Retired Specialist Nurse and Educator Changes Career Paths and Thrives as a Freelancer

August 17, 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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Sometimes things can be really overwhelming.


There are tasks which seem impossible to do (and scary).

As a result, we tend to procrastinate and make excuses for not executing the plans we’ve set for ourselves.

We caught ourselves saying…

Wala pa kasi akong pera.

Di ko kasi alam gawin yan or di ko expertise yan.

Wala akong time.

I get it.

But here’s what I believe.

We need to take things one step at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

We need to strategize the things we need to do.

We need to strive for daily improvement, no matter how small or simple they are.

We need to work on this routine and stick to it.

According to John Maxwell,

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

Be consistent.

Stay disciplined.

Meet Catherine Joy or CJ for short.

She’s a retired specialist nurse and educator who worked in London, England for 20 years.

She also used to operate a home-based catering and bakery business called Himagas Patisserie MNL.

But she decided to venture into online freelancing to learn something outside of nursing and earn at the same time.

She really aspired to successfully make a career change.

Was it easy?


Imposter Syndrome frequently strikes her at the start.

But she remained steadfast and decided to create opportunities for herself.

She focused on her strengths instead of her flaws.

Fast forward to today…

She now earns an average of Php50,000 to Php120,000 a month.

Truly, nothing can really harm you as much as your own thoughts.

Be the hero or heroine of your own story.

Believe in yourself more.

Her consistency and hard work amidst setbacks led to her breakthrough.

Be inspired by her story at JasSuccess on this replay.


Learn how a retired specialist nurse and an educator shift her career path and thrive as a freelancer.

Notable Quotes

  • Part ng ating buhay talaga are failure, loss, error, mistake. Ang success for me is yung short live eh, baliktad for me. Kunyari, success mo ngayon bukas ubos na sya kasi another na naman, so parang ganun sya. Lagi mong paghahandaan is lahat nung mahirap because nandito ka sa mundong ibabaw na ito kaya ang mararanasan natin so e expect mo ‘yon because in acceptance doon ka parang mas ma fe-free. 
  • I am a human being napapagod ako, nababadtrip ako, but alam ko na mahirap kaya inaaccept ko nalang at alam ko na may solusyon, kung walang solusyon it is not really a problem. So I will moved on. Hindi ko na pahihirapan ang sarili ko. Ang hirap na ng buhay, I just carry on.
  • Kasi sa amin sa UK ganyan "just get on with it",  that is always the case.
  • When they're doing discovery call, hindi naman talaga dapat na matakot because, it's your own way of checking din if he is the fit client to work with. Sa totoo lang, wala akong expectation when I hop in a call. Hindi ako nag e-expect kung kukunin nya ba ako. Malalaman ko yun after, syempre may paghahanda din ako.
  • A discovery call is not about ourselves, it's about them. Dig deep kung paano sila matutulungan, and I do control the conversation sa umpisa pa lang.
  • It's not all about them because at the end of the day, ang important kasi you get to choose who you work with. Hindi kagaya ng when you're employed whether you like it or not you are under their employment.
  • I guess, it’s all about knowing yourself para maging confident ka kung ano yung kaya mong ibigay, value yourself, wag kang masyadong tumingin sa certificate. Nandito na ‘yun sa’yo. Do not lose your self because yung skill mo nandyan na ‘yan sa’yo.
  • Your growth is your responsibility. Taking responsibility is generally the first step of learning so nothing happens until you make a step and say I am responsible for moving things forward.
  • Use adversity as a catalyst of change, if you respond positively to every adversity that strikes you kagaya ko, I believe this can and will drive you to great achievements.
  • Maturity is to value all you learn, dahil maturity is the greatest reward for learning from your losses, failure, and errors. It gives you wisdom, steadiness, and the ability to bounce back from temporary setbacks.
  • Chill lang and search yourself as I've been telling from the beginning, just do what you need to do, just get on with it, and enjoy your journey, ‘yun ang importante.


Journey to Freelancing

  • CJ's life before freelancing is exciting but tough. She is not academically gifted compared to her siblings. She became a secretary and a reliable support for her boss.
  • She had a preferred school to take her course but due to some circumstances during enrollment she decided to stop.
  • She looked for a job and became a promo merchandiser. Then she leveled up and became a sales lady at SM Makati children's shoe department.
  • After 2 years she took the exam at Makati Med. which her mother picked the course for her. Her effort paid off and had the opportunity to be with a pioneering batch of nurses that will be brought to Egypt with AGH nurses. Then she overheard about an opening in UK and applied as a nurse. There are 5 nurses who applied but she's the one who got in.
  • She told herself that she will just earn enough money and go back home after five years and start her own business. She got her career progress quickly. From band 3 she became band 7 in a span of 5 years. She became a specialist and educator. But due to stress, she got a grave disease. She got medication for a long time and eventually decided to undergo radiation therapy.
  • She got sad and took short courses on baking that were a bit relaxing for her. She decided to offer home-based catering and baking which they called Himagas Patisserie Manila. They also started the vacation rental business that should run remotely. She made her business full-time and her nursing career became part-time.
  • She first heard about freelancing in 2013 by the cool voice of Mr. Jason Dulay on Youtube while cleaning and curiously watched the video she heard and shockingly saw that he is Filipino as he sounded very articulate. She was hooked and inspired by the featured stories there, especially since they don't need to go abroad to earn money or dollars. She told herself that when she got home she will do that because she wants to enjoy her retirement here in the Philippines.
  • She prepared the requirements and availed the complete package, but didn’t start right away.
  • When they came back home to Philippines, they started a new life all over again. At first, it was  tough because they built a restaurant in September 2018 and opened in 2019. She was the head chef and her husband was the cashier which was difficult. Then it became more challenging when the pandemic hit.
  • They turned it into a cloud kitchen named “Oliver’s Joy Kitchen” but suddenly it needs to be closed due to a lack of manpower and travel restrictions.
  • It was her husband who reminded her about the VAB courses while she was crying on the corner due to depression. At that time, she was compelled to do it. She finished the modules and courses by April 2021, and as she said it was her lifesaver.
  • She was struggling at first in her freelancing journey but she finally found how to connect herself from being a nurse to the freelancer she aims to be.

