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From Licensed IT Engineer to Project Manager VA Supermom – An Interview With Ivy Joy Calmares

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As a licensed Engineer, Ivy has had her IT career on a roll for 7 years!

But she left it all when she found out that she was pregnant to focus on being a mom.

How did she transition from being a typical “career woman” to a “supermom” who juggles between work and family duties?

In this interview, Ivy talked about:

✅ Her courageous choice to drop her IT career for freelancing

✅How she became as Project Manager VA in just 3 months (while being a hands-on mom)

✅Why starting as a Virtual Assistant led her to find her current niche

And a lot more…

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Watch this video as Ms. Pinky Anicete interviews Ms. Ivy Joy Calmares on how she started out her freelancing career, her journey from being a working mom as a Licensed IT Engineer for 7 years and to her career now as a Project Manager VA Supermom.

Find out how to be a successful work-at-home mom who makes money while spending quality time with family at home. You might be wondering what made her decide to leave her corporate job, who are the people who helped her on her freelancing journey, the benefits of working from home, how she juggles taking care of her family, pursuing her career and making money from the comfort of her home.

Watch and be inspired with her story, her struggles working in corporate and her advice to moms out there who are planning to start working from home.

Notable Quotes:

  • Yung transition naman ay naging okay kasi nag-enroll ako sa VA bootcamp training. Aside from that, madami ding tulong na galing dun sa group na nakatulong talaga para mag transition ako from corporate to online.
  • Diba gusto naten na once na nag invest ka maganda yung may bumalik agad sayo. Meron kasi dun nilagay si Sir Jason na money back guarantee, try ko rin talaga na magka-ROI ako in 1-month lang.
  • Thank God, na hindi pa nag-one-month e bumalik agad yung ininvest ko sa training.
  • Nung nag-resign ako inisip ko “hala baket ako nag-resign, wala namang tatanggap saken dahil buntis ako. O kung makakahanap man ako e after ko pa manganak.”
  • Motivated talaga ko, kasi gusto ko magka-return of investment agad. Kasi nag invest ka dun e. Iba din yung nag-invest ka kesa dun sa manunuod ka lang sa Youtube. Madami rin namang information sa Youtube pero iba rin talaga yung nag-invest ka and ang mind set mo ay magka-return of investment ka.
  • Yung iba kasi sinasabi nila walang time, pero kung iisipin mo lang may oras ka mag-browse sa facebook. Makakakita ka ng video jan papanuorin mo pero magandang gamitin mo nalang yung time mo properly.
  • Naisip ko din na bumalik sa corporate nung nagkasakit si baby. Kasi may benefit kasi kame dun, 85% sa company sa lahat ng dependent mo. Naisip ko yung part na yun pero naisip ko rin na hindi naman ako magkakaron ng ganitong opportunity na makasama si baby palagi. Yun yung mga bagay na hindi nababayaran. Kung ang goal ko lang ay mag-stay sa corporate para sa benefit na yan, kaya naman yun ma-cover ng $10/hr.
  • Nakikita ko yung mga milestone ni baby, like nakakapagsalita na sya, kumakain na sya ng solid food. Yung mga ganung moments. Yung mga small things na hindi mo na sya mababalikan pa.
  • Huwag kang mahihiyang magtanong. Maganda rin kung may mentors ka. Mas maganda kilala mo rin yung mga leaders dito sa group, chat mo sila, mag-reach out ka saknla.
  • Don’t sell yourself short. It pays to be choosy.

Ivy’s Journey to Freelancing

  • She is a Licensed Electronics Engineer with an IT career for 7 years.
  • She has 3 years’ experience as a Software Quality Assurance Engineer and 4 years as an IT Generalist Supervisor.
  • She left her IT career when she found out that she was pregnant for their second baby.
  • Also, she wanted to spend more quality time with her family.
  • She decided to try online freelancing as one of her friends suggested it.
  • Her husband was very supportive on her chosen new freelancing career.
  • She enrolled in VA Bootcamp training after 2 weeks leaving the corporate world.
  • She sought mentors to learn and acquire skills and knowledge.
  • And, after 2 weeks of completing the training, she got her first client in Upwork.
  • At first, she questioned herself on why she left her corporate career given all the benefits she can get.
  • But then realized that quality time spent to family is way more important and cannot be replaced, besides, her current rate can cover the difference.
  • She is mastering now how to juggle her priorities between work and family.
  • She wants to pursue her IT career in freelancing as a Technical Support Virtual Assistant and she’s learning continuously to fulfill that.

Q&A Highlights

What was your work before freelancing?

Before, I have 3 years’ experience as a Software Quality Assurance Engineer, 3 years ago sa Manila. 4 years naman sa Surigao sa planta as IT Generalist Supervisor. Technical support ang work ko. 7 years all in all.

