Overcoming Obstacles to Give a Better Life for Her Son – Interview with Christine Manlapaz
Did you ever have to choose between taking care of your family and pursuing a job opportunity that will help provide for their needs?
This is the case for most OFWs and working women, isn't it? It's a difficult dilemma because taking care of one's family requires both money and time with them. Luckily, for freelancers, we can have both.
For this week's JAS SUCCESS interview, we're going to learn about the inspiring story of Christine Manlapaz, a virtual assistant who left the corporate world so she could spend more time with her son.
When she was still working in Manila, she had to leave her child with her in-laws in the province because that was the best arrangement she could think of. Understandably, it was difficult for her, as a mother to be far away from him.
When she heard about online freelancing, she tried her best to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to get started. The idea of being able to work from home gave her hope that she could take care of her son without worrying about their financial situation.
At first, she tried working part-time as an ESL Teacher, but the pay was too low so she looked for other opportunities. Then she got hired as an e-commerce VA but she didn't get paid – she was scammed!
You could imagine how discouraging that was, but she didn't give up the fight!
Watch the replay here.
- Bago po kayo mag-accept ng offer kay client, lalo na kung testing, siguro one day lang dapat (ang testing period with free work). Tapos i-search niyo po siya kung totoong tao ba siya.
- Sabi ko, “Okay lang kahit ‘di niya ako binayaran (one month free work).” Kasi ‘yung mga files, mga Excel, mga training, sinave ko po ‘yon. Sabi ko, “Eto na lang. Pang-portfolio ko na lang ‘to.” Binawi ko na po doon.
- Minsan sabi ko, “Parang ayoko na.” Sabi ko, “Parang ayoko na.” Tapos tinitingnan ko ‘yung anak ko, hindi puwedeng, “Ayoko na.” “Kawawa naman ‘yung anak ko.” Tinitingnan ko siya. Sabi ko, “Hindi maghahanap pa ako, madami pa diyan.
- Ang saya saya po. Hindi na ako gumigising ng maaga, tapos andito ‘yung anak ko katabi ko, tapos nagtatrabaho po ako nandiyan [siya].
- Sa mga nawawalan po ng pag-asa, siguro hindi pa po para sa inyo yung mga ina-applyan niyo. Malay niyo po–anong tawag nito–hindi niyo lang siya na-applyan, pero one day mahahanap niyo din yung maayos na client.
- Habang naghahanap pa ng client, mag-pray po palagi, tsaka ‘wag mawalan ng pag-asa.
- Hindi po ako nagpadaig doon sa negativity, kaya ‘yun: hanggang ngayon, lumalaban.
Christine's Journey to Freelancing:
- She is from Legazpi, Albay.
- After finishing college, she applied for work in Manila after not being able to find a job in the province.
- She worked in a bank for 8 months.
- She then transitioned to an office job in Makati for two years.
- She kept changing her living location before getting pregnant.
- It was hard to have to leave her baby with her in-laws often because of work logistics.
- Her husband is an OFW seafarer.
- It was tough to file a leave from the office (one-week maximum in general).
- For a year: commute time to work took 1 hour, commute time to go back home took 3-5 hours.
- She heard about Jason Dulay after googling about work from home opportunities.
- She availed of the Free VA Course at freevacourse.com.
- She watched WFHR videos while commuting.
- She enrolled in the VAB Accelerated course after taking the free course.
- She bought and used Smart Bro for internet while learning the lessons.
- She got a first online job as an ESL tutor (3 months), but the pay was meager.
- Later on, she got scammed by an e-commerce client from OLJ (1 month of work).
- She applied for the October 2018 Guided Hustle Challenge yet got hired just before the training began.
- She got another client after one week.
- She eventually then lost all her clients because, according to them, she lacked skills.
- It took around one year for her to get decent clients online (5 clients in January 2019).
- Eventually, she started being the one turning clients down because they made her overloaded.
- She resigned from her corporate job in April 2019.
- She used the knowledge gained from the client who scammed her to start her own Shopify business.
- From applying to job posts, she has now transitioned into posting jobs to hire her team online.
- She is currently training one staff person for her Shopify business.
- She is looking to hire more.
Q & A Highlights:
Mas mababa ba ang sahod mo sa ESL compared sa corporate?
Opo. Mas mababa po.
One year ‘yung struggle mo ‘nung naghanap ka ng freelance work. Looking back, would you say worth it ang dinaaanan mo ba?
Opo. Kasi trials lang ‘yun na binigay sa akin ni God. Para kunyari kung malalagpasan ko o hindi. Kung matibay ba ako. Kasi, kapag nalalagpasan mo ‘yung mga problems, mga trials na ‘yon, [ibig sabihin noon] matatag ka ‘eh.
Flexi-time ho bang maging E-Commerce VA? Mga ilang oras ang naibibigay niyo sa isang E-comm client?
Pag sa E-comm po, alam ko flexi.
Did you go through ‘yung E-comm training sa bootcamp?
When you were going through your challenges, masyadong nakaka-demotivate din minsan noh?
Minsan nakakatamad na mag-apply. Nakakawala ng pag-asa po talaga. Pero dahil nga po sa mga ‘yun nga: diyan sa Jas Success, yung mga ganito po na ginagawa niyo. Nakaka-motivate po siya, Nakakatulong po siya sa mga ano: nanenega na ng tao na nawawalan ng pag-asa na, “Magkakaroon pa ba ako ng client? Para sa akin ba ’yung freelancing?” Mga ganoon.
Tapos ‘pag napanood mo na, sinisipag. Ako kasi ganoon po ako eh. kapag nanenega na ako, tapos nanonood ako ng mga positive na videos, “Ay! Hindi. Minsan hindi na. Ay! Magpapa-late ako ng tulog. Gagawin ko to! Gagawin ko to!” Ganyan. Ganoon po. Maganda po talaga ma’y ganito sa isang group, sa community.
Ikaw na nag-hihire ng VA mo diba?
Pina-free training ko siya. ‘Yung iba kong task na data entry, siya ang pinapagawa ko, kasi ‘di ko na kaya. hindi ko na po kaya. Ang purpose ko po talaga sa madaming clients ay [para] may maturuan ako tapos maibigay ko doon [sa tinuruan ko], para–ano po–experience nila. Ma’y pang portfolio sila.
Anong advice ang maibibigay mo sa viewers natin?
Sa mga baguhan po, try to watch mga [free] tutorials muna. [At kung] nakukulangan ka pa sa mga nakikita mo, Mag-enroll ka po sa mga paid courses, kasi worth it po siya. Kasi nandoon ‘yung support ng group, support ng mga coach, ng magiging coach. Sa mga naghahanap ng client at wala pa rin, huwag kayong mawawalan ng pag-asa. Ako nga po one year mahigit din bago nakakuha ‘yung maayos na client at bago nakapag-resign, kasi matagal ko na po talagang gustong umalis sa corporate pero ngayon tiyanaga ko po, kasi iniisip ko din ‘yung anak ko–kapag wala akong trabaho tapos wala pa akong client. So mag apply lang po kayo ng mag apply. Eto nga pong free PDF file na resources po, na para makapag-boost ng confidence ninyo sa interview. Tingnan niyo po para makatulong po ako kahit papaano. Hiring po kami doon. Sa mga nasendan po ng PDF, hiring po kami. Pa-send na lang po ng mga CV niyo. Nandoon po ‘yon.