Tag Archives: freelance

…to Life’s Little Choices

How’s this for direct? On my last visit to my OB, I was informed that I may need to come to a decision to stop working in order for me to have a child. It was due to the fact that I am overworked (I worked the whole Holy Week and even on Saturdays and Sundays) and the treatment I have been taking might not work if my body remains bruised by working too much.

photo not mine
photo not mine

A part of me was sad upon realizing that eventually, I will have to put my so-called career in a backseat and concentrate on trying to be a mum. I find it so f*cked up that jobless kids half my age are procreating while I have been guzzling one fertility drug after another just to have a healthy working egg. I worked tirelessly for fifteen years, without nary a rest or respite. But at the end of the day, I will never be measured by how much I earn or what’s written as my designation. To the people I know, I will always be known as someone who “just kept on trying to no avail…” And it’s no longer amusing.

A part of me has decided that I am ready to walk away from my job and the career I have literally wasted half my life trying to build just to be healthy and fit enough. This early, I have looked at options that await me should I finally tender my resignation. I have drafted a timeline as well as a savings goal which will see me live comfortably while away from the corporate world.

I started working with eLance, having my first client as a writer last week. For my first week, I earned USD20 (PHP900), not a big amount but it’s a start. Navigating the world of freelancing is scary for someone like me who always had the safety net of a tenure or a company holding me back. I have never backed out of a challenge and I am a stubborn little girl — so, yes — right now, I am trying to increase my cred online in order for me to continuously win clients.

I don’t know when I’ll tender my resignation. My goal is to save money at least six times my current salary. Originally, I wanted it to be a year from now. But I don’t think that’s still feasible. With my luck, I hope I will be ready to resign by December and sustain myself online instead.

Wish me luck and send me a ton of prayers, please. I really need it.

Advertisements

Hustling

While I would like to make myself believe that I have enough money to fund the stupid things I usually get into — I really don’t.

I maybe working from 9 to 7PM, and with responsibilities that can kill an overgrown elephant — but if you would care to look at the status of my finances, OH BOY — I am a merely a pathetic little bitch. Here’s the low-down, my monthly income is in the lower five digits. Might be enough if I am fending only for my big ass, but quite pathetic when I am trying to sustain a lifestyle, fill up a savings account and be a supportive wife to M, my long-suffering hubby looking for work after he graduated from Caregiver school.

Yes, life sucks — but when life hands you lemons, you gotta find a way to make a mean lemonade.

The obvious solution to this is to hustle, something I have belatedly learned a year ago when I started accepting freelancing jobs to get by. On my first freelance writing job, I quit after my second submission — the pay was peanuts but the extensive research needed was too much for my sanity. Then, I started doing copy and copy editing work to a near competitor of my previous employer — the money was good for a while, especially when I was offered a bigger opportunity that is, until the work dried up and here I am, on the look out again.

lemonade

Giving up is not in my vocabulary — I am determined to work hard and hustle, just to earn an honest buck. There is no shame in hustling. It strengthens your resolve, gives you a much-needed ego check and underlines the value of hard work.

Right now, my freelance gig had all but dried up. It’s already been two months and the blank lines in my passbook account betrays this need for more money to come in. The most obvious solution to this problem is to check the net for postings and opportunities. Right now, I’ve signed up for a gig doing hush-huh reviews but there was really no pay involved, except for opportunities and little pleasures. It’s good though, as it allows me to experience things without having to shell out a dime. If I am lucky, there will be (in the near future and sometime) a monetary value in the work I do.

I am not ashamed to say these things because it is part of who I am. I will not lie or cover the fact that I am hustling for a living through any good, honest-to-goodness means. As long as it will never compromise the values I have been taught since my childhood, I am open to opportunities. After all, this world belongs to every hard working man.

Navigating the tricky world of freelancing

I’ve been doing a bit of freelancing job lately, writing copies ranging from hawking whitening products and convincing women that having white skin is beautiful–an idea by the way that I didn’t support. So, in between writing proposals and project plans for the company, I am also writing spectacularly written copies on the benefits of placenta collagen (a skin whitening famous in the Philippines).

I try to squeeze time in between trying to rest after a tiring 8-hour work day and sleeping at a decent hour. While it is not easy, it also augments the income–something I desperately need especially during difficult days when the hubby and I are down to the last peso in our wallet.

In the short period I was doing freelancing, I realized that landing your first client is tricky. It’s a mix of selling yourself and your capability, while trying to make sure that they will not short-change you for your hard work. The first time I submitted an Agreement Contract, detailing mys services, I kept wishing that they’ll find my rates agreeable and that it will not be a problem to sign a Freelance Contract with a newbie.

Ah, the Agreement Contract — maybe the first thing I ever tried to develop as soon as I confirmed my foray to the wonderful word of freelance writing. It’s something I recommend to everyone who aspires to work freelance. Better be safe than sorry and explain the details of the project, the costing, the timeline in writing than have to deal with confusion when you are already in the midst of editing a 2,000 word essay on rosy-white, beautiful skin. It ain’t just right. If you are someone like me who plans to entering the foray of freelance writing, I suggest you hit Google to look for formats, then modify them according to your needs. You’ll be protected later on when your client turns out to be stark raving mad and starts denying you payment for services incurred.

A tricky thing for freelancers is how you charge your services based on what’s proper and what you feel is right. In one of the forums for freelancers that I joined, writers are advised against selling ourselves short. Of agreeing to do stuff at prices that are restrictive and downright unfair.I try to be reasonable, but what do you do when your client is haggling the price so low you feel like they’re just waiting for you to announce that the service will be done for free? I try to strike a balance in between. In my head, I wanted to make sure that I’ll win the account so I give in a little on my PF and then win their business. In my head, I’d rather have a repeat business at rates we both agree on.

