How to Start Working from Home in the Philippines

    May 31, 2020


    Working from home is the new normal. Honestly, I feel so lucky o have learned how to start working from even before Covid-19 and I'm here to share how you can start your journey, too

    In the first month of the pandemic, two of my clients paused their contracts, but I didn’t give up. I knew that some businesses and industries will find a way to rise about the current challenges. And I was hoping they'd let me be part of their approaches. 

    With some luck, a lot of contest, and a revamp of my profile, I got a job and a lot of invitations. Businesses were cutting cost and it was a sad time for office-based employees as a lot of companies were transitioning to hire remote workers. And yes, they still are and that's why it's not too late for you, yes, YOU!

    However, let's be honest; building an online profile isn’t that easy. It took me years to have the guts to start working from home, let along almost 7 years to have the guts to trust that the freelancing industry will strive. But the good news is IT’S POSSIBLE.

    The question now is, how do you start working from home when everybody is doing it?

    The short answer is because you can, but remember that freelancing, just like any decisions in life, should start with a plant.

    If you’re unsure of where and how to start planning, here are some experiences I want to share with you - yes, YOU! 

    Internet and a Laptop or a Desktop Computer to Start Working from Home

    I couldn’t stress this enough that before you start applying or considering for a job, make sure that you have the tools. Please do not apply for any job if you only have a phone with you. I don't discourage you from applying for jobs where you view videos or other similar activities, but if you're serious then start right. 

    Internet 

     Let’s face it; we have a crappy Internet in the country. In fact, we have one of the slowest internet speeds globally, but our freelancer market is growing steadily!


    However, you don’t have to start with a whopping 3,000Php internet connection. I started doing writing gigs is where I started, and I only had a laptop and Globe Broadband Tattoo which is still alive.

    If you’re looking to start with data entry, social media, or writing gigs, you can tether your smartphone to connect your laptop to the internet. 

    Laptop or Desktop 

    The majority of online work requires you to track your time using apps that will only run in a desktop or laptop, and that’s why you need either of the two, here are some recommendations from Yogatech.com. 



    Assess Your Skills and Be Honest

    via GIPHY

    Be honest and ask yourself what you are good at or what services you can provide to clients online. There are a lot of work from home jobs that you can jumpstart with. Some of these jobs include the following:
    • Data Encoder 
    • Content Writer
    • Social Media Manager
    • Online English Teacher
    • Customer Support Specialist 
    So, how will you know what jobs can you do? Here are some things you should consider: 
    • Try applying for a job that suits your skills. You don’t always have to try something new because, well, why fix it when it isn't broken, right?
    • Look at your curriculum vitae and focus on your previous work experiences and ask yourself: Are there any online jobs related to your past work experiences? Are there industries that will need my skills even if I work remotely? What enterprises need my skills part-time?
    • What skills have you been hiding? What are your hobbies that you're really good at but just didn’t had the opportunity to shine or work in a related industry?
    Then, use the answers as key terms when searching for work from jobs. For example, if you have a call center experience in the past, you can apply as an online teacher or customer support. Now is the time to bring that out!

    If you’re good at writing, then you can start searching for content writing jobs. Also, if you love crunching numbers, you can start with data entry or even accounting jobs.

    Do you know how to use AutoCAD? Are you proficient in video and photo and editing? Honestly, almost every job that can be done remotely is online - employers are looking for you, so start building your portfolio now!

    Build Your Online Portfolio

    Many of those who want to start freelancing often complicate this step, and I get it. We all want to land a job, and we believe that the only way to impress our prospective clients is to have an impressive portfolio.

    However, that’s not ALWAYS the case. Again, I know it was a very different time ten years ago, but I landed my first freelancing gig by using some parts of my thesis as a writing sample.

    I sent an application on Freelancer.com, and I got this reply. I’m feeling a bit nostalgic reading our emails and look at how far I’ve come and how far I want to go as a freelancer.

    Okay, enough with the nostalgia, here are some tips on how and where you can build your portfolio for free:
    • Blogger.com - This is a free blog-publishing service by Google, which I recommend, especially if you want to start as a writer. I’ve been using this since 2011, and I love how user-friendly Blogger is. Also, they’ve just updated their user interface and is now mobile-friendly, too!
    • Social Media Accounts - You can host your work on your social media accounts, especially if you create a Facebook page for your brand and build your LinkedIn profile. I also see a lot of visual artists using Instagram to share their content.
    • YouTube and Vimeo - For animators and video editors, you can upload your original work on these platforms for free. You can check out my LinkedIn or view some of the content in my blog so you get an idea of how to build your online portfolio for free!

