The Philippine economy is changing.
Looking into the past and up until the current years, the position of the Philippine economy still remains strongly dependent on the people-investment.
Particularly, the culture of sending OFW outside the country has become a basic attitude in terms of defining the economic progress in the Philippines.
However, many families have realized that this culture, although it does bring in money, does create more problems along the way. This includes a definite distinction on how the families are being broken apart because of the need to earn more through serving others and leaving the most important part of their lives.
In the Working Remote 2019 convention, other options of work opportunities were introduced that clearly does not include having the need to leave home. This option offers a better chance for skilled individuals to be able to work and see their family grow right beside them.
There were at least six speeches during the event that was focused on this discussion.
The first speech dedicated to this topic AJ Dimarucot’s How I Became an Online Filipino Worker (OFW). In his speech, he points out that the willingness of a person to put his best foot forward always pays great value. With the right passion, the right drive and the right capacity to present one’s self to the right connections, the desire to grow in freelancing is possible.
Using his talent, skills and passion in graphic design, getting the attention of big names both in the local and the international industry became a huge break for him. His portfolio tells so much about the journey he has gone through as a freelance graphic designer who had all the time needed to enjoy enough time with his family as he provides for their needs.
With his work being celebrated online and offline, AJ Dimarucot’s profile does present a huge impact on how those who have the right skills could actually make a name and be successful in the field of freelancing.
His experience and his example inspired me so much to try and find what I am most passionate about and start from there. I hoped that one day, I would also be able to live a life that is free from the pressure of doing something I am not enjoying as much just to be able to pay the bills. The way he expresses his mind through his art reaches out to the market he targets not because he puts unnecessary effort in it, but because he loves what he was doing.
Another inspirational speech on this topic is Mike Grogan‘s The Rise of First World Filipinos. It was fun to hear someone who is not Filipino who is able to speak both the Cebuano and Tagalog and he actually used it in his speech. The energy he brought into the stage was specifically a treat for us, giving us a vision of what the right attitude is all about and how we ought to use it to improve our work process and the way we handle pressure through effective leadership.
In his speech, Grogan highlights the need of Filipinos to change their attitude towards themselves and the way they handle the pressures of being in a third world country. He notes that instead of simply following through what the world believes about Filipinos, we must be able to embrace our gifts that make us unique from everyone else. Our natural way of catering to the needs of others should not be considered a curse but a blessing; it is what makes the Filipino population the most dependable individuals when it comes to service and inspirational growth.
Another speech that redefines how Filipino freelancing is supposed to look as the future comes into the picture is Chris Janskulovski’s Professionalizing Remote Work in the Philippines. This speech was one for the books; it was direct to the point and could be considered one of the most compelling ones during the event as it helped the audience see the reality of where freelancing in the Philippines is at present.
It serves as an eye-opener that brings about the reality of how some classic Filipino attitudes should be changed in order to create a more professional context of freelancing among a talented pool of workers in the country.
One thing that struck me during this discussion was the fact that Filipinos are often naturally relaxed. At times, even though there is a point of urgency in what we are tasked to do, we often find ways to procrastinate and end up not meeting the expectations of our clients. As a result, we become frustrated and feel disappointed about ourselves.
In short, the way we freelancers see ourselves do so much in defining how we would present ourselves and handle the tasks that our clients assign on us. If we start thinking professionally, then we would be able to act professionally even when we are not working in offices.
At times, the comfort of working at home might actually serve a distinct sense of too much complacency which could put our working culture at risk.
To not make the comfort a liability, adjusting the thinking process of individuals towards freelancing is important. Thinking as professionals is essential. One way of doing so is to find a better process of defining the purpose we use to define our work attitude not only to make money, but to serve great value not only for us but for our clients as well.
To improve the way freelancers see their clients, Greg Gibas talks about the basic concepts and concerns of Working with Westerners. The cultural differences between Asians and Westerners is critical in terms of keeping a good job of developing a better sense of distinction on how such cultural differences could be bridged through the application of good attitude and effective response to pressure.
Among the top considerations noted during the speech includes keeping an open line of communication with the client. This is especially necessary in terms of improving the possibilities of efficiently making a connection with the clients considering task instructions and perhaps knowing more about the client and what they want out of the project.
Only through this effective process of communicating and connecting with each other would goals be accomplished. Good communication do not only open the doors to bigger opportunities, it also offers freelancers a better foundation needed to establish their name and their reputation in the industry as being trustworthy and dependable in the service that they offer.
Time difference between regions is critical in terms of meeting with clients online. Being prepared for each meeting is necessary, even if it might mean having the need to dress up a little at around 3am. Putting as much effort is necessary and is smaller considering what we would need to do if we were working in an office and would have to battle traffic everyday.
Another compelling speaker is Miss Kari Javier who provided Guidelines on Becoming Digital Nomad. Sharing her personal experience of having the need to see a loved one go abroad in the airport because of poverty. Having been able to experience the need to deal with separation at such an early age is not easy, and it is certainly an experience that we do not want our own children to go through.
Best for our generation because the economic conditions in the country is already changing. Miss Kari Javier’s experience tells so much of this important tale and establishes a strong impact on how the OFW-stories need to change now. The way the condition of family separation affects our children need to change and freelancing makes such changes possible.
Good things come to those who work hard and schedule the timeline of their success. One very important point Miss Kari shared was that she established her growth in the freelance industry through setting up a timeline that would assure her success.
True, creating a business that works online presents both risks and huge benefits. Handling the risks effectively through focus and determination helped Miss Kari to live the life she has always wanted for her and her family. Not only is she able to provide for her own, she is also able to help others who are willing to offer their services as freelancers.
The dream does not need to be big, it just needs to be purposeful- for a freelancer to realize the real gift of working from anywhere in the world.
For those who want to engage in freelancing but to do not have the space or the internet connection needed to setup a work space at home, co-working spaces may be a good fit. This was discussed and introduced through the representation of WeRemote. Not only does sharing space with other freelancers provide a better way of keeping one’s senses alert, it also opens doors towards networking with other freelancers to form groups that could increase the possibility of creating better work opportunities online.
These series of discussions certainly enriches the the definition on how the Philippine economy is being restructured through the existence of online freelance gigs. If you are thinking of giving it a go, then it will be a great start looking through the experiences of the experts who were once in your shoes; at the crossroads of deciding whether to try working at home or staying at a 9 to 5 office work.