How did you transition from your previous career as Licensed IT Engineer to freelancing?

Nag-resign ako nung August 6 and nag-enroll ako sa VA bootcamp nung Aug 19. And, yung transition naman ay naging okay kasi nag enroll ako sa bootcamp training. Aside from that, madami ding tulong na galing dun sa group na nakatulong para mag transition ako from corporate to online.

How long did it take for you to transition from your previous career as Licensed IT Engineer to freelancing?

 Two weeks ko lang natapos yung modules. And thank God, na hindi pa nag-one-month e bumalik agad yung ininvest ko sa training.

Nagcreate ako ng profile na lahat ng sinabi dun sa bootcamp, sinunod ko lahat. And with the help of Ms. Anna Soriano, same day na-approve agad yung Upwork account ko. Ilang araw rin ako nag-DIY hustle challenge, sa ilang days na yun nakapag-send ako ng three proposals to different freelancing platform, Hubstaff, Onlinejobs.Ph, Upwork. And by September 3, nagka-client na rin agad ako.

 What made you decide to drop your 7 years IT career to work from home?

Napagod lang rin ako sa work, dala naren ng pregnancy ko mas’ gusto ko rin makasama yung family ko kasi may 1 year old rin ako. Wala na rin ako masyadong time sa bahay dahil yung immediate supervisor ko noon nag-resign then ako na yung gumagawa nung mga ginagawa nya.

Nung nag-resign ako inisip ko “hala baket ako nag-resign, wala namang tatanggap saken dahil buntis ako. O kung makakahanap man ako e after ko pa manganak.” Sinuggest ng friend ko na i-try ko yung online freelancing, nakita ko si FLIP then nag-try ako ng free couse, then yun nagtuloy tuloy na.

How did you get the support of your husband?

Nung nag-resign ako sinabi nya na sure ka ba? Kasi di ka napipirmi sa bahay, gusto mo yung laging may ginagawa. Nung nakita ko yung bootcamp ni Jason, sinabihan ko siya na mag-eenroll ako. Siya yung mismong nag-deposit sa BPI, full payment agad. Inisip namen na leading rin to ni God na makapag enroll ako dito.

What motivated you to finish the modules in just 2 weeks?

Motivated talaga ko, kasi gusto ko magka-return of investment agad. Yung iba kasi sinasabi nila walang time, pero kung iisipin mo lang may oras ka mag-browse sa facebook. Makakakita ka ng video jan papanuorin mo pero magandang gamitin mo yung time mo properly.

 Do you have skills that you’ve transferred from your 7 years’ experience into freelancing as a Virtual Assistant?

Madami naman. Isa na dun yang sa email management kasi sobrang gamit na gamit yan samen. Sa previous job ko kasi IT generalist ako, lahat ng IT related na job sa company, lahat ako humahawak. Kahit yung mga mails ng manager, minsan magpapatulong sila. Paano mag-organize. Madalas kasi sila nagpapa-archive ng emails. Kaya nung nakita ko sa training na may mga ganoon, na-gets ko kaagad. Yung office applications, Google Sheets, Google Docs. Yung sa technical side naman which is goal ko rin ngayon, na maging technical VA support.

What is your current niche?

Ang current niche ko, VA expert on technical and admin support. Isang work ko ngayon is project management yung client ko dito e yung 1st client ko. Sobrang bait nya lang talaga. Freelancer sya from Australia.

How did you find your first client? And what was it like?

Yung time na na-hire ako, brown-out yun at nasa cellphone lang ako. Nagbbreastfeed ako and habang gumagamit ng cellphone, nagchecheck ako sa upwork. Minessage ako ni client at chat interview palang hired na ko.

Nagbigay ako ng personal touch sa proposal ko. Kung paano raw ba mag-search ng housing, Sinabi ko nagawa ko na ito personally, naghanap rin kame ng housing loan. Yung client ko na yan sya rin yung nagbigay saken ng job na mag-manage ng job developer. Hanggang ngayon meron pa rin kaming mga project na hina-handle. Maraming small task sya na kailangan gawin kaya ako ang pinapagawa nya.

Don’t you get lazy, sleepy or tired in working during your pregnancy?

Nakakatamad rin talaga minsan. Meron rin kasi akong toddler kaya bawal ang tatamad tamad.

How much is your rate?

 Nung tinulungan ako ni Ms. Anna mag pa-aprove sa Upwork, ang nilagay ko na hourly rate is $7 pero pinalitan nya ng $10. Ang feeling ko mataas sya pero advise nya na engineer ako and baket ko isesell yung sarili ko ng mababa. Si Ms. Anna nga naniniwala na makukuha ko yun baket ako hindi ako maniniwala sa sarili ko? Ang galing lang talaga kasi nakakuha rin ako ng $10/hr by just internet research ng wedding venue sa UK.