    Learn to Find Jobs on Reliable Platforms

    I hadn’t tried applying to all freelance platforms when I started looking for work from home jobs in the Philippines. However, I got lucky on these platforms, and here’s why:
    • Freelancer.com - I landed my first writing gig on this platform, and I don’t regret it. I started with $1 for 250 words and, though it may sound really low, I’ll always be thankful to Sarah (see screenshot above) because, without her, I wouldn’t be freelancing now.
    • Onlinejobs.ph - This is where I got my first full-time job right before we move back home. The website is legit, and I still am getting some invitations and some writing gigs from here.
    • LinkedIn - Yes, you can land a job on LinkedIn, especially if you have a complete profile. You can also apply for jobs on this platform and look for vacancies within your industry.
    • Upwork.com - Another popular platform, and a personal favorite platform, is Upwork. The thing that I love here is security. The platform’s standard pay starts at $3, and even with the 20% deduction, I still prefer working here because they are fair when treating both employers and contractors.
    There are still a lot of platforms that you can explore, and even Facebook groups, that also have awesome tips and job recommendations. Check out some legit website work form websites here.

    Dedicated Workstation

    But don’t get me wrong, I started working on my side gigs in my boarding house, which is just slightly bigger than our bathroom now (SERIOUSLY). It has a double-deck bed, a tiny closet, and a foldable table, and that’s it.

    However, I was able to work there because I do my day job or full-time job, in the office. So, I hope you get my point. It isn’t easy to start working from home, especially if you don’t have a dedicated corner where you can concentrate on working.

    I recommend that you find a small space outside your bedroom if possible, that’s also a bit far from the kitchen and living room. Currently, this is my small corner:

    It’s a few steps from the bedroom, so I’m always tempted to slack off. But I still manage to do work, sometimes 8 - 12 hours a day, as long as I follow my system.

    Setup a Payment Method

    By now I know you’ve heard of Paypal , Ria, Payooner, Remitly, and everything money transfer related, but here’s the first thing you should do: 
    • Get a valid ID - I cannot stress this enough, GET A VALID before starting to find a home based job in the Philippines because you need this. It would be best if you had this to open a bank account, to validate your online profiles, and even to validate your payment methods.
    • Paypal - Setup your Paypal and make sure that you use your complete name when opening an account because sooner or later, you’ll be asked to validate it with a valid ID.
    • Bank Account - Some money remittances in the US for work from home jobs in the Philippines allows direct bank payments, such as Ria and Remitly.
    The bottom line, in payment, the most crucial aspect of setting up whatever payment method you agree with your client is your valid ID. So, get one ASAP. Make sure to get a UMID, Driver’s License, Postal, or Voter’s ID. A passport is also a valid document you can use. 

    via GIPHY

    Create a Daily System or Routine

    Working from is more complicated than working in an office. There are a lot of distractions in your house, and you have to fight yourself from giving in from these distractions. However, I learned that the only thing that can keep you from focusing on work is a system. So, here's what my typical day looks like. 
    •  8:00 AM - coffee, breakfast, and muni-muni ;)
    • 10:00 AM - quick exercise, rest, take a bath and work.
    • 11:00 AM - start grinding on the keyboard.
    • 1:00 PM - lunchtime!
    • 3:00 PM - start grinding again, take quick breaks to stretch, and end my day at
    • 11 PM or 12 MN depending on my deadlines.
    I know this isn’t an ideal work schedule for someone who’s just starting their home base job, but it works for me, and I’m thrilled that I can work whenever I want and can because my employers don’t bother as long as I finish my tasks.

    Find Your Why 

    Always find your 'why' because a life without a why is an x. If you know your reasons or you are motivated to pursue any freelancing job, then you’ll be motivated to get up and grind as you do in an office job, but with the added benefits.

    You get to work in your home's comforts, which can either be a good or bad thing. So, you have to be firm in your decision, and I talked a bit more about it when I shared how to increase your freelancing rate in a webinar.

    Because if you want and love what you’re doing, your motivation will relly bring you far but close to your dreams. If you have any questions about freelancing, please add it in the comments, and I will try to answer it as detailed as possible.

    Remember, I’m here right now because I wanted to be here and if you want it, you can do it, too!

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