Q&A Highlights

(Airliving Plus/ DigiGrow) this is your company, right? can you talk to me more about this?

Yes, so yung Airliving Plus this is the one that we started a long time ago with the two properties before. Ito yung nabanggit ko kanina that we are managing remotely even we are in the UK, meron akong maliit na team dito sa Phillippines. Then we decided helping OFWs who are real estate investors, I help them to monetize yung mga idle properties nila through application rental through Airbnb. These people na bumili ng mga condo, townhouse, basta property, even farm lots, I converted them into money making machine. I created a business for them through Airbnb. This time we are trying out direct booking and then the DigiGrow as I just mentioned earlier kini-cater naman namin dito is yung mga farmers, mga Agribusiness.

What are your regrets during your early freelancing career?

Wala akong regrets, even noong mga pinagdadaanan ko, even sa nursing. Kapag nahihirapan ako,I think of it as a challenge. Pinakanahihirapan ako is itong pandemic lang because yung nabanggit ko na savings ay medyo bumaba ng level na medyo alarming. Yun lang but otherwise if it's something  na yung nandyan sa freelancing, wala.. Because sabi mo nga I can easily stop long time ago, kung wala dun ang puso ko at perseverance.

Mahirap po ba talaga makapasok as VA kung walang work experience or other BPO Background?

Sa ngayon kasi, there are many ways on how to really sell and value yourself. First, ask yourself "ano ba yung kaya kong gawin?". Minsan ang mga pinapagawa ng client ay yung mga simple task lang. Data entry lang naman kailangan nila kung tutuusin pero they make it sound very big na nalulunod. Pati nga ako ganun dati, tapos data entry lang pala, maglalagay lang pala ng data. Tapos feeling mo "I cannot perform this, kaya kukuha ng course". Ganun din nman ako pero na figure out ko kung paaano magreflect. 

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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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76 comments on “Retired Specialist Nurse and Educator Changes Career Paths and Thrives as a Freelancer”

  1. "Tumigil ako sa pag-aaral. Naging Sales lady ako sa SM. But my father was disappointed at me kasi 'di daw yun ang pangarap niya sa'kin. Then, nagnursing ako." - CJ

  2. "I started to venture doing other things, I took short courses on baking, then naisip ko mag-operate kami ng home-based catering. Then, vacation rental business which we ran remotely. Ito ang naging full-time ko, and nursing ang ginawa kong part-time." - CJ

  3. "I first heard of freelancing since 2017, sa cool voice ni Jason Dulay, sa YouTube. Nakita ko Filipino pala, nahook niya na ako, then sobra ako na-inspire sa mga nafefeatured na stories dun." - CJ

  4. "Sa batch namin, kami 'yung laging iba ang ginagawa. Nung dumating kami nung husband ko, nagopen kami ng restaurant 2019, very challenging, very hands on kami talaga. Start kami ng 10am, then matutulog kami 4am in the morning." - CJ

  5. "To sustain the business, I turned it into a cloud kitchen. So may dating siya, nagclose din siya due to travel restrictions. We lost so much of our savings. Sobrang na-depress ako nun." - CJ

  6. "It was my husband who reminded me of my VA Bootcamp Courses, nagningning ang mga mata ko. I was compelled to it kasi nandun na yung need to do it. Nagstart ako 2021." - CJ

  7. "Totoo pala yung impostor syndrome na 'yun. I felt so inadequate. Parang kahit anong pabibo ko, 'di ko ma-convert sa money. Then I did a lot of reflection." - CJ

  8. "Na-relate ko yung ginagawa ko sa nursing sa freelancing. I love discovery calls, kasi dun ko na-didig deep yung problems nila. I make plans out of the data na nagagather ko sa kanila. I can evaluate, and reevaluate para ma-adjust ko yung mga interventions. Mas mabilis ko na na-apply." - CJ

  9. "I have SMM Manager, may phot and video editor ako, and soon, mag-eemail marketing na kami. In this note, I can say na I have successfully pursued yung career change. I'm now building a team of my own, lumaki din yung network ko." - CJ

  10. "When they're doing discovery call, di ka naman talaga dapat matakot. Our discovery call is not about ourselves, it's about them. I control the conversation." - CJ

  11. "Sa journey ko nang pagpursue ng career change, I learned many things. (1) Your growth is your own responsibility. (2) Use adversity as a catalyst of change. (3) Maturity to value all you learned." - CJ

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