Meron akong current ngayon nasa $6.5/hr, 20hrs/week. Aside pa doon meron ring mga part time. At kahit may client na ko, naghuhustle challenge paren ako.

How many is your client now?

Apat, kasi ang goal ko ay maka- 6 digit. Naka-adikan ko naren kasi mag-apply. Atleast my isa akong proposal per day.

How do you balance your life as a wife, a soon-to-be mom of 2 and a freelancer with 4 clients?

Kailangan mo mag-prioritize. Mas maganda kung may list ka. Activities ng babies mo, sarili mo. Kailangan nakapag-breakfast sya, nakainom ng vitamins, nakaligo na. Pag play time na nya yun yung time na magwowork na ako. Start early dapat!

Kailangan maging organize, kailangan alam mo yung deadlines mo. Maganda kung may project management tools like Google Calendar, Trello, Asana. Mas maganda kung gamitin mo yun together with your client para ma-agreehan nyo dun yung mga tasks na kailangan nyo gawin agad.

And kunyari mag-internet research ka lang, magrereport or magcocommunicate ka, yun yung mga task na kaya mong gawin kahit nakahiga ka lang or nasa phone ka lang.

Do you ever think of going back to corporate job?

Naisip ko din na bumalik sa corporate nung nagkasakit si baby. Kasi may benefit kasi kame dun, 85% sa company sa lahat ng dependent mo. Naisip ko rin na hindi naman ako magkakaron ng ganitong opportunity na makasama si baby palage. Yun yung mga bagay na hindi nababayaran. Kung ang goal ko lang ay mag-stay sa corporate para sa benefit na yan, kaya naman yun ma-cover ng $10/hr.

How do you compare your life now and before freelancing? What are the benefits working from home?

Nakakapunta na ko kahit saan, anytime. Parati kame nakaka-attend ng mga celebrations.  Atleast ngayon alam ko na masaya siya na parati ko siya nakakasama. Nakikita ko yang mga milestone ni baby, like nakakapagsalita na sya, kumakain na sya ng solid food. Yung mga ganoong moments. Yung mag small things na di mo na sya mababalikan pa.

Kasi yang last job ko kailangan mo gumising ng 5 am kasi 6am dapat andoon na name sa bus service namin. Kung itototal mo lahat 11 hours kang wala sa bahay. 11 hours na wala sa family mo. Imagine 8 hours ka lang nagwowork pero 11 hours kang wala sa bahay. Mahirap talaga.

What is your advice to others who wants to start on freelancing?

First, kailangan mo proper mindset, kung anu talaga ang gusto mo ma-achieve. Dapat may goal ka.

Set you priorities. Like for example 40 hours ka talaga full time ka sa online, tapos ma-ririsk naman yung family mo parang ganun lang rin parang naging corporate lang rin yung work mo.

Facebook group para madami ka matututunan, pwede ka magtanong dun na makakasagot sa tanong mo. Yun na rin outlet ko sa Facebook group sa mga hinaing ko sa Clients.

Don’t sell yourself short. It pays to be choosy. Ilang bases rin akong nag-decline nang mababa na rate. For example, $10/hr ang rate mo talaga tapos after 1-month mo pa sya nakuha, tapos kinuha mo na agad yung $3/hr na offer, yung time na inispend mo sa mababang rate e sayang na dapat inispend ko nalang sa family ko. Value you time. Kaya bahala na maghintay kung kelan makukuha ang goal mo.Last but not the least, kailangan mo magpray. Manghingi ka kay Lord kung ano yung heart’s desires mo kung if it’s really right for you. Ibibigay naman yan sayo ni Lord if it’s really for you.

In addition, advise ko mag-enroll muna sila sa bootcamp. Advise ko, finish mo yung modules ng mabilis para hindi mawala momentum mo at magkaroon ka kaagad ng return of investment.

186 thoughts on “From Licensed IT Engineer to Project Manager VA Supermom – An Interview With Ivy Joy Calmares

  1. #replay
    Interested here how..i already had my upwork account but I rejected once..I really need online job at home couz I am full-time time mom.right now. I having 1 yr old baby..

  2. Yeayy may freebeeee !!!! from Trece martires Cavite

  3. lelani from Cavite hello

  4. Kailangan po ba sa ganyang klase ng work ay magaling mag english at colledge graduate

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  6. hi from caloocan city

  7. What headset are you using?

  8. What headset are you using po ms pinky?

  9. Hello. What headset are you using?

  10. hi from ANTIPOLO
    jen laureto…
    want ko po frelance for my Special child son

  11. Jen Laureto From Antipolo

  12. yes im here in antipolo

  13. Anna D. Soriano pahelp din po ako ?

  14. Anna D. Soriano pahelp din po ako 😅

  15. #replay ..from Calauan,Laguna..

