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Work From Home Sweet Home: Hotel Employee Gives Up Stable Job For Her Family Amidst Pandemic Woes

September 15, 2021
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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Would you give up a stable job to ensure your family's safety?

Reese did.

She used to work as a Senior Executive Assistant - Quality Assurance Specialist in a serviced
apartment hotel in Rockwell.

She works in Rockwell and her family lives in Pampanga.

She lives in a condo in Makati but when the lockdown happened, *"I chose to be with my family."*

And it isn't ideal.

Because her pay was almost half of what she used to earn. She wasn't able to save since her pay would go straight to rent and transpo expenses.

What's worst is that her family, most especially her mom, wasn't at peace and was always worried when she was working on-site.

Imagine, she needs to be quarantined for 2 weeks every time she'd go home.

After ng quarantine, she needs to go on-site again.

This made her decide to go back permanently to Pampanga and pursue freelancing.

Despite a lot of challenges, she persisted.

She got a starting rate of more than P50k.

Not bad huh.

On September 15, 2021, at 7 pm, she'll share & inspire us with her journey.

What are her challenges?

How did she overcome them?

Does leaving a stable job and pursue freelancing worth it?

Watch the replay here!

Introduction

For six years, Reese worked as an EA (Executive Assistant) at Rockwell in Makati. She loved her work, the pay was great and believed she was on the right path as an HRM graduate. Freelancing was something that never crossed her mind until her colleague introduced it to her that led her to become a successful high-paying online EA. 

Learn why she quit her dream job in the midst of a pandemic and what prompted her to reconsider freelancing.

Notable Quotes:

  • I want to share with everyone, aspiring VAs, parang point of view siya ng isang freelancer and point of view as someone from the hiring or client. First one, as a beginner, if you're not really confident with your skills take online courses. It would really help. Makikita mo talaga saan yung kulang or if you have the skills already, ano ma-adjust mo for you to be able to adjust fully to being a freelancer. 
  • So don't be afraid, if you're worried about the cost madami naman diyan na mas mura or Jason Dulay's courses would go on sale every now and then. I think I got mine on sale din, kinuha ko na siya agad. 
  • Second one really, is to decide on your niche or what you really want to do. Kasi yun din yung mahirap. For example nurse ka, feeling mo malayo siya. Then decide something you want to do, if you want to be a graphic designer then take courses about being a graphic designer. 
  • Imbes na parang apply ka lang ng apply kung saan-saan or imbes na mag settle ka sa data entry jobs, yung mga easy jobs na ganyan, a lot of freelancers would apply to that. So parang very little yung chance na makuha ka dun. Like for me, EA ako before, so ang dali ko lang pumasok sa pagiging EA kahit na sobrang little lang yung freelancing background ko. 
  • Ang nakita ko lng ding downside mas mabilis ma-burn out sa freelancing more than yung being in the office. Kasi parang wala kang kausap especially if your time is graveyard. Tapos the whole time you're working you're just really in front of the computer. You're lucky if you have friends doing graveyard also kasi puede mo silang i-chat. Pero iba pa din kasi talaga yung parang may kausap ka sa gilid. So ang mabibigay mo na lang sa sarili mo is find work na you enjoy para mabilis dumadaan yung time. 
  • Not only prepare your online profiles but send out quality applications. Avoid tayo ng copy-paste, so I'm saying this as someone who handled hiring. Pag nag sisicreen ako ng applications na sobrang dami parang alam mo talaga pag copy-paste especially when people don't follow the job post instructions kahit na nakalagay na dun na, please follow job post instructions to be considered
  • Intindihin nyo talaga kung ano yung hinahanap ng client. Just let them know how you can help them with their problem or the work that needs to be done. 
  • Wag ka matakot sa sinasabi na experience required kasi yung ibang clients naman minsan parang mas na-appreciate nila yung effort na umeffort ka or if you have done the tasks na pinapagawa nila. 
  • Wag kang tatamarin pag may tasks na pinapagawa. Kasi yung iba po na applicants pag may tasks na, wala na ayaw na nilang gawin. Gusto nila na interview lang. Gawin nyo din yung mga tasks kasi yun din yung nagpapakita ng work ethics nyo if you're willing to do things for the client. 
  • For the interviews, just be on time. Other clients won't require you to open your cameras but always be ready to open your cameras kasi parang plus points din siya. Be ready for the interview, mag-ayos kayo. 
  • Another tip, study the company. Pag mag a-apply kayo, usually the client would ask, what do you know about the company? 
  • Wag kang apply ng apply kung copy-paste lang din ang gagawin kasi it won't work, if you're applying on Upwork because you have connects and you can't do that. Wag kang magsayang ng connects or bumili ka ng madaming connects tapos apply ka lang ng apply, di nagsasayang ka lang din ng connects mo. 

