One sunny afternoon, while on my way to work for my 3 pm work shift, I got stuck in traffic. I had only 2 minutes before 3 o’clock hits, but I was still on the bus, and I needed to walk for an additional 10 minutes to reach our office. This is the complete scenario that I was always going through every single day for 4 years.
I loved my friends I met in the office. I loved my officemates I worked with. I loved hanging out after office hours. I loved the company I worked for. But I didn’t love my job. Maybe you’re wondering why. It is simply because my job didn’t give me a sense of fulfillment.
Hot weather. 3 pm shift. Traffic. Walking. These are the words that I hated. The time when I realized that I hated these words was the time that I finally decided to quit my job. It was really hard to come up with this decision but what made it easier is the motivation that I won’t be going to the same routine all over again. Along with my decision to quit my job was my decision to work at home as a freelancer.
How did I start as an online freelancer? I was casually browsing through Facebook when I stumbled upon a post of a former officemate. On her post was a job description detailing the requirements of her client. So I sent her a personal message and asked her what her job was. She proudly replied that she is an online freelancer specializing in Virtual Assistance and Digital Marketing. Her reply caught me. I have actually heard of online freelancing before but I didn’t take it seriously since I had a full-time job. My officemate and I exchanged a few more messages until I ended up asking how she learned the skills needed in freelancing. She said that she enrolled in Filipino Virtual Assistance- an online training offering different courses in online freelancing. After we exchanged messages, I checked out Filipino Virtual Assistance’s Facebook page but I didn’t enroll immediately because I was hesitant. I had self-doubt if I could have a career being an online freelancer since I haven’t experienced working online. A few weeks have passed before I finally decided to enroll in FVA’s online freelancing training.
It was a mixed emotion on the first day of training. I was excited, happy, anxious, nervous, and overwhelmed, all at the same time because everything was new to me. I felt like I was back to being a student. Nevertheless, it was a great experience. I think what was challenging for me was to identify the niche that I want to focus on. I am a licensed accountant but when I thought of accounting or bookkeeping as my niche, I didn’t feel happy. I wanted something that is different from the usual job that I was doing. FVA training was helpful because it introduced me to many areas where I can optimize my skills and passion. And through this, I decided to focus on Virtual Assistance and Social Media Management.
Joining the online freelancing world is the best career decision that I made so far. It is so refreshing to wake up daily at 7 am without thinking about what I should wear for the day. I don’t have to allot a 2-3 hours allowance for the daily commute because I won’t be dealing with traffic going to the office anymore. I don’t have to be mindful of the strict ‘1 Hour Break’ and ‘No Eating at Workstation’ policies because I can eat for a longer period of time and I can also eat while working. Whenever I feel lazy or exhausted, I can take a nap between work shifts. And to top it off, the most satisfying and the most rewarding of all is being able to spend more time with my family. Nothing beats that.