  16. Question! Is it necessary to attend Booth Camp? How Much will it cost and duration please.

  17. Hi! I’m from Las Pinas City.

  18. ako po gusto ko ng freebie

    1. Maricel Calano Rosini ?

  19. Hello from Davao del Norte

  20. #replay
    Hello!?
    Watching from Calamba City, Laguna

  21. good job for the new host of jas-success

  22. Hello..interesting PO Ang topic,

  23. Hello from Mandaluyong

  24. Mam may place po ba sa online freelancers ang katulad kung ofw ?

    1. Joana Marie Caluducan hehe hi classmate

    2. Ivy Joy B Calmares thnks! Yap ofw welcome n welcome

    3. Vince Dueñas Quinio para sa lahat po ito… Check niyu si ms Joana Marie Caluducan
      Nasa Taiwan siya now ang doing freelance.. Hoping to go home soon for good

  25. Thank you po ms.Ivy and ms. Pinky

  26. Hello wa gyud ko ka tan aw ug live kay na bc ko sa office.

  27. Hi Maam for newly as in 0 pa sa gusyo mag apply ng virtual assistan….paano po ang 1st step na ginawa nyo.

    1. Gawa ka po ng profile sa platforms such as upwork.com, onlinejobs.ph, hubstaff etc

  28. So inspiring ang bilis ng ROI.

  29. Gusto ko mag enroll ok lng ba cp Munna gamit ko?

    1. Anna D. Soriano ma’am as of now cp lng PO ok lng PO ba?

    2. Anna D. Soriano ma’am Anu PO ba un at magkanu nmn po?

    3. Wil Frank avail mo yun promo namin this december para may disct na 15%

    4. Anna D. Soriano ma’am mag eenroll po sana ako,but la pa ako laptop,planu ko pag bumili ako ung medyo maganda ung spec’s.kaso kulang pa pa budget Kaya ipon muna.

    5. Pwde cp muna yun course pero need rin talaga may laptop or pc

  30. Ok lng PO ba kahit cp muna miss pinky?

  31. Watching from Manila

  32. Experienced na talaga c maam

  33. Full time po ba kayo ms. Ivy

  34. hi am from OlongapoCity

  35. yung accelerated po ba is di pa nakaless yung 15 % thank you and godbless

  36. Ate pano Kung walang computer say bahay

  37. Sa facesbook ako na nood ngayon .

  38. ang ganda ne Miss Pinky!

  39. Was late but watching the replay right now. Watching mom from Paranaque.

  40. watching from korea!!!!!!!!!!!! my new favourite Miss Pinky

  41. Thank you too, Miss Pinky..

  42. Thank you for a very inspiring story, Ivy Joy..

  43. hello,mam from san mateo,rizal

  44. Thank you po sa advance miss Ivy and thank you miss Pinky.. ?? SHARED as well! 🙂

  45. Pwede po ba mag part time VA?

  46. Effective talaga to…

  47. hi mam.. from surigao ka pala ako din kasi .. hehe.. 🙂 nice to hear ur story.. nkaka inspire..

  48. Pwd nmn po mag apply ng medicard ?

  49. Wow, congratulations to you Ivy, four clients agad, lodi 🙂 Curious lang po, as early as this time na ilang months ka pa lang nagstart sa freelancing, do you plan to change ur niche let’s say within a year? 🙂

  50. Dapat virtual din yaya kc gawang virtual din pampasahod hahahaha

  51. Minsan po ba naiisip mo pa na bumalik sa corporate job mo? 🙂

  52. Sa Metrobank, meron sa harap ng card pero maliit ang sulat

  53. Possible din bang mag part time?

  54. Ivy di ka ba tinatamad since buntis ka di ba antukin and mas gusto mo lang parate nakahiga at matulog

  55. Uy, finally it’s streaming live;-)

  56. Hello Pinky and Ivy! 🙂

  57. Anu po gamit niyo to withdraw?

  58. When next ganitong live ni pinky?-just an avid fan..

  59. May enrollment fee po ba? Hm?

  60. Hi ms. Anna,d ko pp ma open ung link

  61. Hello sis Pinky! Miss u pa rin! Hahaha.. ?

  62. Hm po mag enroll sa VA Bootcamp?

    1. Check nyo po sa site http://www.vabootcamp.ph habol ka sa christmas promo use this coupon code webinar15 for a 15% disct

    1. Read mo tong blog https://vabootcamp.ph/paano-maging-online-freelancer/ and try our free course freevacourse.com

  63. Magigising ka pag naiihi at nagugutom. ???? Relate much.

  64. I want to be VA but i dont know how,,i dont have knowledge sa computer

  65. Lhee Mata – Pamintuan

  66. Hello Pinky gurl and Ivy buntis ?

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