I did my best. Advice ko lang is to focus on your goals, be sure you have goals and then set your mind to your goals. Ako sinet ko mind ko na ipu-pursue ko ang freelancing, dahil may goal ako. Ang goal ko is uuwi ako ng Pilipinas at nagawa ko naman. So, set your mind, yung kailangan focus ka sa goal mo at kung hindi mag work, change your plan but never the goal.  Change your plan but never the goal.

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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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