My Journey From Employee To Freelancing

I’ve been in the BPO industry for several years but I’ve always wanted to be my own boss like getting into freelancing. It will give me more options to do what I think is best to provide quality services. I used to join a network marketing business before because I was attracted to their products and I want to sell to make profits. I thought it would be a stepping stone for me to become an entrepreneur someday. However, that didn’t last long because I realized it wasn’t the kind of business I want to be in where the main focus is to recruit more people instead of selling.

Anyway, I moved on from that and I stayed with my full-time job until I finally admitted to myself that being a corporate employee is not a way to live forever. I was earning somewhat good money from my job but I needed more. I needed more freedom. I was grateful that I had a job that pays good money (for me) with lots of benefits but I felt that there’s more to life than having to enslave most of my life in a job that doesn’t make me feel fulfilled. 

I got tired of having to always defend my low performance scores and having to promise that I would do better but I just don’t have the motivation anymore. One of my friends who’s been freelancing for a while recommended that I should try doing Virtual Assistant jobs. She even provided some tips on where to self-study, what is needed for the job, and where to find clients but I was hesitant. It was all too new for me and although the perks seemed really promising, I still stayed in my corporate job. 

An unexpected turn of events happened in my life when the pandemic hit the country in 2020. I lost my corporate job, was in limbo for a few months, and found a new BPO job, but I still didn’t have the drive to work.

When my mom passed away in 2021, it came as a shock for me and my family. Right then and there, I started weighing my options. I figured we only live temporarily in this world and we don’t have the slightest idea of when it will be when it’s our time to leave. Our time is precious and we need to live it each day, but most of us are just wasting it.

I knew I needed to make a change. Working takes up most of our time every day so why waste that time on a job that doesn’t bring any more value and fulfillment? 

While I was weighing my options, I was reminded of how my mom appears to always be so happy with what she does. She was a self-employed seamstress and she also teaches catechism to the children once in a while. She serves in the church as well and I can tell from her massive friends how great of a person she was. She’s such an inspiration and I want to have that same passion in anything that I do.

When I went back to work after taking an extended leave, I knew I had to quit, and so I did. I sent my resignation letter and it was approved right away. I had doubts, to be honest, while I was composing that letter but I could no longer do the same old type of job. I’ve been in the BPO industry in the same role, and I’m already tired. 

 I quit my job even though I have no other source of income and I have bills to pay. I was broke, and I only have a few pennies left in my bank account. I was kind of a mess. I remembered my friend who told me to start freelancing so I started researching, watching free tutorials on Youtube, reading a number of blogs, and joining a bunch of freelancing groups. However, I only got more and more confused and the longer I waited till I’m ready, the more bills were piling up. 

I was frustrated so I tried sending an application to different companies even if I don’t have the experience that they were looking for. I even applied for customer support – the same kind of job I had before out of frustration, but all of my efforts were put in vain. Yes, I did hear back from the hiring managers but it wasn’t because they were moving forward with my application. It was actually the opposite. 

Due to my pride, I didn’t ask for help from that friend of mine. That was my mistake though as it would have saved me trouble with getting an experience. I could’ve asked for the internship that she offered before but I just put it off for a while.

One day, I stumbled upon an ad on social media that promises VA aspirants to be trained and get started with their freelancing career, with an opportunity to be hired internally. Plus, they’ve also promised to refund the payment for the course after finishing it. It seemed like a good deal for me so I used the last money I had to sign up for their VA training. 

I took the online course for a few weeks, attended live coaching, did the assigned tasks to practice what I’ve learned, and got my certification after graduation. It was my first time signing up for an online course by the way but it was worth it. 

The real challenge is the waiting time. I was expecting they would hire me right after I finished taking their course but no, I had to wait patiently. I didn’t get lucky before when I tried chasing down clients and companies on different freelancing websites because I was a mess at that time. So I thought I have to wait a little longer and pray harder. To me, I didn’t have any choice. It’s either wait or try my luck again, but who knows how long that will take till I get my first client? 

The marketplace for freelancers was so competitive, and for someone like me who’s a newbie in the industry, I don’t think I’ll be fortunate enough to get hired in just a matter of days. I know some other freelancers got their first client after trying for so many months but for me, I needed another way or an outlet to get experience a little bit faster. 

After a month of patiently waiting and a non-stop daily rosary, I finally got hired by my first client from the same company where I got my training. I still had to undergo the hiring process though but I was so happy that I was hired by my client. 

The waiting was all worth it. I only needed a headstart in freelancing and I got it! It doesn’t matter whether the pay is not that much because the agency company has a cut, but it’s okay. I wasn’t thinking of how much I was going to make anyway. 

As of this writing, I’ve already gained so much knowledge after almost a year of being a VA. Finding a client that you can work well with is a blessing, and I’m so fortunate to have my first client who appreciates what I do. She even made me realize that I can do anything as long as I put my heart into it. Right now, I’m helping more than 2 clients and I’m so happy I get to help entrepreneurs who also help other people. 

Being a freelancer is not a walk in the park. If you’re a VA aspirant, and you’re reading this post, be prepared for the challenges. No matter which outlet you’re going to use to follow your dreams, just do it. Every successful freelancer, Virtual assistants to be specific, has a different journey on how they get to where they are right now. How I went from being an employee to being a freelancer was not easy but it’s what I went through. It’s the story that I will always bring with me on my journey. 

So jump into freelancing already. Stop overthinking. Don’t be like me who was hesitant at first. Shift your mindset from being an employee to being a freelancer.

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