Merely looking at the program for the Working Remote 2019 event for the first day got me quite excited and hopeful of the many things I would be learning from it. I was too blessed to be part of this and I consider it to be one of the best events of this year in my life as a freelancer.
I am not a college graduate but the things I learned from the series of speeches I have heard from this two-day event served to be the completion of an education that I needed to survive and thrive in the industry.
To give a brief overview of it all, I have been in the industry more than ten years in the online freelancing industry now. I have been a ghostwriter ever since and have found my comfort in the idea that I will not be known as the writer behind the articles I write. Not that I do not trust the things I write, I research them well; but I have personal reservation on whether or not the public would actually be willing to read something from someone nameless like myself.
If you have been reading through my posts during the past days, then you would be familiar with the fact that the event has also provided the audience with a reality check and empowerment on how purpose and passion could be used by individuals who are already freelancing and are still thinking about it to face the challenges of this industry quite successfully.
For this part of the takeaway, I would like to give you an overview of the discussions presented during the Working Remote 2019 directed towards building up skills and character. I have chosen four speeches during the program that were directed towards the concentration on this topic.
The first one is Chris Jankulovski’s presentation on Advance Remote Working Skills Sets Training. This speech convinced the audience that working as freelancers in the global field is certainly a good future for Filipino workers. In this same speech, he provided us with the most important nuggets of knowledge we need to have to sustain our existence in the freelance industry as we serve the needs of our global clients.
One of the most important points I have realized from this discussion is the importance of our loyalty to our clients and the way we are able to determine the value of their trust to the value of work that we provide them. Along with these are three concepts of freelancing I found surprising- especially that it defined the difference of work culture that exists in the Philippines in comparison with the global community.
The Filipino culture of work, whether we like to admit it or not, is more dependent on the ideals of slavery and serving the needs of the bosses. In this manner, we see ourselves as individuals within lower levels of functionality compared to our bosses. In a way, we put them in a pedestal because they have the money to pay while we put ourselves at the lower rank-level, almost seeing ourselves as slaves, working simply to follow their demands.
In some working arrangements, this may be true. But in freelancing, the case is different. Apparently, global clients want more inquisitive individuals to join their team- especially when it comes to working hand-in-hand with a global team. Most often than not, those who are working for freelancers to work for them are looking for partners and not slaves. They would like to grow along with their team rather than simply command them with what they need to do.
They welcome comments and suggestions and they care so much that the individuals they are working with feel the same worth of progress that they are making in their own companies. This is why saying “Yes Po” or “Yes Sir/Yes Ma’am” without actually knowing what is going on. Instead of simply saying “Yes”, we are encouraged in this speech to ask and clarify; to make sure that what we are doing is according to the liking and specifics of what our clients expect.
Connection and communication is critical to establishing healthy client-freelancer relationships. Filipinos have been used to embracing a rather low-end point of recognition in terms of being co-productive with the ‘bosses’. Nonetheless, this does not mean that this cannot be changed.
Establishing a new course of working culture among freelancers in the Philippines is possible. Question is, would individuals be willing enough to face the need to establish such changes among themselves.
Partnership with clients means that their business becomes our business and that we would be willing to take every necessary step in order to make sure their organization thrives. Only through establishing this personal level of value for the client’s concerns would a freelancer become loyally invested into the matter of providing successful assistance to the individuals and/or organizations they work for.
To become a good freelancer, it is critical to note the need to be organized. One of the most devastating issues that home based freelancers have to deal with is effective time-management. Jason Dulay’s speech on How to Get More Done in Less Time provide some of the most important points that freelancers need to give attention to.
Time is critical factor that determines how productive an individual could be.
Nonetheless, it was also highly distinguished in the speech how time management does not mean killing one’s self in completing so much all at the same time which is most often than not is counterproductive. A part of time management includes giving enough time for break and rest. Only through these breaks would freelancers be able to get the best out of their journey in the industry.
The third speech directed to this topic is Pam and David’s focused discussion on the Mindset and Culture of Filipino Freelancers. This speech was rather an eye-opener to many freelancers who are already serving their clients and others who are still aiming to join the industry.
Miss Pam particularly gave me a certain point of realization especially when it comes to carrying myself in front of clients even when only working at home. At first, I thought that this was too much of a requirement for those who are aiming to become a part of the industry and hopefully be successful in the process. Then again, Miss Pam made it clear that dressing up is more for us, the freelancers as it does push us to be better, to be motivated through dressing up the part.
Putting in the needed effort to prepare ourselves into taking our tasks seriously is an essential investment in home-based freelancing.
Another point to ponder from this discussion by Pam and David is the value of giving our clients the best of what we could offer, not merely to impress, but to establish a sense of professionalism. Changing the mindset of freelancers from a relaxed sense of functionality into becoming more accountable for their actions is necessary.
The fourth entry in this collection of speeches is John Pagulayan’s The Power of Mastering One Skill. Although his speech was directed into teaching freelancers how to price their skills as they offer their services to their target clients, what impacted me more is how he notes how freelancing is more about creating a community of skilled workers than competing with each other.
This is what makes home-based freelancing different from networking businesses. The need to get each other’s support to be able to present superb services with the client is essential.
This is the reason why it is advisable for freelancers to connect with their peers especially with those who have separate skills than they have to offer as this would allow them to provide full-package services to clients. Doing so creates more opportunities of work while also creating better profits for freelancers connected together by their skills and expertise.
Overall, these speeches provide the basic factors that makeup successful freelancing. Taking their advice into serious consideration could actually change the path of old-time freelancers and offer a much better option of growth for those who are still entering into this option of work.