The sad thing is that people think writing is easy and thus freelance writing does not deserve higher professional fees. That it can be done for “peanuts” — which for me is downright insulting for every writer out there trying to earn an honest living. In my case, try writing a product description on a beauty catalogue and only having a few URLs as reference — no interviews, no product reviews present, no product. It wan’t easy but years of writing ad copy mixed with my preference for fiction proved a nice antidote for this dilemma.

I was lucky to be referred by a good friend who also facilitates my payment’s release, so collecting for PFs owed is not as hard as the usual horror stories on online threads. I have been paid cold cash (which is good) and in check (which is a bummer) — which was both fine with me. It’s hard-earned money, usually products of long nights staring at an empty computer screen, of eye bags begetting another set of eye bags…

After doing this for close to three months now, I can DEFINITELY say that I still feel new to this — navigating time schedules, relying on discipline to finish an article or two. But give me time. I am learning, and I’ll be better for sure.

Money matters and the search for part-time work continues

Sorry for the intermittent post.
I am really having a rough week at work, I think I am losing all the good mojo I deposited when I was starting. Add to that new albeit very minor health concerns that just kept on popping one after the other. Yes, the might be not life threatening but they are small nuisances that I’d rather not have in my life. Oh, I won’t even begin with my issues with people that seemed to exist just to make my life miserable.

As much as possible, I try not to write anything about work in this blog because I am keeping this space separate from my professional life. Oh, corporate life kills me no end. Certain deliverables within my area of work is not being met and I am always at the receiving end of countless dressing downs. God, there are days when I just want to quit but I love it too much to throw in the towel. Besides, I have the best boss (she’s OC but she has a heart of Gold) and I respect her too much to give up on her. I also respect my job because it gives me the means to travel. I guess I just have to grin and bear it. I am also exploring other means to earn money.

The other day, I was offered by my friend the opportunity to host a mini fashion show for dogs in an out-of-place mall located in Southern Manila. The event is happening in October and will be part of a whole day activity featuring ’em cutie, little creatures. While I have an inane fear of crowds (big crowds scare me) and I have no experience in semi-professional event hosting, I found myself saying “yes.” I don’t know maybe I got tired of saying no and missing opportunities.

If the event and the offer pushes through, it will be my first official part-time gig as event host. Not a bad way to earn extra bucks, right?

This also got me thinking that maybe I should maximize and earn from what I know: I know how to draw and paint, I was a professional writer, I know how to organize and host events and yet I seem to just be wasting away my opportunities.

According to a blog I’ve read, if I want to be truly financially-capable before I turn 40, I should look for other opportunities that will augment my income. Because really, with low Philippine wages and the high government tax, it will take me years in order to build a comfortable nest egg.

freelance writing hire me
picture not my property

I’ve decided that I will try to find writing opportunities that will put premium in what I do. More than earning extra on the side, I really miss writing. From the time I graduated from university up until I was 24 years old, writing has always been my bread and butter. It’s one thing that I love doing, even if the pay is not that great. Well, at least lifestyle writing gives you free shampoo, free feminine wash, free soap, etc. — which shortens the grocery list considerably 🙂

Honestly, I really want to go back to creative writing since it’s one thing that I seriously love doing. Unfortunately, my resume no longer affords me the opportunity to pursue managerial-level writing gigs so the best I can do for now is to be a contributor.

Earlier, I saw dear hubby browsing on a role-playing card game event which was featured on an online magazine. I made a wise-ass remark that it looked like a big-time geek convention, until a reality dawned on me. These guys, the so-called “gaming geeks” might be dubbed as such, but I am sure they are very much happy and contented with their respective jobs. I mean, they must have the coolest job in the world: they are paid good money to do something they truly love doing.

Oh, if I can also have that kind of career–I will be the happiest woman on earth.

Words, for sale.

I finally had the courage to apply for freelance writing jobs online. This after weeks and weeks of deliberation — arguing with myself whether I have the knack for this, will I have the time and more importantly, will someone even bother to work with me.

As much as possible, I try to contribute stories to some publications and even online, but I am not after getting paid. It’s more on getting published and continuing to get my name out there even though I stopped being a reporter a decade ago. Luckily, I still get published once in a while.

The reason to finding a second job, aside from the first one who I love to pieces, is due to monetary concerns. Cash has been pretty tight as of late and there are still a lot of things that I really need to do. Immediately on top of the list is moving out of the little hole we rent from my ‘rents and finally to a place where we can really call our own. I also wanted to start really saving up for important things like having the seed money for travel plus the anticipated hospitalization for my hubby who needs to have multiple gallstones removed.

picture not mine

Don’t get me wrong, I love my current job — and I love the predictability of being employed, with health benefits, an HMO card that I can use each time I accidentally injure myself, the annual bonuses…I love the safety net it affords me. Unfortunately, the money I earn is not enough to pay the bills, save money for our house, save money for our plans. As much as I hate money, it keeps the world spinning and it keeps my dream afloat.

So, I sent my resume to some people I found over the internet, hopefully for jobs that only require my internet connection and my laptop. Of course, I am dedicating my 8 to 5 to my day job but I am willing to spend my waking hours after 5PM to crafting articles and doing researches, should I find an online job.

I am keeping my fingers crossed. I know God, in His generosity, will provide.