Reese’s Journey to Freelancing

  • She had a steady career for six years as an EA at Rockwell in Makati, where she loved her work despite being far from her family in Pampanga. Her initial plan was to stay with the same company and settle permanently in Makati, especially because the rate was higher than in the province.
  • However, because of COVID, the hospitality industry was the first to be affected. Her pay was slashed in half as a result of the bad impact on the company, and it was insufficient to cover her rent and travel costs. Her pay wasn’t ideal anymore.
  • When she learned that one of her colleagues was doing freelancing as a side hustle, she approached her and explained her dilemma. Her colleague then told her that she'd make an excellent VA and that it would be a lot easier for her to shift, but she was not confident in her skills. 
  • That same person recommended Jason Dulay's VA Bootcamp and said, "Out of the courses I took about being a VA, this one is the best. So, I recommend you taking it if you want." After her contract expired in December of last year, she planned to start freelancing in 2021.
  • She had to save money for two months to pay for the course due to financial constraints. She would set aside time after work to study the course and was able to complete it in a month. She subsequently worked on updating her CV and setting up her online profiles and did everything that was taught in the course.
  • Even though she was not yet applying, she received a lot of invites from potential clients online while she was busy with a lot of endorsements in preparation for her resignation.
  • She accepted one invitation and got her first online project-based job for $6 for research and data entry with flexible time. The client offered her part-time work after three weeks, for ten hours a week. The client was impressed with her work ethic and was concerned that if she was not hired part-time, she might seek work elsewhere. She then quit after four months because the client became demanding and toxic.
  • She was completing the daily hustle challenge and sending out more than three cover letters per day. But now that she was sending out applications, she panicked because no invitations were coming in.
  • Nonetheless, she persisted, and her efforts were rewarded when she received a response to a job posting in real estate. Instead, she was hired full-time for a higher-level position as Marketing Manager, where she handled all of the company's virtual assistants. Something she had no prior experience in, yet they were impressed by her abilities; however, she only stayed for six months.
  • She recently transferred to a larger company based in New York as an Executive Assistant, which is her area of expertise.

Q&A Highlights

Working from home doesn't seem to be existing kumbaga sa corporate world before the pandemic. How did you get to the idea na mag wo-work from home ka na lang?

I was just thinking my plan was really to work from home the rest of the week. Imbes na papasok-pasok ka pa. I was an executive assistant so I wasn't really front-facing. I didn't need to be in front of the guests. I was just back office. Most of my work can be done sa computer. Nothing naman na sobrang urgent, na kailangan nasa office ako. 

Thankful ka ba na nakapasok ka sa freelancing?

To be honest, talagang opo. Kasi sobrang hirap din maghanap ng work ngayon. Tapos ‘yung freelancing pa is kapag cinompare mo siya, like for me, ‘yung pay ko right now is higher sa pay ko when I was working in the hotel even with the service charge pa. So, kung kailan ka pa nasa bahay lang, safe ka and all that. ‘Dun ka pa nakapag-earn ng mas madami. 

‘Yun nga lang ‘yung downside is mabilis kang ma-burn out dahil wala kang kausap. Pero in this time, parang kailangan mo pa bang isipin talaga? Kailangan mo pa bang unahin na may makausap ka? So maghahanap ka ng kausap sa labas. Maliliit na bagay lang na kaya mo din siyang lagpasan. 

And on top of that, you're with your family in times of the pandemic. Like hindi ka mag wo-worry na makapagdala ka ng virus sa kanila. And syempre, of course nga, financially stable ka in times of the pandemic. Like for me, I'm not saying we're rich, but we're not really in a situation na naghihirap kami. And ako din, I can support my family with the pay that I'm having right now. Parang wala kaming problem right now. It's just that, yung pinaka-concern lang is stay safe at home na nagagawa na namin ngayon. Di na namin kailangan isipin na, "Paano ‘yun? Kailangan ko mag-work. Kailangan ko lumabas para lang makapag-earn." So nasa bahay ka na, nag-eearn ka ng maayos. Wala ka talagang problema. Safe ka sa bahay. Talagang freelancing is the way to go sa mga oras na ganito.

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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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53 comments on “Work From Home Sweet Home: Hotel Employee Gives Up Stable Job For Her Family Amidst Pandemic Woes”

  1. Hmmm... No copy paste and follow instructions when applying. But you didnt follow instructions because you applied with no experience. Mixed messaging. My two cents worth to everyone is you should be able to discern what you should or shouldn't do and learn from your mistakes.

  2. Disagree. Templated cover letters are fine so long as you edit it for each and every application to personalize it. Writing individual cover letters each and every time is a big waste if time. Most business do automation so strongly disagree with this. This has worked for me but everyone has their own playbook. Do what works for you.

  3. Agree with choosing a niche first. Being good on "many things" dilutes you and your skills. You'll end up comparing yourself to many VAs that are getting jobs / offers left and right, and feel frustrated... this is because you are not focused on your long-term career plans using your own set of skills.

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